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Introduction

Ireland is situated in a temperate oceanic climate. On average our weather is mild, meaning we generally do not experience any weather or temperature extremes. However we do receive an abundance of rain. The Eastern half of Ireland receives somewhere between 750mm and 1000mm of rainfall a year. The Western half of the country receives a rainfall of between 1000 and 1400 mm. It rains about 150 days of the year in the east and about 225 days of the year in the West.1 This mean on average it rains 50% + of the year. However consideration of rain as a fundamental factor in shaping our architecture is not evident .The aim of this study is to define a set of principles that will create better public space and architecture in Ireland. This will be achieved through an observational and analytical study of rain in architecture from both historical and modern precedents. The first chapter identifies the important role rain played in the development of the primitive shelter. It provides a background in mans relationship to weather and sets a backdrop for mans desire to connect to nature. It explains the physical and psychological problems that shelter creates with nature.
Figure 1 Map depicting rainfall amounts in Ireland
http://www.met.ie/- accessed 20/ 10/2012

Met ireann website, Irish Climate- http://www.met.ie/- accessed 20/ 10/2012

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submitted: 29/11/2012 The second chapter is an attempt to explain mans affinity towards nature. The idea that architecture can provide a healthy environment to live in by linking man and nature is explored through the works of Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto. The third chapter is about sense of place. This chapter explores the idea that weather identifies a specific place. By constructing a building that is responsive to the weather of the specific place the resulting architecture can embody the genius loci of the site. The fourth chapter deals with rain in the built

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environment. It explains the transformation of space during and after rain in the urban setting. It also explores threshold between enclosed and exposed spaces. The fifth chapter will contain a brief study of early Irish architecture before any colonization. This allows the study a period of uninterrupted development of the vernacular dwelling in Ireland. The aim is to out line the influence of rain in Irish vernacular architecture so as these ideas can be brought forward to modern Irish architecture as an attempt to re-establish these

architectural ideas. The concluding chapter will result in the establishing of principles that will inform the designer in the different materialistic and spatial qualities that are implied by rain and are necessary to create successful public

architecture.

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Man and Weather.

Figure 2

Rain is a part of nature, regardless of where we live; the weather affects our lives everyday. According to Jacek Krenz man is divided into two opinions towards rain (encourage exposure to it) and those who want to avoid it (seek shelter from it).2 He states that this notion has naturally applied itself to the development of the roof in architecture, a surface that shelters from precipitation.3 Primitive huts were essentially large roof structures, addressing their primary function of shelter; a place to keep warm, provide security and protected the inhabitant from the from undesirable weather conditions. The notion of shelter in architecture is a fundamental element when considering rain in architecture as shelter is the physical manifestation of the desire to be protected during poor weather.
Figure 4 Figure 3

When it rains a connection between earth and sky is made. A shelter is an act of opposition to weather, a desire to create a controlled environment. When we construct a shelter between earth and sky the path of rain fall is diverted. As an architect it becomes our responsibility to design this new path for rain water. The challenges of achieving this usually manifest in faade,
Figure 5
2

J. Krenz- Rain in Architecture and Urban Design-Weimar Urban development guide [web document](2007) http://www.academia.edu/246404/Rain_in_architecture_and_urban_design, accessed October 2012 3 Krenz ,Loc. Cit.

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submitted: 29/11/2012 roof, and materiality and in the construction of the building. Jonathan Hill writes that dialogue between architecture and weather is a means to encourage buildings to coexist with their immediate and wider environments change.
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and

acknowledge

time,

decay

and

It is important not just to consider shelters physical implications but also to consider the users experience of shelter as physiological. In the book, Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachlaerd, he includes a chapter called House and Universe' in which he writes of mans instinctive need for shelter and home. when the shelter is sure, the storm is good - Henri Bosco, (Bachelard, 1992). In the chapter Bachlaerd describes the psychological impact rain and wind can imbue when one is in a good or bad shelter. The feeling of gratification in shelter can enhance the users experience of a public building or dwelling and can be exploited through investigation of sound, material and composition of space. Edward Morse writes that in Japanese architecture a view to the outside world in the entrance area of the house was an attempt to heighten the experience of entering a shelter and produce a sense of gratification of home.6 This worked especially well during poor weather conditions, when the inhabitant entered the calm dry interior of the house the view to the poor weather conditions outside enhanced the sense of satisfaction of enclosure.
Figure 7
5

Figure 6

4 5

Jonathan Hill- Weather Architecture,( Routledge , Printed in England 2012)

Henri Bosco, Malicroix cited in Gaston Bachlaerd, Poetics of Space- (Beacon Press; New edition 1 Mar 1992)
6

Edward S.Morse, Japanese Homes and their surroundings, (Dover Publications Inc. 1st Feb 2000)

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Connection to nature.

Rain is part of nature and an architectural response towards it can create a connection between building and the landscape.7 When it rains a link is created between earth and sky: by placing a roof over our heads we disturb the natural journey of the rainwater. JB Jackson writes that if we can accept an animals construction of a home as natural then so too is it for man, as man is also part of nature.8 However he remarks that consideration is due for a sensible approach to a man made environment that can satisfy our native physical and physiological requirements. Jackson writes that every time a building is erected, a tree planted or large area paved, this has a direct impact on the human physical condition due to its effect on the micro climate of the city. 9

In the book Nature and Space, Sarah Manin and Flora Samuel discuss Le Corbusier and Alvar Aaltos affinity towards architecture's ability to connect nature and man. Le Corbusier held strong views about architecture and nature. He believed that the physical environment could create connections to the metaphysical environment with the aim of creating a healthier environment for man to

JB Jackson , Imitations of Nature, from Landscape, (edited by Ervin H. Zube published by the University of

Massachusetts Press , Printed in America 1959)


8 9

Ibid . Ibid .

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submitted: 29/11/2012 dwell.10 Corbusier sought to connect man to nature through combining the spiritual and the technical in an uplifting architecture.11 The design for the chapel Notre Dame du Haut is an example of his concern towards the poetics of function and metaphor he sought to achieve.

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Notre Dame du Haut The chapel Notre Dame du Haut is located at the top of a hill in Ronchamp. Part of the brief given to Le Corbusier was to collect rainwater in a cistern as getting water to the site was a problem.12 Corbusier applied this functional aspect to the spiritual metaphor he was creating for Mary (mother of Christ) to whom the church was dedicated to13. The resulting roof design was a gesture celebrating the movement and collection of rain water. The huge roof references cupped hands which are carefully pouring the rain water into a cistern.14 The water is passed from building to cistern via a gargoyle at the rear of the church. This celebration of rain creates a powerful link between nature and building, both existing in harmony especially when it rains.
Figure 8

Figure 9

10

Sarah Menin and Flora Samuel, Nature and space: Aalto and Corbusier, (Routledge, Printed in England 2003) 11 Menin and Samuel ,Loc. Cit.
12
13

Ibid.

Flora Samuel, Corbusier in Detail, (Architectural Press, Printed 31st August 2007). 14 Ibid.

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submitted: 29/11/2012 Chandigarh For his design of Chandigarh Assembly in India, Corbusiers fascination with the poetics of function as a means to connect man and nature manifested itself through the ceremony and celebration of water.

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Corbusier saw water as a symbol of spiritual cleansing and celebrated it in his schemes both internally (in the bathrooms of his villas and wash basins in entrance foyers) and externally (the journey of rainwater from building to ground).15 At Chandigarh Corbusier faced the problematic climate of the area, which included intense heat from the sun and monsoon weather which brought large amounts of heavy rainfall driven by winds.16 His response to this was a large concrete channel that acted as both a canopy to walk under in the shade while going between buildings and as a shelter for the building against driven monsoon rain. The huge concrete channel is also a poetic device to collect all the rain water from the roofs and disperse it from either end into the water basin that surrounded the building. Corbusier referred to this huge canopy as the river of Chandigarh.17 As with the chapel Notre Dame du haut Corbusier attempts to use the physical building to connect man with the
Figure 10

metaphysical of nature by transforming the building into a river when the heavy rain fall collects in the huge channel.

Figure 11
15

Flora Samuel, Corbusier in Detail, (Architectural Press, Printed 31st August 2007). 16 Anupam Banjeri, The Architecture of Corbusier and Kahn in the East: A Philosophical Inquiry ,(Mellen Studies in Architecture), Edwin Mellen Press Ltd; illustrated edition ,August 2001). 17 Ibid

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submitted: 29/11/2012 Syntsalo the purpose of a building is to act as an instrument that collects all the positive influences in nature for mans benefit, while sheltering him from the favourable influences that appear in nature. Alvar Aalto18

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As with Corbusier, Alvar Aalto was inspired by nature and the possibilities of connecting man to nature through architecture. He achieved this by combining poetic and sensitive approaches to technical problems with his designs. In his town hall complex at Syntsalo, Aalto uses sheltered pathways in a cloister-like enclosure to create a sense of calm within a natural terrain. The design for his meeting hall roof is purely functional in preventing snow from building up and damaging the structure, yet there is a poetic and calming quality to the form and massing employed. The shelter aspect of the design can be modulated to provide varying degrees depending on the time of year and weather. The covered walkways can become enclosed by sliding glass panels, with the mechanism for the panels is raised off the ground and provides seating also. Aalto expressed the need for psychological functions in his designs.19 He wanted to integrate elemental
Figure 12 Saynatsalo Town Hall http://cavin2009.com/wpcontent/uploads/2009/08/36e_saynatsalo-town-hall_courtyard.jpg

fundamentals into refined architecture. Aalto wanted to avoid the creation of psychological slums through sensitive adaptions of the building to the surrounding terrain and climate.20 This ideology links with man and shelter and Gaston Bachlaerd's idea that the quality of a space or shelter during undesirable weather can either enhance or diminish the users unease and discomfort.
18

Sarah Menin and Flora Samuel, Nature and space: Aalto and Corbusier, (Routledge, Printed in England 2003)
19

Sarah Menin and Flora Samuel, Nature and space: Aalto and Corbusier, (Routledge, Printed in England 2003) . 20 Menin and Samuel, Loc. Cit.

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submitted: 29/11/2012 However, Corbusier was driven towards finding solutions to problems that could work anywhere: a universal style that could improve the lifestyle of its users regardless of place.21 He favoured concrete, and used it in most of his schemes while failing to provide any measures to prevent unpleasant weathering.

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An architecture of connection

Living in spaces that disconnect and mute nature from man leads to environments that do not satisfy humans psychologically. If a person has a poor perception of where they inhabit it can lead to Aaltos idea of a psychological slum. By attempting to connect with nature through architecture the primitive need for man to connect to nature, something JB Jackson identifies as lacking in modern architecture, can be achieved. Rain is a product of weather, a natural phenomenon. The shelter is a reaction against weather and the uncontrolled environment. By addressing rains functional problems in architecture in a meaningful way that informs design as it did with primitive huts, an architecture that blurs the boundary between building and nature can create not just pleasurable places and spaces, but also help foster a sense of well being.

21

. Deborah Gans , Guide to le Corbusier, (Princeton Architectural Press 1987; 3rd Revised edition 28 April 2006)

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Connection to Place.

Attention to climate and seasons when designing encourages architecture to coexist with the immediate environment.22 Jonathan Hill describes climate as an idea formulated about a place over time by studying the area's weather. Hill writes that weather locates architecture in a specific place.23 This creates a regional character to the architecture and allowing it to inform the design will combat the globalisation of architecture.24 Rain can fall in many different forms, varying from a light mist to a heavy downpour in a monsoon. A soft rain will stick to surfaces making them moist and darker in colour. Heavy rain will create streams in gulley's and on the streets, and rush off roofs and facades. In countries that experience frequent monsoons and heavy rain, the vernacular architecture has had to adapt to deal with the rain. Singapore, Indonesia and Japan are all situated in tropical climates but the temperature and amount of rainfall in their specific climate has affected the development of building form in different ways.

22 23 24

Jonathan Hill , Weather Architecture, ( Routledge , Printed in England 2012), Hill . Loc. Cit Ibid.

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Singapore In Singapore vernacular architecture is based on Malay architecture. The buildings have a deep over-hanging roofing system that throws water away from the building.25 The roof is split with two different pitches that overlap. At the point of overlap cool air is passed through the building in a cross flow system.26 This allows the building to combat rain and keep the building cool. The buildings are raised off the ground to avoid flooding and keep the interior as dry as possible.
Figure 13

Indonesia Indonesia experiences a similar climate to Singapore. However, the overall aesthetic of the building is quite different. The vernacular buildings are mostly covered by roof, addressing the climatic need for protection against monsoons, and are raised off the ground on stilts to avoid floods. Even though the construction styles between Malay and Indonesian traditional houses are similar the difference in culture, variations in climate and use of material creates different regional characteristics in the architecture.

25 26

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Hadrian Villa

Hadrians Villa in Rome is situated in hot climate and so used rainwater in a way that reduced humidity and helped to cool the building. Throughout the Villa the incorporation of the movement of water is evident and none more than the impluvium a fountainless pool located under the compluvium that both created a spectacle of light, sound and movement during the rain as the water shot off the spouted gutters in streams into the pool but this action also helped to circulate cool air into the building.27

Japan In Ancient Japan a desire to connect life with nature was evident in their vernacular architecture.28 They expressed their affinity to nature through poetic and sensitive approaches to construction, indoor and outdoor

Figure 14

transitional space and materials. The buildings were mostly constructed from timber, stone and paper with slate or thatch on the roof.29 These materials were not sealed or varnished due to an appreciation for the aesthetic of the wet stone and timber. This use of
27

William McDonald ,Hadrian's Villa and Its Legacy, Yale University Press (4 July 1995)
28 29

Atsushi Ueda , The inner harmony of the Japanese House,( Kodansha International Ltd; New edition 1 Oct 1998) Atsushi Ueda , The inner harmony of the Japanese House,( Kodansha

International Ltd; New edition 1 Oct 1998)

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submitted: 29/11/2012 material allows the building to darken when wet, meaning that the building reflected the changing environment and was coexisting with nature. The long over-hanging eaves helped to protect the building from heavy rain fall and the steep angle allowed the building the shed the rainwater quickly.30 In Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, three countries that experience varying levels of heavy rainfall, their

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vernacular architectures form reflects function in a way that addresses the primary need for shelter. However, access to different materials, knowledge of construction and attitudes towards nature and rain give their vernacular styles a character born from their own specific regions. Construction is a means to define the genius of place both in the ways that elements are made and the manner in which they are brought together.31 Sverre Fehn reinforces sense of place in his designs through reinterpreting the regional character in his chosen construction method. Sverre fears that the rationalism of modern architecture is always in danger of forgetting construction.32 For Fehn, architecture is nothing without construction and by combining construction elements directly but delicately he draws on the qualities of the place. For the design of the Nordic Pavilion in Venice, Fehn decided to reinterpret the qualities of Nordic light by controlling the lighting and embracing the climate of Venice through material and delicate
Figure 15

construction.33 He achieved this by the repetition of thin but deep concrete beams in the roof construction, delicately covering the top with corrugated opaque plastic
30

Atsushi Ueda , The inner harmony of the Japanese House,( Kodansha International Ltd; New edition 1 Oct 1998) 31 Sverre Fehn cited in Jonathan Hill , Weather Architecture, ( Routledge , Printed in England 2012), 32 Ibid.
33

Jonathan Hill , Weather Architecture, ( Routledge , Printed in England 2012),

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submitted: 29/11/2012 that diffuses the light. This delicate plastic layer draped over the Pavilion is punctured at points to allow trees that were on the site prior to the architectural intervention to remain both in the building and in the realm of nature. The plastic covering also acts as a rain collector: when it rains water is guided to the openings in the roof and subsequently to the trees.34 On rainy days the trees bark is darkened and rainwater leaves reflective patches on the floor of the pavilion. Unlike Corbusier or Alvar Aalto, Fehn draws on the intrinsic qualities of places to inform his construction through a combination of poetics and technical requirements reinterpreted from the genius loci of the place.

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Hill describes Sigurd Lewerentzs flower kiosk at Malm eastern cemetery as a building that celebrates weather through construction and immaterial of weathering on the building.35 A copper mono pitch roof slopes steeply from north to south, creating a deep overhang towards the road, which protects the long picture window on the south elevation. In heavy rain a visitor can stand between a curtain of glass and a curtain of water as there is no gutter or down pipe used.36 This creates a sense of enclosure in a space that was once exposed. On the other side, the eaves are flush with the walls: rain water stains the concrete, emphasising the ridges moulded on the concrete. Fehn and Lewerentz recognised weather's metaphorical potential, making it key to the poetry of the architecture in its construction. They used it to identify genius loci of the place by considering weathering and decay as a
Figure 16 Malmo Flower Kiosk overhang http://kek.org.hu/beton/wpcontent/gallery/malmo_flowershop/04_flow er-kiosk.jpg

34

Jonathan Hill , Immaterial Architecture, ( Routledge , Printed in England April 2006), pg. 159 35 Jonathan Hill , Weather Architecture, ( Routledge , Printed in England 2012), pg. 36 Ibid

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submitted: 29/11/2012 fundamental part of the design intention. It follows that if a meaningful dialogue between the weather and a place is allowed to manifest itself in the built form, then rain can be used in defining an architecture that is place specific.

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Rain and the Built Environment

Rain is especially suited to an investigation of the relationship of the built environment as the physical manifestation of water influences most exterior materials. (Bachelard, 1992)37 The minimalistic design of the modern movement affected the way rain water is being diverted from buildings. The drive for lightness, thinness, whiteness and geometric purity lead to the omission of conventional details such as copings, sills, drips and overhangs, weathering falls and surface relief generally. 38 This, in turn, has impacted inaction at the domestic and urban scales

Rain and the street Our conception of city space is altered after the rain. The citys image resembles a water colour painting, it gets darker, edges are blurred, and puddles reflect the sky and surrounds. According to Krenz greater significance is given to the edge in poor weather conditions as people try to anchor to secure surroundings.39
Figure 17

37

Gaston Bachlaerd, Poetics of Space, (Beacon Press; New edition 1 Mar 1992)
38

J Allan - Materials and Myths Conservation of Modern Movement Architecture in England. Abstract of paper to

International Symposium, Brno 26-29 April 2006. Pg. 10


39

J. Krenz- Rain in Architecture and Urban Design-Weimar Urban development guide [web document](2007)

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submitted: 29/11/2012 When it rains in the city the desire lines of pedestrians change. People have their own rainy circulation routes that make the most of local dry head circulation space.40 Bernard Rudofsky argues that it never occurs to us to make streets into oases rather than a dessert. He believes that pergola, awnings, tent like structures, or permanent roofs have provided streets fit for humans in countries that have not allowed the street to deteriorate into highways and parking lots.41 Krenz writes that cities should have absorptive pavements to reduce flooding, large puddles and in doing so improve the pedestrians journey during wet spells.42

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Figure 18

The long overhanging eaves that are associated with Japanese dwellings not only served as a way to direct rainwater away from the building but also served as pedestrian traffic routes, from one end of town to the other. These Inubashiri - berms or passageways were made of stone or tiles cemented together with lime around the perimeter of the building, 5cm 10cm in depth and 30- 40cm in width. (Ueda 1998)43 Inubashiri provided side walk while also repelling rain and prevented land under eave from standing idle. This allowed land owners to cheat a little extra space out over the inubashiri.
44

Figure 19

This sensitive relation ship between

street an building existing in harmony is an aim architects

http://www.academia.edu/246404/Rain_in_architecture_and_urban_design, accessed October 2012 40 J. Krenz- Rain in Architecture and Urban Design-Weimar Urban development guide [web document](2007) http://www.academia.edu/246404/Rain_in_architecture_and_urban_design, accessed October 2012 41 Bernard Rudofsky (1969) Streets for People, American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc. Printed in the United States of America. Pg 13 42 J. Krenz- Rain in Architecture and Urban Design-Weimar Urban development guide [web document](2007) pg. http://www.academia.edu/246404/Rain_in_architecture_and_urban_design, accessed October 2012 pg. 14 43 Atsushi Ueda , The inner harmony of the Japanese House,( Kodansha International Ltd; New edition 1 Oct 1998) 44 Ueda . Loc.Cit.

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submitted: 29/11/2012 should have when design architecture in the public realm so as the building is designed to serves the streets an not just itself. In between space When continuity in a building or streetscape is broken we find discontinuity. This can be identified as a step on the street, an over-hang or building stepped back from the rest of the buildings in a line. It is at these points we find transition spaces and in-between space. The front door entrance space to a house is an example of where in-between space and the idea of transition can be explored. At this point, two different spatial worlds or order of spaces meet, often leading to an architectural solution to this idea of transition.45 In ancient Japanese architecture, the transitional space between outdoors and indoors called a genkan. Here a procession from wet to dry space takes place. Once under the cover of the large overhanging eave you remove your rain apparel. The next stage is to step up onto a stone platform to remove your rain shoes. After this you proceed up wooden steps onto the dry mats inside the front door of the house. Some Japanese dwellings at this point include a view back to the outdoors to create a sense of wellbeing and appreciation of shelter from the exposed environment (Morse, 2000).46 In this instance we are shown how consideration from wet to dry/ outdoors to indoors has led to the creation of a space or series of spaces that aim to reinforce the notion of shelter by addressing a practical experience of everyday life in a sensitive way.

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Figure 20 Genkan

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/igm3YRiSQbM/T4UppVg8P7I/AAAAAAAAA0/ 1AMjmkdQLsk/s1600/ryokan_genkan.jpg

45

Herman Hertzberger, A Lesson For Students in Architecture, 010 Publishers, (Printed in Rotterdam 1991, 6th revised

edition 2009).
46

Edward S.Morse, Japanese Homes and their surroundings, ( Dover Publications Inc. ,1st Feb 2000)

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The roof as a usable space The use of flat roof construction became very popular during the modern movement and has continued into todays architecture. This type of roof structure can presents problems in the form of leakage due to perfect technical execution required during construction. The pitched roof has naturally developed from the notion of shelter and so the form itself naturally allows the rain water to run off. Flat roofs in Ireland are rarely thought of as inhabitable space. If flat roofs are to be used in greater numbers in Ireland then they should be treated as functional spaces. Instead of a small parapet around the edges Ueda would encourage the use of 1 m or 2 m walls that provide sheltered space.47 Another approach would be that of le Corbusier who began to separate the roof from the main volume of the building in the later part of his career. This separation of elements allowed for roof gardens that contributed to the overall quality of life in the buildings.
Figure 21

47

Atsushi Ueda , The inner harmony of the Japanese House,( Kodansha International Ltd; New edition 1 Oct 1998)

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Rain and architecture in Ireland.

In Lost Tradition by Niall McCullough and Valerie they describe Irelands development in history as influenced by, three cruel gods: isolation, poverty and later colonization.48 Ireland never experienced continuity in societal order as new cultures overthrew old ones and the progress of a culture was subject to sudden change.49 However, prior to any invasions by Normans, Vikings and the British, the emerging building tradition embraced a broad selection of circular forms: earthen raths, the stone cashel, the crannog and burial sites.50 The circular ring embodied a sense of enclosure and defensive shelter in the open landscape: a public faade behind which a private existence unfolded.51 Early Christian settlements adopted this circular form, embracing

enclosure in particular. The examples below are a selection of vernacular Irish buildings that show how a response to Irelands rainy climate has impacted the form of the building.

48

Niall McCullough and Valeria Mulvin , A lost tradition: the nature of Irish Architecture, ( Gandon Editions, Printed in

Dublin 1987) pg.18


49 50 51

McCullough and Valerie. Loc. Cit McCullough and Valerie. Loc. Cit McCullough and Valerie. Loc. Cit

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submitted: 29/11/2012 New Grange

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The ancient burial mound of New Grange in Co. Meath utilises a clever primitive mechanism to keep rain out of the interior of the burial chamber. A stone corbelling construction method was used to build the inner passage in the earthen mound, which leads directly to the burial chambers. During its excavation, little effort was required in restoring the interior of the passage as the corbelling system had successfully repelled any major moisture ingress even though the building is submerged under a mound of earth.52 Rain water slowly filters down through the earthen mound: when it meets the stone that forms the interior passage way, the water runs off the corbelled structure that has been stacked at a steep angle to prevent moisture ingress. Essentially the earthen mound shelters and protects the burial chamber from direct weathering, while the corbelling completes the controlling of the rain by allowing it to pass over it and continue on its inevitable path towards the water table. This type of construction and careful consideration of natures natural cycle fits into JB Jacksons ideals about man treating the built environment as part of natures cycle and so connecting man with nature.
Figure 22

Cranng Hut The crannog was a dwelling or fort constructed on wetland or lakes, usually with one path out to it hidden under water, only known by the inhabitant.53 Like previous huts and burial sites, the idea of enclosure and shelter as a defence is reinforced by both the use of
52

Claire O Kelly, New Grange description, (http://www.newgrange.com/description.htm, last updated unknown , accessed October 26th 2012) 53 Francesco Menotti, Wetland Archaeology and Beyond: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press 2012.

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submitted: 29/11/2012 circular form and the structure's isolation on water.54 The use of thatch and the wattle and daub construction of early vernacular dwellings lead to the built form being mostly roof. The steep, thick thatch roofs evoke primitive ideas of shelter. The roof sits on a base that keeps it just off the ground and over-shoots the base to keep the rain water away from the more vulnerable wattle and daub construction.

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Figure 23

Irish Cottage The Irish vernacular cottage embodies the elements of the early Irish huts, in terms of inward-looking and enclosed shelters. The traditional cottage is a simple structure, thick thatch roof with deep stone walls and small windows either side of an entrance door. Although it can be classified as a structure that embodies its regional character through the use of natural materials to create a shelter, the Irish cottage construction style embodies the spirit of most Irish dwellings afterwards and even today; inward, enclosed and defensive and a proponent of Alvar Aaltos term Psychological slum Although it rains 50%+ of the year in Ireland, rain has not influenced Irish architecture or public space in a positive or meaningful way in recent years. In an Irish context the primitive notion of shelter is apparent when we look at the crannog huts which is entirely roof and also in the Irish cottage where a thick roof and thick mass in the walls give the impression of solidarity and protection.
Figure 24

54

Niall McCullough and Valeria Mulvin , A lost tradition: the nature of Irish Architecture, ( Gandon Editions, Printed in Dublin 1987) pg.18

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Conclusion.

Everything accumulate.
55

comes

alive

when

contradictions

Consideration towards the threshold between indoor and out, contrast between exposure and enclosure,

sensitively laying out the journey that rain inevitably has to make from sky to earth through your building will create an architectural dialogue between the building and its surroundings. This dialogue will create architecture that guides rain and celebrates it by articulating space with architectural interventions like channels, spouts and overhangs. By following these principles streets will have a character derived from its own particular building functions. In Ireland this type of intervention is needed in our public architecture. The principles to use rain as a meaningful architectural author in public architecture are:

Enclosure and Exposure When considering rain in architecture we look to shelter and enclosure. However it is unreasonable to suggest
55

Henri Bosco, Malicroix, cited in Gaston Bachlaerd, Poetics of Space, (Beacon Press; New edition 1 Mar 1992)

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submitted: 29/11/2012 constant shelter in the built environment. If everything were sheltered we would loose that sense of gratification of being in a shelter, as there would be no contrast to shelter and exposure. This is the reason exposure and enclosure is important to consider when designing a space or series of spaces. During rainfall we can manipulate the falling water to divide space and create sense of enclosure in exposed space. This space can only be experienced during rain and is otherwise exposed. Construction and material that derive from place A sensitive and poetic approach should be considered when choosing materials and construction methods. It is important that as well as solving the functional problems of draining the rain away from the building that the designer considers the users experience on a poetic level to create a character derived from the weather of a specific place.

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In- Between Spaces The transition between interior and exterior space needs to be explored fully during the design process. Rain and the procession of architectural spaces can be interlinked, as demonstrated by the genkan in Japenese architecture.

Controlling the fallen rainwater After rainfall, we can manipulate the water to define architectural spaces and embody certain spaces with a particular quality or feeling. By controlling the path of the fallen rain, by strategically delay it on site or in a specific location, or by channelling it through the space, the architectural experience can be enhanced.

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Brief.

Brief statement. Public space is a social space and should be should be accessible to all. Shopping centres have replaced the public forum in Irish towns. However Shopping centres are not public spaces in the true sense. There are rules and guidance that everyone must obey by once you enter. At night they are locked. In recent years many shopping centres have been developed in Ireland. They usually are located just outside town centres to allow for ease of access and creation of many car park spaces. People go to these buildings as it makes shopping easier. Easier to get to, easier to walk around and the environment is kept at desirable conditions. Many of the traditional town square and shopping streets that are part of a places character are slowly dying. However no vernacular towns provide the sense of enclosure and variety that shopping centres boast. People enjoying being able to get out to a place where they can feel part of something bigger, part of society. A new type of retail forum in Ireland that uses sensitive control of form and order to establish sheltered shopping areas could set a standard for other types of public architecture in Ireland. If people are encouraged to travel by foot through a considerate public architecture the streets can feel lived in. This new retail forum must also be accompanied by an amenity to serve the town. A work 25 | P a g e

submitted: 29/11/2012 live scheme for the new development would also help to keep eyes on the streets to create a sense of security at night.

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Proposed Site :

Figure 25.

The proposed site to develop the new public forum is located at Kennedy avenue, in Carlow Town. Carlow Town centre has no defined town centre. The sites highlighted red are both part of my initial proposal. Carlow town although the 14th largest Urban Areas in Ireland has very few facilities and amenities. It has a library and a visual Arts centre. The council are currently searching for a new site to put the library as the current building is not adequate. As part of the scheme I would like to integrate the library into it.

Figure 26

This map highlights what is considered to be the traditional centre of the town. This new scheme of exposed and enclosed spaces would hopefully encourage foot traffic through the town centre and reverse the growing trend of closing businesses in the block.

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Figure 27

This map highlights the Famine Fountain. A sculptural fountain dedicated to the Irish who died during the famine. On Saturdays a farmers market herds around this fountain. Its numbers have grown in recent years and the space is now to small to accommodate all of the Stalls.

Figure 28

Car Parking

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Figure 29

Famine Fountain

Figure 30

Haddens shopping Centre. Most of the small business and shops have moved out of this building. The rear of the building as actually entered on the first floor as the street level is 3-4 metres higher than the car park in the image.

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