P1. Bicycle Hub.
In P1 we were tasked with designing a temporary cycle hub with storage, a repair shop and changing facilities. The site I was given was on the east side of Sheffield train station, near to the famous Park Hill flats.
The one thing that struck me most about the site was the tranquility of the place, despite the traffic noise. Perhaps because you can sit and look into the city, rather than being amongst the hustle and bustle, you feel a sense of detachment. The steep incline of the site offered a dramatic view and I decided that I didn’t want to disrupt this, but to tuck the building into one of the lower slopes, and use a green roof covering to disguise it from above. The roof is curved, to further hide the building, and also to mimic the slope, and the curve of a bike tyre. The cycle hub would also be visible when looking up at the site from the station and tramline; I hoped this would encourage people into the site and the cycle hub. For a temporary structure I felt it was appropriate to use an entirely timber structure, that could theoretically be cut down and reused in another building.
P2. Shadow Theatre
In P2 the brief was to design a theatre, with a backstage area and facade that offers something to the streetscape. The site I was given was a carpark next to the Lescar Pub in Sharrow, Sheffield.
I wanted to create a theatre that could also be used by the nearby school during the day, and would allow for some community input. This led me to the idea of shadow theatre, an accessible form of theatre. The facade of the building acts as a giant shadow screen, that is lit from inside. This would allow the facade to be animated, and changing; one week it could have a shadow instillation by a local artist for example, and the next part of the set from an upcoming show. The translucent glass would also be less imposing in the daytime, but come alive at night. The entrance to the building is at the ‘back’ of the site, on the south side, to allow for an uninterrupted facade. Visitors would create shadows as they move through the building; some internal walls are translucent glass.
Sharrow itself, although tucked just behind the busy Ecclesall road, has the air of a small town. Sharrow Vale Road is like a high street, with a number of small independent shops, and the immediate surrounding buildings on the site are mostly just two storeys high. Because of this, and the fact the site also had a (roughly) two metre height difference from the top to bottom, I chose to sink the theatre into the ground, with the backstage area being completely below ground.
P3. Self-build Social Housing.
In P3 the brief was design a housing scheme with a political response to the current housing crisis. There should be two different housing types, one of them being for families, with main living spaces accessible and a community facility on site. The site I was given was a grassy, plot of land in Heeley, South Sheffield.
I decided to create a self-build social housing scheme, giving the residents more control over their own homes. The parts of the building that require services (eg. bathrooms) are anchored to a main spine wall through the site, and the buildings ‘grow’ from this. The structure is loosely based on Segal’s timber frame method, and heavily inspired by the Hedgehog Co-op in Brighton (Architype); the residents would build their own homes then rent them back at an affordable rate from a housing association, who would fund the scheme. The community facilities I provided are a workshop, and a community hall that would be used primarily as a creche. This means that there would be a space to build and store building elements, and also childcare would be available (an issue that arose during the Hedgehog build). Living on site in one of the adapted building types would be one or two skilled builders or joiners, who could help advise and facilitate the build.
I also wanted to maintain an aspect of the original public park to the site, but didn’t want to leave any landscape without purpose; there are a number of lawn areas, communal formal planting areas, terraces and a yard space outside the workshop. I envisaged that over time, after the build is completed, residents may choose to take up a craft or skill; the community facility could run evening educational classes, and the yard area could become a marketplace for them to sell their products.