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ArchitectsPortraits of a Practice$
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Thomas Yarrow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501738494

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501738494.001.0001

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Sites of Design

Sites of Design

(p.81) Sites of Design

Thomas Yarrow

Cornell University Press

Another site visit illuminates how this happens. Roisin is accompanied by Rob, one of the more senior architects in the practice. The plot has an extensive garden, originally part of the grounds of a bigger Victorian mansion. There is already a house, built in the 1980s. The clients, a middle-aged couple with two children, have acquired the site with a view to demolishing the house and rebuilding. Roisin has been working on initial ideas prior to the site visit. The project is being overseen by Rob. Originally a product designer, he changed direction and retrained as an architect in his late twenties. Though he is deferential to Roisin and respectful of her work, his pronouncements seem subtly to carry more weight. This may partly be an artifact of his greater experience but also manifests itself as a form of distancing from the details of the project: he has oversight in the sense of seeing more through seeing less of these distractions. Both have surveyed maps. Rob remarks on notable trees, conscious there may be tree preservation orders. He is using his phone, held outstretched, to take pictures. He observes the site through its screen, his engagement with the site literally framed by the camera and the photographic conventions that govern its architectural use. “You can never take too many,” he observes, joking that however many pictures you take, the crucial view is always missing when you get back to the office. As much as these are personal aide-mémoires, they are also intended to convey the site to others in the office....

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