Martin Flett

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Loch Larbert Folly
Open competition, spring 2012

An entry to an open competition for a new viewing platform on Loch Larbert, in the grounds of Larbert House, a landscaped estate in the English Picturesque garden tradition. Our project considers the proposed platform on Larbert Loch as a new folly in the landscape.

The project is inspired by the antique form of Arthurs Oven, a Roman temple destroyed by Laird Bruce of Stenhouse in 1743. Despite its having been demolished many years ago, the legend of Arthur’s Oven is still important to the areas of Larbert and Stenhouse, and it often crops up in historical surmises of the area. Due to its proximity to the river Carron it is thought that the structure was dedicated to the Roman water goddess Fontus, a pavilion of contemplation and sensory restraint.

In his magnus opus In Praise of Shadows Junichiro Tanizaki writes beautifully of a Japanese gardening device whereby an aperture is clipped into a hedge to permit a view of the sea. In the same vein, the pavilion’s apertures are placed to emphasize the viewer’s connection to the water and the sky, a gentle reminder of the elemental nature of living.