Anish AgrawalSeptember 29, 2011The Dimensions of artDr. Grace
”, inside the Roger Williams National Memorial, North Main Street
This seventeenth century
is an astonishing form of architecture which issupremely functional.
The colonists built “stone enders” which made use of
timber and stonethat were in abundance in the area. This medieval house was timber-framed, one and a half stories in height, with one room and a loft. It seems almost absurdly logical to state thatarchitecture must concern space-for what else, by definition, is architecture? A mindbogglingfact about this stone-ender is that it sheltered 15-20 people and that single room served aseverything required in a house. Even animals could be kept inside the room. The design wasextremely concerned about the space. The loft was used as storage as well as sleeping placefor the children. An architectural design should take into account its context or environment. Tohandle the extreme winter, the design was made energy efficient with minimal glass on itsnorth-facing side. The roof was slanted to cut the wind from the bad weather from the north-east. On the south, there was a small glass window which could be covered in the summer andthen uncovered to catch sunlight in midwinter, when it still provided considerable warmth. Theetching on the window was made out of lead. The chimney system inside the house was likeseveral small fires which made it very energy efficient. The way the designer used the laws of physics accommodating natural phenomena rather than adding technological devices, ispraiseworthy.