SECOND YEAR PORTFOLIO
The journey through a cave is a mystifying experience. One experiences constant transitions from light to dark, wet to dry, and confinement to complete exposure. In this paired project, we designed a caver’s sanctuary which, in its architectural design, tells a story of the journey through Peak Cavern. In response to it’s context in the Peak District, the refuge is designed with natural materials and, with its modular form, mimics the undulating hills it sits in front of, to form a new piece of the natural landscape.
Set in the bustling and rapidly regenerating Northern Quarter in Manchester, the Circus Theatre acts as an intervention; a place which one can transport one’s self from the fast paced buzz of the city, and experience to a childlike sense of wonder at the bizarre wondrous act of circus arts. Movement was used as a primary design tool, and the performance space was designed entirely as a response to the abstract and entrancing shapes created as one’s eye tracks the moving aerial performer, inspired by Rudolph Laban’s system of labanotation (“Written Dance”) used as an architectural design tool by architects such as Gould Evan’s Associates.
The Building, in its sculptural form acts almost as a symbol for the relationship between the ‘conventional’ and that which ‘marvels’ and the rigorous hard work and structure which go behind an enthralling aerial performance. The back of house and foyer space is separated as a separate brick building, inspired by the Manchester industrial red brick typology, which then curves and morphs into the spiralling and confounding form of the circus performance space. The audience are taken on a confounding journey through spiralling seating which sits below a spiralling strip of glazing with panoramic views of the city, so that each audience member’s experience is entirely unique.
The refugee and family housing complex was designed upon the principles that functional, inspiring and beautiful housing is a right to all. The scheme is set in the thriving and richly diverse community of Burngreave, Sheffield, and tapping into this, the scheme is designed to optimise community interaction and share of culture. The chief objective of the housing project was to create a space in which refugees feel complete comfort and safety, and one in which children can regain a sense of play. ‘Play’ became a key principle in the design ethos of the project, as it is a medium through which children begin their cognitive development, relationships and can learn about different cultures.
The scheme is massed in two inward facing rows of housing, orientated towards playground spaces at changing levels. Cubic forms were used in both the playground and housing design, to create interaction at different levels. The houses are built up in blocks, each with one of two private green terraces which on look the central play spaces, this creates an insular and safe environment where parents can watch as children play. The ‘Modular Playground’ is a series of build-able blocks of different sizes which can be arranged at the children’s discretion, to bring back ownership of space.