To begin our explorations into Timber material we first embarked on background reading of Ruskin’s texts Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice. These texts then informed our site visit and allowed us to put into context their meaning to the Wyre Forest and our project aims. The Wyre Forest is set deep in Ruskin Land, the Guild of St George founded by Ruskin owns part of the Forest today and it was here we started to consider the texts and the site in relation to each other.
Our visit began with a drive up to our home for the afternoon that afforded extensive views across the seemingly unchanged, untouched forest, and was followed by a seminar held in a small educational space in a timber framed and clad structure that afforded us our first experience of the timber from the forest processed for use in a practical structure.
The seminar discussion focussed around the set texts, Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice. An understanding of the Lamp of Truth from the Seven Lamps was discussed in relation to the structure around us. Ruskin states in the Lamp of Truth that integrity with materials is one of the principals of good architecture. The timber used for the ceiling beams in the structure around us had kept is integrity, the material retains its expression as Oak. We also discussed the Lamp of Power in relation to the expansive forest view open arrival, this open view made us in relation feel small, this relates to the Ruskins words on the natural structures which render architectural structures almost unimportant when next to the scale.
The visit then moved to the forest itself and more examples of truth and power were found examples of wood that had been naturally split to become fencing and tree props for young trees, and wood left in its natural form instead of being sawn used as a beam all showing the lamp of truth. And the Lamp of power in the expansive height and repetition of the trees.