LoginJoin us
Forgot Password
Add to Collection

Deplorable Framework

Peak District National Park, United Kingdom
1 of 7
Deplorable Framework: The National Park Settlement Trust © Matthew Gregorowski

Deplorable Framework is a rural settlement within a forest, a response to a series of housing, elderly care, and landscape management crises, working in anticipation of vast funding bottlenecks that will result from Britain's departure from the EU, taking this moment as an opportunity to explore alternative approaches to the governance and inhabitation of the countryside.

A new branch of the National Trust, The National Park Settlement Trust, is tasked with developing underused portions of land in National Parks, to create a series estates equivalent in grandeur to those already within the Trust's portfolio. Sited on land formerly of Hardwick Hall, north of a reservoir network supplying water to nearby cities, the framework opposes panoptic and superficial methods of land management.

By re-appropriating existing funds for the beautification of forests in the Upper Derwent Valley the proposal hides a new settlement inside a perfect square of oak and larch plantations. The forest assumes a distinct pattern, and the buildings within it are imagined as towers and walls, built upon clearings, as extrusions of a road that slinks through the valley. Howden Estate's timeline develops in step with the decades-long growth of the forest.

First constructions are bothies, their visual catchment defining the plantation's radial pattern, followed in time by long, slender walls providing dense accomodation for a range of elderly tenants, typically excluded from the Peak District as terrain becomes impassable with age. Walls grow as columns, invisible in the forest, breaking through the tree canopy to cut the skyline as landmarks.

The settlement recomposes elements of the picturesque, sublime and pastoral, alongside reference to forgotten moments of local history. It becomes an allegorical collage that makes cultivation both visual and tangible. A mongrel of infrastructure and country mansion, the forest joins a lineage of landed estates that stand proud in the landscape. As human intervention makes complex management practices clear, impressions of nature are freed from didactic notions of beauty.

Go to article
mgregorowski, February 4th, 2019
Go to article