Arquitectura Viva
Friday, October 18, 2019
09/01/2013

Heneghan Peng, basalt folds in Antrim (Northern Ireland)

 
On the northeastern coast of the island of Ireland, in County Antrim, is the nature reserve called The Giant’s Causeway, an area of basalt columns that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. In this natural landscape of crags and farms, the Dublin team of Shih-Fu Peng and Róisin Heneghan has built a 1,800 square meter visitors’ center. Its design capitalizes on substantial ground level differences through two exact geometric folds that vanish in the mosaic of tapestries that form the fields. While the upper fold reveals the building, the lower one hides the parking zone so that it cannot be seen from the access road and the coastal route. The edges of both folds generate a rhythmic alternation of opaque and transparent by means of basalt columns, creating a new fabric that echoes the immediate surroundings. The facilities for visitors are sculpted into the landscape, becoming invisible from the crag. The result is a fluid space between the rigid solid basalt and the green tongue crowning it. The folds interconnect by means of a large ramp that culminates at the building’s crest. The connection is reproduced in the interior spaces, creating a sequence of continuous spaces at different levels.
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