Ollie Verrell

P1: Chicken Hatchery  – Millhouses Park, Sheffield

For the first project of the year, I was tasked with designing a chicken hatchery that could hold up to 40 chickens. In this hatchery, a dry indoor space had to be provided in order to store feed and other equipment, including space and facilities to wash down equipment. As well as this, a multipurpose club room (holding up to 20 people) was required in order to provide educational facilities as well as a small staff room, small office for administration, dry indoor space for incubators and day old chicks and an indoor area for older chicks not yet ready for outdoor life.

A deep understanding of the site is critical to the resolution of this brief and so in the initial design stages, it was important to get to grips with Millhouses Park and respond to site analysis appropriately when pushing the initial design forward. By examining vegetation, sounds and people movement across the site, I was able to come to a conclusion as to where I felt the Hatchery would work best. This was done while simultaneously exploring and testing different design ideas in relation to the site. The design ideas began to answer questions as to how I could respond to my chosen site, which was along the main footpath at the back of Millhouses Park. As the site was quite open, it was important not to make the pavilion seem too out of place and abrupt, and so as a result the main development work was done in trying to address this problem, making the pavilion sit naturally in the landscape.

Consequently, the pavilion is clad in a series of timber boards (all of varying lengths) that open out to the landscape. These timber panels obscure and distort the buildings true form, meaning the building looks different from every angle you look at it. It also allows for the chickens to come up to and interact with the external envelope. The light also plays well against the pavilion due to this timber shuttering and the shadows become a large part of the external design in exaggerating form.


P2: Interactive Theatre – Attercliffe, Sheffield

For the second project of the year I was tasked with the design of a small community theatre building. In this, there must be a performance space, back stage, general storage, bar/café area, ticket office, toilet and event space. For my  initial concept I wanted the act and the production to flow throughout all elements of the building, from the bar to the stage right as you enter. As my chosen theatre type is interactive theatre, I felt I could push this by having the production weep from every pore of the building, immersing the audience in the theatre, even if they are only going in for a beer/meal. This also meant that the back stage areas and prop storage became part of the act and were more public.

One key part of the brief was to design an ‘urban’ façade to an existing street condition. By studying the context and surrounding buildings as well as drawing inspiration from my concept, I was able to develop a façade. The initial idea of having 4 distinct aspects of the building (Bar, Stage, Interactive rooms, Café) with the production flowing throughout is carried into the form and is shown by having these 4 distinct layers to the façade with each offset from each other. Another key feature of the façade is the Pulley. Used to hoist up goods to the second floor, I wanted the pulley system to be a feature of the façade and thought it could be used to develop a language throughout the entire building. The final choice was an I-beam style pulley system, and this style would be carried throughout the building, framing each floor as shown on the elevation. This is also appropriate to the site, which has a lot of metal and metal detailing throughout, contrasting with the stone and concrete buildings they are on/around.


P3: Housing Scheme – Heeley, Sheffield

For the third project, I was asked to design a housing scheme to accommodate both families and an additional domestic group and within these provide an adaptable space for work, study or recreation.  Also required is an approach towards some sort of collective or ‘community interface’ facility as appropriate to the project.  One of the main aims was to demonstrate an ‘attitude’ to the site and the wider context of the neighbourhood.

Hence, I did this by starting with my initial concept and manifesto (growing food) and explored how this concept could push my design and scheme not only in terms of my direct site (N1) but also Heeley as a whole. Evidently there are large green routes passing through Heeley, with numerous cycle and walking routes also passing through these areas. Planters and edible trees could be planted along these green routes (Much like the Middlesbrough growing scheme) and also right across the proposed pedestrianised high street.  This could be effective in Heeley, an area in need of community and identity. Public buildings such as the school could benifit from this scheme, using the scheme as an educational tool for the children to get involved in. The food could also be used in the school lunches, providing the children with more healthy food.

In terms of my direct site N1, private gardens sit between the housing and the public building.  These would be unaccesible from the ground floor to the public, however, there would be views into these gardens as well as a walkway passing above them, along the western site of the site. These gardens are for the single bed flats on the ground floor of the dwellings, meant for single living/elderly people. As well as creating a social link between fellow residents, the gardens are purposefully visable to the public (even from the community building) to expose the public to the idea and process of growing food, submersing them within the process. It also gives the (possily lonely) elderly residents a chance to interact and watch the public walking by. I also have developed a walkway which connects the dwellings and the public building, This also creates the oppourtunity to interact with the edible vegetation at different levels, meaning often you will find yourself at canopy height of trees.