By Laurie Olin
"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and relaxation. What i discovered replaced my life."
So starts off this memoir by way of one in all America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, educated in Seattle and ny, Olin came across himself upset together with his task as an city architect and authorised a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he discovered, in abundance, used to be the serendipity of a human surroundings equipped over the years to answer the land's personal personality and to the folk who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English nation-state used to be a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating style, but whose manifestation was once of standard structures intended to guard their population and additional their work.
With evocative language and beautiful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his creation to the scenes of English kingdom cities, their old universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories came upon in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the new histories of educate strains and automobile routes. evaluating the expansion of creating within the English geographical region, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our smooth way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.
As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so traditionally English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via actual areas of lasting worth."
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Extra info for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes
How had such a situation come to pass? As I sat drawing, the conversation of the boys had set in motion a train of thought about explicating and adding to the virtues of cities that I was to pursue for many years. The English countryside was an excellent place to sit and reflect upon the situation of cities. The age-old pull between the poles of city and country was as strong as ever. As soon as I was ensconced in this peaceful farming scene and had caught up on my sleep, I began to notice and truly miss the remarkable, great, and wonderful- even beautiful- things about cities.
With the exception of its generous size, it was a remarkably typical building for the region and much of the country. Good and solid for more than two hundred and fifty years, it will be good for as many more. Designed for life before fuel oil, it will be just fine after. The roof is of stone, supported on oak. The floors are of oak. The windows all open. One can build a roaring fire and make it warm and cozy in the winter. In the summer it is cool and pleasant. In sum, Warneford is not great architecture, but it is a good and sane place to live.
FACING: s. The village shop, post office, and telephone box, Buckland. Since this drawing was made it has been converted to a residence and the phone box moved across the road. CHAPTER TWO parks and countryside about me. Thus began a series of trips to Oxford and London to purchase books, maps, and guides. The more I read, the more I needed to see. The answer to one question raised others. The more I saw, the more I needed to read. Although the literature and history of architecture are extensive, that of the history of the landscape seemed at first to be quite small.
Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes by Laurie Olin