Holly Beechener


P1| Cycle Centre

“To me a bicycle is a machine of magic… taking me on to the ways of satisfied happiness; giving to me the good friendship I enjoy with others, and to share with me the delights and ecstasies of the outdoors. It gives to me the pleasures of mingling the past with the present… always discovering… always learning. Above all it gives to me also, memories to cherish and store inwardly, as I wheel my ways on joyous days… such a day has been today.”

Albert Winstanley 1917-2012

Programme 1 asked for the design of a cycle centre in Park Hill, Sheffield, a rural and open site situated east of the city’s train station. The clients of the project were commuters who cycle to work, or required storage for their bicycles, before catching their train to work. The cycle centre was required to accommodate: storage of up to fifty bikes, a workspace for maintenance of the bikes, a small scale administration area, toilets and a sheltered place to wait. We were asked to explore and develop the design process through pencil drawing.

I chose to position my cycle centre along the main path which runs from Park Hill flats, under current regeneration by Urban Splash, down to the train station. This positioning would provide an opportunity for commuters to drop their bike off in the morning for repair, or for storage, get on their train to work and then collect it in the evening after finishing a day of work – all whilst enjoying the panoramic views over Sheffield’s skyline.



P2| Perform

“Whether you are a writer or an actor or a stage manager, you are trying to express the complications of life through a shared enterprise. That’s what theatre was, always. And live performances shares that with an audience in a specific compact: the play is unfinished unless it has an audience, and they are as important as everyone else.”

Lee Hall 1966-present

Programme 2 asked for the design of a theatre in Attercliffe, an industrial suburb northeast of Sheffield which sits along the south bank of the River Don. As a building form, the presence of a theatre within a town once signified an achievement of social standing, an elevation to a higher or cultural level – a focus of great civic pride. Can you design a building which illustrates this aspiration? We were asked to design a small community theatre building comprising of: a performance space and seating, back stage, general storage, bar/café area, ticket office, and toilets. Based on the location, residents, and the surrounding shops and pubs, I decided to design a Burlesque theatre, named ‘Burlesque Box’.



P3| Housing

“The place where a meeting between two realms takes shape, the place where two entities that retain their full individual integrity overlap, where they are simultaneously present.”

Aldo Van Eyck 1918-99

Programme 3 asked for the design of a new housing scheme in Heeley, a suburb south of Sheffield, approximately a 40 minute walk from the city centre. We were asked to design a housing scheme to accommodate a mixture of; families with children and smaller domestic groups, whilst considering the site and creating a proposal to the street. Each dwelling should provide an adaptable space for work, study or recreation, with the consideration of parking, I also wanted every dwelling to have their own view over to Sheffield. My site sits behind Gleadless Road, where there are amenities such as shops for general supplies. I decided to design two housing types, a larger house type for growing families and a smaller house type for extended family, i.e. grandparents who want to be close to their relatives. My choice of materiality reflects the surrounding buildings, built primarily of red brick. The centre of the courtyard will be western red cedar cladding, to soften the façade and create a relaxing environment.