Griffin tour in Castlecrag

My husband John McInerney (newly appointed Patron of the Griffin Society) and I joined more than 60 people on Saturday 3 May to walk around Castlecrag and enjoy the inspiring work of Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin. Starting at the GSDA No1 Dwelling in Edinburgh Road, we walked down to The Parapet past the Grant, Moon and Cheong houses where we joined the communal walkway. This led us to via The Bastion to The Barbette where we were able to visit the Creswick house which is currently for sale. A sensitive addition downhill from the original modest 2 bedroom house makes the most of the beautiful bush setting,

140503GT GrantHouse 140503GT CheongHouse

From here, we gathered in the reserve below and walked back up to The Bulwark. Here we carefully navigated the tight road, passing a couple of Bill Lucas homes and a renovation PIDCOCK did in 2007 on the way to the Haven Amphitheatre. This beautiful glade was recognised by Marion as a perfect spot for performances, as its natural features ensures good acoustics and views to the stage they created. Currently under discussion about how to address issues of maintenance, this is an example of  the need to carefully understand the ideas of the original design when making plans for the future.

140503GT HavenAmphitheatre

The a great privilege - we were shown around the garden of the FIshwick House by the incredibly dedicated owner, who has been working on realising the incredible beauty of this house for nearly 40 years. Unsympathetic approaches to the garden had hidden some off its most beautiful aspects which are now returned. Similarly inside, the 9 bucket, 25 beach towel house has only 3 leaks left that are nearly solved!


140503GT FIshwickHouse

Castlecrag is deeply inspiring. Here Marion and Walter created a company to buy a large block of land where their amazing ideas of truly integrated planning, landscape and architecture could be realised. They designed around the natural features, creating streets and walkways where people, nature and views are the most important features. The houses were modest - designed for the minimal shelter needed while connecting their occupants to the landscape they were nestled into. The idea of a series of walkways connecting the gardens without fences continued the idea of the large landscape accessible to all.

The Griffin Society has lots of information for self guided tours on their website - I highly commend getting to know Castlecrag better.

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