Tham & Videgård Arkitekter created ‘Atrium House’, a vacation home for a family of three generations on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. It is built around a completely enclosed atrium courtyard that is designed to serve as a fixed point, a sheltered outdoor room. The rest of the property is left undisturbed as a meadow where grazing sheep prevent the land from returning to forest.
Inspired by the impressive materiality of Gotland’s vernacular agricultural architecture, the masonry construction has a natural plaster colour that has been mixed with carbon black, exterior metal parts made of oxidised zinc, and oak doors as well as windows that have been treated with tar oil. The large sliding glass windows are mounted on the surface of the exterior walls, according to the same principle as many barn doors. Also the interior doors are surface‐mounted, allowing the walls to appear unbroken.
In her own darkened cottage, Granny Weatherwax sat and watched the fire die. It was a grey-walled room, the colour that old plaster gets not so much from dirt as from age. There was not a thing in it that wasn’t useful, utilitarian, earned its keep. Every flat surface in Nanny Ogg’s cottage had been pressed into service as a holder for ornaments and potted plants. People gave Nanny Ogg things. Cheap fairground tat, Granny always called it. At least, in public. What she thought of it in the privacy of her own head, she never said. She rocked gently as the last ember winked out. It’s hard to contemplate, in the grey hours of the night, that probably the only reason people would come to your funeral would be to make sure you’re dead.
“Absolutely fascinating.” Eleanor couldn’t help but mock the result of some wannabe graffiti artist that had plastered colourful spray paint over the whole of the brick wall in front of her. “The artist really captured the spirit of juvenile delinquency. Don’t you agree?”
Further investigation under my concept of reaction to place saw me in the plaster room. After a recent CCS lecture about Botticelli, I have been d y i n g to try the fresco technique. For this, I mixed some plaster and put a thin layer of it on a sheet of paper. I then sprayed it with the unusual medium of spray paint to observe what the reaction would be like. I documented it as it slowly dried and liked the way the pigment separated out, as it was mid way through drying, I also patted it with a metal slab to create a buckled, ridged effect throughout the piece. As it fully dried the paint furthermore dispersed. I would definitely consider utilising plaster more in the coming months of my Place project.