The brief was focused on the design of a temporary building to accommodate restoration following a long walk; providing refuge from the elements, reflection on the efforts of the previous stage and preparation for the next. Located in the Peak District, Sheffield, the proposed construct includes one main space on the ground floor combining the ‘club room’, dining room and landscape viewing area accommodating up to 20 people, as well as a drying space for wet clothes and a small office for administration. The first floor provides sleeping accommodation for up to 12 people where the beds are sunken into the floor to create a sense of privacy when needed. Although these feel like their own separate rooms, the entire floor is open and allows for a sense of togetherness between the ‘walkers’ sharing a similar experience. The temporary character of the building is attained with the use of pre-fabricated straw bale walls and timber construction, easy to put together on site and environmentally friendly. The contour lines and existing land form became a driving aspect in the design as they determined the form and orientation of the building. It was also very important to take advantage of the views and create little impact in order to preserve the existing topography by making the building seem like it fits perfectly between two mounds.
Re-Inventing the Library
The task was to reinterpret the library for the 21st century and propose a ‘type’ that was of interest to work with. I responded to this by creating a space that encourages the interaction of the community based around ‘the book’. In order to do this I chose to design a community library that allows the residents to share their favourite books or the ones they have read by donating them to the library. This then means the library is made for the community, by the community in order for it to be accepted as one of their own. The arrangement of spaces is based around the concept of a ‘gallery wall’ which would be used to display books with the identification of it’s previous owner. This also creates a sort of networking system within the area of Sharrow by putting ‘a book to a face’ as you would ‘a name to a face’.
“Books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told” – Umberto Eco
The structure and façade are inspired by the existing greenery on site and the surrounding buildings. This sensitivity was a response to the site when visited and after taking part in the neighbourhood study where locals believed the area was not in need of anything ‘extra’ or ‘new’. The movement through the building is inspired by the movement through the site and each space provides a different experience.
This housing scheme is based on a manifesto which provides for basic needs as well as encouraging self-build and allowing residents to augment it themselves over time. This is inspired by, as I like to call it, the ‘Creative Housing Crisis’. Over time, creative collectives become cultural centres of major cities. This then means housing prices in the area go up as more people want to live there, and creatives have to move out because they can’t afford to live there anymore. My scheme responds to this by providing affordable and adaptable housing for creatives and their families in an area where creativity is subtly expressed and encouraged. This in turn allows for a creative community to be formed and expanded. Keeping a ‘park like’ aesthetic inspired by the site means the space is welcoming to the wider community as well. Glass studio spaces within this ‘park’ act as an eternal installation on site as the creatives can be seen as they work.