Eleanor Catlin

Year Two Portfolio


Project One: An Alternative Perspective

Joint Project with Nial Brimacombe

Rather than truly immersing themselves into their surroundings, the general walker spends more time trying to not fall over and staring at the ground. This project aimed to reverse this perspective and intensify the walker’s experience. Our site, an old quarry in the Peak District, has taken away land so our structure offers a new, albeit manmade, walkable landscape. One where you can be both inside and outside, exposed and sheltered. The structure is modular to allow for easy removal, leaving little trace on the landscape. The canvas filled frame can be both inflated to create a sense of ‘refuge’, or deflated to exaggerate one’s exposure to the elements. Light also acts as a glowing point of reference for walkers at night.



Project Two: An Informal Concert Hall

Currently, the audience for classical music has the narrow demographic of the retired, white, middle class (according to a report by Mintel). But, music can be for everyone; the concert hall must be accessible and exciting, and not be allowed to become a museum. This project aims to rid the concert hall of its pretentions, leaving the public with the music. Through exploring the pattern of music to derive spatial sequencing under ‘Serialist’ terms (a 20th century movement responding to the inaccessibility of classical music), and harnessing light as a sundial to acknowledge the time-dependency of both music and architecture, a rich sensory performance space was created. Instead of having a foyer, the design has no zone to socially affirm oneself, or ornamentation to distract oneself; it is merely an extension of the pavement, an open path towards the music, one that ends in a moment of contemplation.



Project Three: Housing as a Cell

Under the ideology of ‘Group Form’ (Fumihiko Maki, Investigations in Collective Form, 1964.), the manifesto of this project explores housing as self-contained cells that communicate. Speculating that self-containment doesn’t have to mean isolation. Stereotypically, the UK idealise house ownership, seeing it as a fortified haven. In the debate of public versus private, privacy is prioritised. Hence the misconception of self-containment meaning isolation. Both permeability and ‘Group Form’ offer a balance between public and private with a controlled marking of threshold, unlike the territorial cell wall. Cells put value on the individual unit within a system, as such, the housing development should become a network of cells rather than one solid interdependent mass. With this subtle interaction between protection and permeability, these became the main cellular design strategies, along with random collisions (the primary method of cellular communication) as complex connections often begin passively. In this sense, the design utilises the in-between: Protected/Permeable, Planned/Unplanned. Since the in-between space provides opportunities for communication which is heightened through mass movement, the public aspect of this project is a public square. Like a cell membrane, the façade is uniform in materiality. Through using bricks in different ways (corbelled, perforated, chamfered, vertical, and overlapping) the spaces are defined as Protected/Permeable. During this socio-political time of extremes, this project offers an opportunity for neighbourliness without compromising the need for privacy.



– ecatlin1@sheffield.ac.uk –