A sawmill for Glenarm

Sadly, the blog has been neglected lately due to the all encompassing final few months of my degree, but now that it’s all over and handed in, I thought I should share my final project! We were tasked with designing a sawmill for the small coastal village of Glenarm, on the Antrim coast. On closer inspection of the forest, I found out that like a lot of woodlands in the UK, its larch trees have been diagnosed with the P.Ramorum disease. A huge amount of the forest will have to be cut down, and so my building became about the larch cull.

I sought to create a very simple, temporary structure for the sawmill, which would quickly and efficiently deal with the diseased trees. Following the felling of the trees, the mill can be removed, as the forest is not large enough for commercial forestry, leaving only its limestone plinth it sat upon.

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The limestone slabs, acid etched with a dendrite motif, will remain as a reminder of the cull, and become an important new place for the people of Glenarm to enjoy the forest. My project was heavily influenced by two books by Robert MacFarlane, “The Old ways”, and “Holloway”, which were recommended by bldg blog, and have become some of my all time favourite books. They helped me begin to appreciate what landscape means to people, and how it shapes our identity, and what it would mean for this forest to become so altered. This helped me try and understand what would be a sympathetic approach to the brief.

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