THRESHOLD ASCENSION Nestled in the undulating hills near the Limb Valley, the Falconry Visitor Centre has views overlooking the trickling limb brook and a vast open meadow. The Centre is made up of two parts which are divided by an open area where flight demonstrations will take place. The main structure which leans away from the hill is the Visitor Centre while the smaller structure is the mews where the birds are kept protected. The symbolic relationship between the life of a bird from nest to flight with the concept of resisting inertia to achieve change intrigued me. This then led to a manifestation of ‘ascension’ as a threshold concept into the design. A wind simulation software was used to test the form of the main structure to create optimal weathering conditions with minimal wind turbulence for the falcons to ‘weather’ in the open area. The simulation also proved an initial theory based on Bernoulli’s principle and illustrated how the tip of the curve will produce an area with wind turbulence. This effect was taken as a design opportunity to provide an experience of exhilaration when the visitor walks up the stairs towards the skies, being greeted with an invigorating rush of wind. The buildings are built mainly using glulam beams to achieve the curved form of the roof and timber cladding for the rest of the structure, reflecting its temporal and sustainable status.
The site is located in the slightly shifty yet vibrantly unique Attercliffe in Sheffield. Seeking to initiate a regeneration process in Attercliffe, yet still maintaining its detached nature to the rest of Sheffield, a Cabaret Theatre was proposed. Cabaret performances such as musicals and sketches are almost always done in a satirical manner focusing on contemporary issues to do with culture, politics or sexuality. My research in the identifiable art form of Cabaret, has influenced many design decisions including the emphasis on materiality to create a sensuous experience and journey from the streets to the extraordinary world of Cabaret.
“What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play Life is a cabaret, old chum Come to the Cabaret!” Cabaret by Liza Minelli