Wong Zi Jin William


Walking – Hiking Refuge

“Walking is not a sport… Walking is the best way to go more slowly than other method that has ever been found. To walk, you need to start with two legs. The rest is optional… And when you are walking, there is only one performance that counts: the brillance of the sky, the splendour of the landscape. Walking is not a sport.”

– From “A Philosophy of Walking, Frederic Gros, Verso, London, 2014

In this project we have to design a building to accommodate rest for hikers after a long walk, providing refuge to them and allowing them to prepare for the next stage. The site of the project in the Back Tor, one of the peaks in the Castleton Peak District. Back Tor is a very bare area with little vegetation apart from grass and the main feature of it is the long cliff at the North-western side which can overlook the mountains at the far north as well as the rail track and a few dispersed houses at the bottom.

Walking is the basic means of circulation for human, therefore at the beginning of the design i wanted a house with different circulation and to create a place where people can pay more attention to the process of “walking”.   The cliff is a very good position for me to create a contrasting atmosphere between walking on solid and walking “in the air”, which would in turn letting people to focus more on “walking”. The North-eastern side of the house is where the overhang area be, made with metal mesh, so that people can feel like walking “in the air” with the wind blowing upwards. The ground floor also comprise of a reception, kitchen, dinning area as well as a communal place while the second floor would mainly be bedrooms for people staying overnight.


Shadow Theatre – A Theatre For Comedy

The theatre was once of the heart of every community. A place to escape, a place to dream and wonder, a place to fall in love… The catharsis of the theatrical experience has been part of our society for  centries. It has the power to bring communities together, and contribute to a ‘sense’ of community.

Attercliffe is an area in Sheffield which is around 20 minutes tram from the city centre. It was originally an important steel industrial area in Sheffield but have been abandoned for decades and is now a very desolated place. The lack of sense of arrival of the area is a major problem of this site, leading to the fact that this is just a place where people will only passed by instead of staying here. The weak community bond is also another problem that I have realised during the site visit, therefore the choice of my theatre type would be “comedy”, which does not only fits the wide range of age group in the site, but also brings a lot more interaction with audiences along with the performance, strengthening the bonds within the community through joyfulness and laugh.

My idea is to create eye-catching facade to attract more people returning the area, flourishing the area as it was before again. In a theatre, the contrast on light and shadow is the most eye-catching feature, and is also the symbol of a theatre. My site is located exactly at the end of the main route where people come into the site, and my concept is to use the facade like the “stage” of the theatre, and the people’s activities will be the “act”, and through strong spots light during the night time, the shadows of people will be reflected onto the blurry glass facade, and the theatre itself will become the stage of the site, while Attercliffe will be the theatre and everyone is the actor.


Homes For All Co-housing Scheme

“Housing is the most significant built form in the urban landscape and it success in achieving a sense of place is one of the bedrocks of social continuity.”

“A sense of place only exists when residents have a permanent sense of belonging to somewhere of value”

-From “Housing Design Handbook”, David Levitt, 2010

During the site visit in Heeley, i have realised that the houses in the area are very isolated and enclosed. There seems to be very little interaction between neighbors. Although there are a decent number of communal space, most of they are seldom used by the residence. Heeley lacks the bonds between neighborhoods, its lacks the sense of community, the sense of place.

The site for the project sits in Hartley Street, surrounded by the Sum Studios, Heeley Institute, Sheffield Parish Church and the Ann’s Groves Primary School, meaning that there are a range of communities nearby and I consider it to be the main feature of my site. Therefore in my housing manifesto, i would like to design a co-housing scheme that links the different communities by having various communal space, mixing these people together so that they can expand their social zone and  eventually create a sense of belonging to the neighborhood by increasing the interaction with their neighbor. Apart from normal families i also want to provide temporary accommodation to people who visit Heeley frequently, for instance, artists who use the Sum Studio or christian who come to the church during weekend. A house shouldn’t just be a place for sleeping, but also a refuge, a place where you feel belonging to.