Roundhouse Foundations

[Image: Aerial photo of the roundhouses site, courtesy of Network Rail].

Another short piece from Archaeology this month highlights the discovery, earlier this year, of the remains of railway “roundhouses” outside York, England. Sadly, they’ll soon be covered over by new construction: “Archaeologists are working to record and preserve the site, which is still called by its nineteenth-century name, ‘The Engineers’ Triangle,’ before the new buildings are erected on top of the roundhouses.”

It would be a fascinating design challenge to incorporate the oddly shaped foundations into the plans or local street pattern of any future construction, even—or perhaps especially—if the resulting building is not itself circular. Inside, strangely nested curved rooms, ramps, and corridors corkscrew down to the basement, where, embedded in the ground like a mandala, are the unexplained stained bricks of an earlier industrial era, still influencing the movements of people above.

7 thoughts on “Roundhouse Foundations”

  1. BB. – fyi – an existing roundhouse in London is used as a music venue – innovatively called 'the roundhouse' – at basement level it has rehearsal / studio spaces around the central cartwheel of open corridors and brick foundations. Ta.

  2. There is what's left of one in upstate New York, used to take pictures of it while I was in school. Local kids used it as a hangout with a few skate ramps.

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