Alice Preston-Jones

Threshold Project – Kayak Centre

The river Don, a major river running through Sheffield, is enjoyed all year round; placed next to many walking and cycling routes and popular with kayak-ers. The brief of this project was to design a kayak centre next to the River Don on the outskirts of Sheffield. There was a heavy emphasis on threshold and how we would address this in our projects. We had to provide secure storage for up to 10 kayaks and had to allow space for wet equipment to dry. Small scale administration, at least one accessible toilet, sufficient changing & showering for 4 people, locker facilities, a sheltered place to wait outdoors, a large outdoor space adjacent to the building and a jetty/launch area were also required. My initial response to the site was the interesting juxtaposition between nature and industry due to the power plant that sat right next to the river. I was also inspired by the fantastic views at the top of a recently man made hill next to the river. These two responses informed my brief and so I designed 3 buildings that cascade down the hill which respond to the concept of nature vs. industry whilst capturing key views from different points on the hill. 

‘Perform’ – Dance Studio

Hillsborough is a suburb in the north-west Sheffield. It is home to a number of industries and is well known as a shopping area with a tram route passing through. The brief of this project was to design a small community theatre building. The design should forge an appropriate link with the community and to the wider context whilst including a performance space, back stage, general storage, bar/cafe area, ticket office and toilets. On my first visit to site I was really interested by an unused courtyard space just next to my site. This became a big focus for my design and became the entrance/cafe/bar space which, in my opinion, is an exciting part of the theatre going experience. I wanted my scheme to push the boundaries between performers (dancers) and the audience; with this is mind I incorporated a lot of open spaces and the use of glass. My façade uses a translucent material to intrigue and involved the public passing by, it also enhances the sense of community and lets people know what it’s all about as the entrance is in the courtyard area.