Rousham: Mapping Vistas and Avenues

The study of Rousham centred around its use of both formal and informal languages, its hidden axis point, the different edge conditions, and the rhythm of one of the specific paths.

The navigation and combination of both informal and formal garden structures helped create soft graduation of language outwards from the house into the wider countryside. This combined with the innovation of the hidden axis point which was found outside of the garden's perimeter and both extended the garden out into the context and grew the feeling of the garden itself by bringing the wider countryside in as part of the frame. The combination of the formal structure close to the house becoming informal helped the illusion of the countryside feeling like part of the grounds as obvious perimeters were blurred.

Rousham has several different edge conditions to blur together spaces in a gentle manner. Some are used to create soft graduation and definition into a dense mass or informal structure, others are illusions that make a hard boundary invisible (see the ha-ha wall) and blend the paddock into the gardens.

With simple diagrammatic sketches and section edge studies the techniques of the garden to soften the experiential rhythms of the path were further exaggerated. The attention was on how selective

maintenance might further soften the edge conditions and how stretching and graduating the edge of the pool might make the rhythmless of a walk, pause, look, walk and more of a walk, slow, feel, walk.