Wedged into the rock face of Higger Tor, the geometric form of the observatory is informed by the rugged and angular rock formations of its natural surrounding landscape and concrete German pillboxes. The journey to and around the observatory, as a physical experience, was explored with a series of external staircases and a tunnel. While these provide a form of exploration that mirrors the climbing of existing rocks visitors undertake, the tunnel that slices through the observatory delivers a new sensory experience of shelter to Higger Tor. The tunnel is the first in a series of thresholds that eases the user into the calm and quiet environment of the observatory.
Recognising the contrast between site 1 in the east of the Northern Quarter as an area that remains largely industrial was key to the design of a theatre on this site. It’s steel cladding and steel frame reminiscent of scaffolding was heavily informed by the surrounding working factories and warehouses. Meanwhile the importance of interacting with local groups to activate the area is realised in the internal design tactics including the inclusion of transportable theatre pods. The growing homeless population and large number of organisations dedicated to helping homeless people already in the Northern Quarter determined the target user. It was established that a relationship must be built up with the homeless community on their own terms free from other social agenda. Whilst a theatre space may be unfamiliar and unwelcoming to the homeless community the moveable theatre pods allows the theatre space to be brought to them. Through this, a dialogue can be built up free from stigma that encourages them to transition from being an audience member to the performer. The theatre on site one will be gradually navigated towards and utilised by the homeless community as a base that they feel ownership over. It’s internal frame and modular seating can be orientated into different configurations to suit the performance and the performer. The theatre is a space that can grow alongside those that use it and also the area of the Northern Quarter that it exists in.
Situated on site C, this community housing scheme was informed by the exceptionally high proportion of lone parent families in Burngreave. The community housing scheme provides six family homes ranging from 2-4 bedrooms alongside a community centre which offers services similar to that of Sure Start centres. The incorporation of a café and flexible space on the ground floor of the community centre create an informal and relaxed setting for isolated parents to bring there child to get health check ups as well as interact and bond with other residents thus building upon Burngreave’s strong sense of community. Brick detailing provides relief and texture to the facade re-imagining traditional vernacular details in a contemporary manner while the landscaping of the site explore the permeability and function of outdoor space. Each house has a semi-private courtyard that binds its internal living spaces together whilst connecting them to the outdoors. The courtyards lead onto a large multi-purpose communal garden at the back alongside two public pedestrian pathways flanked by trees.