P1: Rivelin Bakery
Through 1:1 drawing we explored the process of making bread, creating a sequence of tabletop drawings to convey physicality of process and the transformation of state.
Looking then towards the Rivelin Valley, I complimented the group’s measured data with a series of atmospheric investigations through photography.
The bakery’s accommodation and nurturing of vulnerable individuals was an important consideration, meaning it had to be sympathetic to its users in the same way it was to its environment.
Touching lightly on the ground is vital for this non-permanent structure, utilising the practical and aesthetic qualities of polycarbonate.
Fragments of the Rivelin Valley’s industrial heritage remain, like the dried out sluice which contains an existing masonry archway for the bakery’s oven. Not only does this provide good thermal mass for heating the building, it gives a forgotten feature of the landscape a new lease of life.
P2: Attercliffe Shadow Theatre
As part of the neighbourhood study, I made an interactive transport map demonstrating links to the city centre. Unlike conventional maps, user participation is necessary in gathering information. This theme is continued in the design of the theatre, where local people can use everyday objects to create spectacular environments.
Inspired by a performance in Sheffield by The Travelling Shadow Theatre, the role of the theatre in Attercliffe was chosen. The nature of the process means that those with little experience can become involved with ease, creating a story without the pressure of personal audience attention.
3D modelling was very valuable in reflecting the nature of shadow theatre in the journey through the building, with spaces hinting at the next progression.
A journey takes the audience from the entrance to the cafe, contained beneath the overhanging auditorium. This location increases the drama of the journey upstairs, emerging into the new world of shadows.
Externally, the theatre meets the busy Attercliffe Road with a decorative window, its shape drawn from a plan view of the River Don and Tinsley Canal which flank Attercliffe. The journey to the site is rich and full of changes and its destination should be equally as emotive.
‘Attercliffe, Not proud, Not Grand, What for you has destiny planned?’
P3: Container Housing in Heeley
Initial modelling and animating of the Donnybrook Quarter in London allowed us to develop our opinions as to the role of housing in our present society and to devices which can make a positive contribution to demanding requirements.
This contributed to establishing a housing manifesto, which was primarily inspired by the strong sense of community action in Heeley.
‘Community comes together, to gather and grow.’
Studying the neighbourhood emphasised two distinct issues: disconnected green spaces within Heeley and its physical disconnection from neighbouring areas of the city.
By happy coincidence, it was around this time that I became involved with Strip the Willow, a social enterprise based in the Antiques Quarter. Our projects formed a ‘symbiotic’ relationship. I drew inspiration from their container house prototype and they will make use of my ideas to plan for container housing on a larger scale.
The housing units cluster to form a shared ‘walled’ garden, while they each contain a private walled garden. In nearby Meersbrook I was struck by the qualities of the walled garden, a theme I have continued throughout the project.
Response to the masterplan occurs in two areas. The shared walled garden provides an appealing link between green spaces in Heeley and enhances an existing area of foliage. On a wider scale, a link with the Antiques Quarter has now been established through a connection with Strip the Willow. They are now interested in sites in Heeley to locate a number of container homes.
Not only would families be housed but elderly residents will find ground floor units equally appealing. Their experience and knowledge can be shared and celebrated at the ‘Container Hall’, nodding to the versatile nature of school and church halls of the past.
Shipping containers physically embody the ethos of the scheme, where panels removed for doors and windows can be used elsewhere in the design for features such as roofs and porches.
‘Your house has some of my house in it.’
Beyond the Course, Inspired by the Course
When frustrations arise in more formal education, they can be appeased by applying new thoughts in a wider context.
While constructing a shelter from existing, reclaimed materials at an allotment in Birmingham, tasks which had been less engaging in theory became exciting in practice. From a site survey to environmental considerations, ideas which had seemed complicated became familiar on a human scale.
Returning to Sheffield, my interest in projections has grown from the germ of an idea discovered during architectural studies. I am lucky to be able to explore the city and meet new people through an ever changing artwork.
The efforts of students and staff beyond the course are admirable, teaching me much about the way design is presented to make the most of its content. I now view exhibitions in the city through new eyes, having a taste of the planning and creativity which is required for their success.