Dulcie Foster Finn
P1– THE APIARY
The brief was to design a ‘non-permanent’ apiary located within Sheffield General Cemetery. The apiary must include: an appropriately secluded setting for up to 4 hives; a public shelter/route from which to observe the hives; a small multipurpose clubroom to accommodate up to 20 people; a honey extraction lab; a tea point and separate WC; a small office and a secure hive store that is externally accessible. A deep understanding of the site was also a critical aspect of the design brief.
Within the wider site of Sheffield General Cemetery I chose an overgrown patch of land situated between the river and the large central clearing. I chose this site due to it’s balance of privacy and public accessibility, this made it appropriate for an apiary as it provided enough seclusion for the bees and the beekeepers as well as welcoming the public in from the clearing. The variety of shade, direct sunlight and dappled light from the tree canopy overhead also lent itself to the apiary as it required different light levels for different activities.
The key concepts behind my design were to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior space and design the apiary as if it was an extension of the existing site. I achieved this through features such as: steeply pitched roofs which nestle the building into the tree canopy that surrounds it; timber slats that allow views all the way through the building and create shadows and light patterns reminiscent of those created by the existing tree canopy.
P2– THE LIBRARY
The brief was to design a library that reinterpreting the typology for the 21st century. The library had to be relevant to the particular Sheffield neighbourhood in which it was located and include: at least one urban façade to an existing street condition; library stacks; a main library space; a café area; an office and toilets.
My library was to be located in the Darnall neighbourhood in Sheffield, when carrying out the Neighbourhood Study I became interested in addressing the lack of community and fragmentation within Darnall. Hence, I decided to design a community library which would become a central hub for the people of Darnall to build a community around, users of the library would include people from various different housing estates, local schools and nurseries and an existing library. To integrate the library into it’s specific site I decided to take the existing the colours of the highstreet and use them as a colour palette within my building.
My specific site was located along the main high-street inbetween an abandoned pub and a pharmacy backing onto Lidl car park. The site is exposed on three sides, all of which address the public realm, which meant appropriate facades became key.
The brief was to design a housing scheme in Heeley, Sheffield that included: accommodation for both families and an additional domestic group; dwellings that are accessible from ground level; an adaptable space for work or study; a community interface and an approach to shared space. As my manifesto I decided to address the lack of social housing being built in Sheffield, for example only 27 council homes have been delivered from 2008-11. As well as this I wanted to dispel the negative stigma that surrounds social housing and reinvent it in a positive way, hence I placed a strong emphasis on community, shared ownership, collective responsibility and connections between neighbours.
The specific site in which my housing scheme would be located was currently the plot for a Medical Centre and it’s car park. The site was situated between two roads and below the main high-street of Heeley and is overlooked on three sides. The key aspect of my housing scheme is the inward facing community core which is made up of private sunken gardens and a community garden surrounding by a café and the redesigned Medical Centre. I wanted to create aspects of privacy as well as strong visual connections between neighbours in both the houses and flats, I also wanted all residents to have a connection to the communal spaces and for these spaces to act as a core within the housing scheme and within Heeley as a whole.