Gandalf's Grayling Lake Lair

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David Leatherbarrow believes architecture and landscape architecture rely upon one another to form a single framework of meaning.  He regards landscape architecture and architecture as the 'topographical arts'.  [1]

We agree wholeheartedly.   Our architecture emerges from the landscape, so our pre-design study of the land our clients will dwell on begins to influence and shape the architecture well before the genesis of any specific design concepts.  This work is happening in a phase of work we refer to as 'research' - our initial, critical engagement with any project, where we listen intently to our client and their land.

The most significant design decisions in architecture will be those that determine how the project is resolved as an intervention on the land. The design of more transitory elements (such as structure, materials, finishes, furniture, or artifacts) have value and importance in their own right, both as elements of design and as components of architectural solutions, but should be prioritized within a hierarchically clarified context.  The most important single drawing in a set of building plans is typically the site plan.  [2]

In this instance, the landscape is directly influencing the form of an exploratory design concept responding to the topography, views, solar orientation, proximity to neighbors and a community drive, pragmatic considerations such as existing and proposed utilities, interior spatial relationships, and the input of neighbors who favor discreet massing blending into the land.   This is a pure form study at this point, with no consideration of materials, finishes, or detailing.  Concept V1 was primarily an inquiry into the influence of topography on form; Concept V2 is a refinement of that study after client feedback.

[1] Topographical Stories
[2] Building Legacy Architecture

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