Ambiguity

Over the last week I have been continuing working on the elevation, after an illuminating discussion (baby tutorial!) with Grant Cox I realised I had been thinking about modelling in the wrong way instead of working from the largest size and inputting features into it, I should be thinking about the smallest parts and building out and up from them. As a consequence I have been building each window individually and expanding the walls out from these frames which I have found a much easier method for creating the complex shapes and dealing with the chamfers.

Following this amazing discovery I have completed the entirety of the eastern wall and stuck it all together which took a lot less time once I had got the hang of it!

I have to begin to think about accuracy and ambiguity. While producing the surveyed area of the building I found that I had to make decisions about parts of the shapes of windows that had been worn or broken away along the edges. I found I was thinking that obviously the edge of the window would have been straight… something that I do not in actuality know. For example this window the edge of the window is much dilapidated I know that at some point on some of the windows of this type bars ran across them and these were probably removed (forcefully) after the castle was abandoned causing much of the damage. But how much of the damage can I rebuild just by looking? To get around this problem I have been comparing the windows to others of the building where evidence for the bars still exists forming a fairly accurate edge and shape for the frame. I need to keep in mind what decisions I am making about rebuilding these shapes and think about how I am doing it.

Photo of window

Survey Data of the same window

Moving on from these areas which I have survey data for I have to think about my method for rebuilding windows in areas firstly where I know there are standing remains for such features and then secondly for where there are not. Building windows on the northern and southern walls has been and will be reasonably easy using a small amount of conjecture, I have photos of the windows themselves taken from both the interior and the exterior, positioning them will be more challenging, I have been using a combination of images and lining up planes in the 3ds max model to try to position them in line with window positions on the eastern elevation.

Much more tricky will be the western wall which is no longer standing. I know positions for windows at basement level (however, this does not indicate position for anything on the upper floor as can be seen from the eastern wall). I also can see evidence for one window seat from the lower level which is a good position to start. I also know that I will have to include the entrance to the spiral staircase on this wall, which links the great hall and both sets of apartments. Currently I have examined other areas of the building with windows overlooking the corridor such as the following, from these I should begin to be able to justify the style of window.

Overlooking from western range

Windows overlooking courtyard from Kitchens

Window overlooking courtyard from Great Hall

I have also been looking at other reconstructions of this area to see how other people have pictured the scene. The main image that appears was produced for the National Trust Guidebooks and was also reused in John Goodalls book: The English Castle. Which uses the same windows that are pictured above. (note: I will be critiquing this image in more detail later when it comes to decorating and furnishing the apartments.)

In essence I need to begin to be thinking clearly (and carefully recording) every decision I make about the construction of the rooms as their construction particularly from this point on will include an element of ambiguity.

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2/10 things your didn’t know about Bodiam Castle

Having moved on from looking at the window seat I am starting to look at fireplaces and thought that I would mention a feature found in Eastern Tower. There is a fireplace in the First Floor Apartments which has an opening in the side of it leading through into the Eastern Tower.

Fireplace with opening on right side into adjoining tower

discussions with other have led to confusion there is no real understanding of what this is or why it is there. One thing suggested to me by Dave Potts a fellow PhD student is that if a fire is burned in a fireplace for 48 hours the whole chimney stack will heat up and act as a radiator for the adjoining rooms. Maybe this was one step further and was used as a double fireplace. However, the interior is a little odd as the position where the opening appears is right next to the door. Photo to follow on next trip to site!

1/10 things you didn’t know about Bodiam Castle

Following a supervision a few weeks ago I have begun to think about posting 10 things that are not commonly known about the architecture at Bodiam Castle. This is the first, and one I have just discovered from working on the Digital Reconstruction of the Private Apartments:

The upper floors window seat is actually much taller than the one below. I hadn’t noticed this at all when I was recording it only became apparent when trying to reuse the window seat for the floor above that the ratios of height and width are very different.

Exterior of window seat windows

Interior of Window Seats