Mark Stancombe

Perform – Community Theatre

The brief called for a theatre to be designed for the community of a Sheffield suburb. Inspired by the terraces of the site and the work of Bernard Tschumi, I explored desconstructing the traditional Victorian terrace, and rearranging the resulting forms to create a familiar, yet distinctive architectural response. Other works such as Rogers’ and Piano’s Pompidou Centre, and Cedric Price’s Fun Palace inspired the design of the ”play frame” behind the building – a dynamic, flexible space in which outdoor performances, meetings and gatherings could occur, as determined by the community.



Thresholds – Observatory

The “Thresholds” brief asked our designs to engage with a threshold condition of our choice, and gave each tutor group an activity which their building should facilitate – stargazing in my case. The rugged landscape of the cliff side site in the Peak District presented an obvious threshold, which I felt should be accentuated by the inclusion of a cantilevered stargazing deck, allowing astronomers to be engulfed by the vast darkness of the night sky. The warm room within the design offered shelter from the after dusk cold, as well as being a place for teaching and learning during the day. Spaces underneath the permanent professional telescope also offered shelter and rest stops for walkers, regardless of the time of day, allowing the design to actively contribute to the beautiful, popular landscape.