Ian Ritchie Architects

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Terrasson

Terrasson. Etching by Ian RitchieA fragment of a greenhouse built to express their importance in the history of the European garden.
The building, designed in 1992, was conceived as a reference library and research centre on plants as well as a public performance space for theatre, conferences, exhibitions and other municipal events. It was also envisaged as a peaceful sheltered space and tea house within the 5 hectare landscape designed by Kathryn Gustafson.
The greenhouse leans symbolically against the hill.  Its clear, flat glass roof reflects, like a lake, the changing sky and the foliage of the surrounding trees.
The glass fixing is the world’s first application of a structural connection within the interlayer of laminated glass, allowing the surface to have no visible metal fixing.
The steep incline of the site, and the need to retain the soil in the garden led to the idea of using ‘gabion’ – steel mesh cages holding stones – for the greenhouse walls. The greenhouse gabions are freestanding curved vertical cantilevers, and allow the building to “breathe” naturally. Internally, the wall is lined by citrus trees. The building fabric creates its own internal micro-climate throughout the year.
The concept sought to highlight the contrast between a highly processed and sophisticated building material and the unprocessed stone from the local quarry. The use of gabions as a primary building element is thought to be the world’s first such application. The building was completed in 1994, and the new park and greenhouse opened to the general public in spring 1996.

Books
1/2007 IN GARDENS: PROFILES OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Birkhauser Verlag AG
ISBN: ISBN-10: 3764370785, ISBN-13: 978-3764370787
1/2002 SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM Birkhauser
04/2001 TRACING ARCHITECTURE
1/2001 INTERDISCIPLINARY ARCHITECTURE Wiley
1/2000 L'ARCHITECTURE ECOLOGIQUE: 29 EXEMPLES EUROP√ČENS Editions du Moniteur, France
1/2000 GARDENS OF THE FUTURE: GESTURES AGAINST THE WILD Conran Octopus Ltd
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1840910879, ISBN-13: 978-1840910872
Journal Articles
05/2005 MODULO
07/1999 RIBA JOURNAL
01/1999 FX
10/1998 DESIGN REPORT
10/1998 DER ARCHITEKT
05/1998 ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW
04/1998 ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN:Tracing Architecture
12/1996 AMC
09/1996 L'ARCA
06/1996 WORLD ARCHITECTURE
06/1996 LE MONITEUR
12/1995 PAYSAGES No 7
11/1995 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL
09/1995 TECHNIQUES ET ARCHITECTURE
07/1994 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL

Terrasson

Terrasson, France

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