Monday, 31 December 2012

West Bridgford Bakery Conversion

The following images are being used to try and market this property before all the changes from a office to a residence have been made. The objects in the visuals are suggestive rather than photo realistic to allow the imagination of any prospective buyers to populate the spaces with their own valuables.

I had to try my best to stick under the hours quoted to the client so the final interior views could have possibly been further worked but I was conscious of spending too many hours on them.

Let me know what you think!!!!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

18/12/12 Vertical Studio Progress

Revised orientation and development of light wells 
Axonometric drawing of different slab levels and light well depth
Experimentation with axonometric 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Vertical Studio Design Process

This is just a sample of the design process so far for Vertical Studio at NTU M.Arch.

Fig: 1 is the site contour model with the plan sketch development overlayed to show process.

The following two images are concept developments that have emerged from the deconstruction of a typewriter.

Fig: 1

Fig: 2

Fig: 3

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Vertical Studio Site Analysis

Bradford Site Analysis

Bradford sits along a strip of Northern England industrial cities. From Liverpool to Hull, Bradford sits in a important position within the success of these northern industrial cities during their history. Its topography, in a originally rural bowl with rivers and waterways culminating at its heart, has given the city many characteristics that define it today. With a rich history of wealth and industry, its current demise will be explored within the layers of this model.


This layer shows the interaction between different people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There are certain “points of interest” which bring people together. Some points of interest such as economic and religious tend to polarise and bring together only a certain group of people, and this can lead to tension between the polarised areas, while others such as educational and cultural, try to bring people from different backgrounds together. It has been noted that population density varies from area to area, with a tendency for people from a certain ethnic background to cluster together in small, crowded areas. In these almost “ghetto” areas, very little mixture is present and many people can live a whole life without meeting and interacting with people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Built Environment

This layer demonstrates the natural divide made by the Beck within Bradford. The correlation between distinct areas within the city are directly related to our site. The division between cultural, educational, industrial, green space and water in the city are split by the original watercourse of the Beck. Since the Bradford beck has been rerouted, efforts have been made to echo its past and harmonise the different areas, this coincidentally pivots around our site, and has not worked effectively.  This must be addressed to ensure a holistic construct.

Pedestrian & Water Flow

The oppression of the river beck to a subterranean level as a result of pollution during the industrial revolution is a tragedy suffered by Bradford. The close proximity of the group site to the subterranean river provides a unique opportunity to link pedestrian flow with the subterranean flow of the river. It can be seen that to the south of the site there is a clear intersection between pedestrian and water flow.


The elevated topography of the site provides any occupant with a full view of the city skyline and of the different materials used throughout Bradford. This layer shows the full colour palette of the surrounding built environment and the bowl shape created to the east of the site. Key monuments such as the city hall and the dome of the Alhambra theatre have been  highlighted as views that can be utilised.

Lost & Hidden History

This 8 x 8 grid was first conceived as a part of the Alsop regeneration plan for Bradford. The grid separates each layer of the model defining which tourist activity parts of the model fall into.

This piece also gives a narrative of the site’s lost history; the Alexandria Hotel and a large lawn that was later converted to a theatre - “The Empire Music Theatre”. The successful Alhambra theatre caused audiences to decline. It then became the “New Empire Cinema” eventually closing due to fire. In 1972, Alexandria Hotel closed, after demolition in the 90’s it is now a car park – a sad existence for what was once a hot spot for public interaction.

The subterranean narrative continues with the current submergence of the Beck, many aspects of Bradford’s heritage have been forced underground and  forgotten. Judging from this history, what is apparent is that the site has experienced a strong history of media and entertainment.. For that reason, images of the history and narrative of the site represent the lost and hidden heritage of Bradford.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

M.Arch Dissertation Research [Landscape Urbanism]

I have been back in Nottingham Trent University for over a month now in year two Master of Architecture  and my research and areas of interest are starting to become even more eclectic than last year.

One of the recurring themes in recent architectural journals is preserving local identity whilst designing using global technologies and materials. Landscape urbanism is emerging as one the core theories being used to create city spaces using landscape as the primary consideration in planning rather than architecture. This theory is using ground as a central design tool to create fluid buildings that are easily adaptable and create timeless architecture.

Studio Mumbai have pioneered this landscape led design tool with the Tara House [2005] which is designed from its subterranean aquifer to create a dark excavated space with a mythical narrative. Above the ground the buildings are formed around an indigenous fauna courtyard respecting the local identity of KashidIndia.

I’m about to embark on a dissertation but have yet to formulate a distinct question but identity and landscape urbanism will be at the forefront of my research between now and February so keep checking the blog for my latest progress.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Vertical Studio [Bradford]

As an introduction to the M.Arch course the first project at NTU is vertical studio which is where a fifth year student works in conjunction with the fourth in the site investigation stage. Following this individual designs are completed for the chosen sites in Bradford. The two years went on a trip to Bradford to witness how the city works from an users experience.
The textile industry was the obvious missing link when I first started to think about what the city needed. I began to sketch a loom but during the process I realised that the textile industry may once have led to the economic success of the city but changes brought by this industry could actually be what led to a loss of atmosphere and emotion through Bradford. During the industrial revolution the river Beck became so polluted and overused it was supressed to the sub terrain of Bradford. Below is a diagram of my interpretation of the textile industries effect on the city.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stanton Williams' Sainsbury Laboratory

One of my key inspirations for my final major project last year was Stanton Williams’ Sainsbury Laboratory which was a monolithic concrete form. The attentive detailing around grout intersections and the uniform consistency of the concrete mix led to the success of this piece of architecture. The purpose of such an elaborate building is to market the UK as a friendly and important place for scientists to work.  This has been achieve by using light interventions to create an spectacular quality of shadowless light within the research areas of the building.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Blackrock Baths, Ireland

Title:Blackrock Baths
Source: The Irish Times "Blackrock Baths to be Demolished" 03 September, 2012
The architectural beauty and simplicity of the Blackrock baths was one of the inspirations for my final major project at Dunmore East as part of the MSc. Behind the graffiti and neglected structure is a forgotten community space that once overcame the separation between Blackrock and the sea caused by the train line. The baths fell into decline in the 1980’s which led to the once resolved separation returning and the dart line becoming the prominent feature of the Blackrock seafront.

Since the pools decline a major transformation has occurred as to why a pool like this may be required in Dublin. The original perception of this pool in the 1800’s was a place to enjoy the seaside and sunshine when it was available. The arrival of the package holiday and affordable flights eroded this function but recently there has been a revolution as to how we may use these seaside spaces. The health benefits of cold water swimming and the paradigm shift in our culture towards well-being means there are new incentives encourage people to swim. 

Health conscious people may lead the way but the second major culture change involves athletes and the growth of triathlon in Ireland. The national governing body for triathlon in Ireland stated that “Triathlon Ireland has grown from a small sport with 30 events and less than 600 members to 140 events and over 6000 members in just five years”. The result of this extraordinary growth is an increased demand for cold water 50m pools to train in without the danger of collision with marine traffic. The facility at Blackrock is the perfect safe solution to meeting this increasing demand in South Dublin while keeping its historical identity.

My proposal is that this site is made into an architectural competition to explore creative and economic methods to restore the pool beyond its former glory. An emphasis should be made in the brief to retain but soften the pools brutalism which may have been a contributing factor to its decline. Ireland has many creative designers and the decision to demolish this structure shows a serious lack of imagination and foresight to the public needs.     

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Victorian Coach House Extension

Myself and fellow MSc student Joe Williams from were approached by a senior member of staff at NTU to design a small extension at the back of his garden. We took the opportunity to get our first live project on our portfolio and to demonstrate first-hand experience of the planning application system in the UK.
The extension is a retirement cottage for the clients in-laws so it was decided that it would be designed around the lifetime home standard. The client required an extra bedroom which he originally assumed would be best in the new extension rather than the existing building. Our design proposed that the existing kitchen would be converted into the second bedroom and the new extension would house a kitchen, new entrance, toilet and living space.
A clear link between the interior and exterior environment is made with large south facing glazing and bi-fold doors. The reduce solar gain visors have been designed to support crawler plants which would grow from a green roof. Originally the roof form over the entrance was brought the entire way across the decking to connect to the existing building but it was decided that this was too intrusive.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

MA Expo Nottingham

After a excellent 5 days in London with a lot of interest in my project I'm now back in Nottingham for the MA Expo show in Arkright 111. I thought I would mark this occasion by posting the remainder of my work for the final major project. I now have the luxury of uploading on universtiy computers rather than internet cafes on brick lane.

The approach to the spa building uses the top of the sailing club as a base to exemplify the 19th century lighthouse at the other side of the harbour. The space left around the spa building is adaptable and can be used for markets, sailing events and general public activities. The floating planes of the spa viewing platform over the harbour give clear views of the marina the retention pond below.

This is the view along the viewing platform from the dinghy park entrance to the spa building. The storm wall and fishing section of the harbour can be seen in the distance and the gabians to the left supply dispirsed light to the reception area creating interesting shadow effects.

Plan drawings of both buildings at 1:200

This is a ariel view of the development taken from the Southeast Coastguard Helicopter (Rescue 117). The visual shows how the leisure and fisihing industries can coexist in Dunmore East and how leisure could drive the economic and social future of the village.

This is the technical detail of the attenuation system that increases the water flow into the harbour to reduce the build up of silt.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Final major project [Free range expo]

This week has been a seriously hectic one with the final visuals being created for the free range expo in the old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London. Below are the images I chose for the expo with brief descriptions of what they are communicating.

This is the overall master plan of the project with the sailing club, marina and retention slabs located on the west wharf of the project. The retention pool that divides the two buildings offers two functions to the harbor. It retains water to be slowly released onto the slabs located behind the marina and it also doubles as a public swimming space for the spa and sailing club buildings. The purpose of retaining the water is to architecturally reintroduce water flow to reduce the amount of silt build up under the marina. 

The shining light at the right of this photo is the sailing club viewing platform acting as a safety beacon to anyone caught out in this force 8 gale. The image also adds a greater idea of the site context and how a generally dark and unwelcoming harbor can be transformed into a calming place of shelter. 

This view has been taken from the existing lifeboat dock looking over the water towards the marina, sailing club and viewing platform for the spa in the foreground. The language from the rising slabs is continued into the building until it starts to fall into the background with the headlands. The end of the breakwater is also framed by the cantilevered building at many points along the south and east wharf's. 

This nighttime visual gives the viewer a sample of what it may be like arriving into Dunmore East after a long days sailing. One again the welcoming light of the bar and viewing platforms invite the sailor to enjoy the facilities. 

The interior space of the spa building is framed by a colonnade but 1.5m gaps are left open to allow the salt water pool to flood at high water. The fully enclosed parts of the building are the changing rooms, steam room, reception and the sauna which can be locked when not in use.   

link to my profile on the free range website

Saturday, 30 June 2012

First revision of sectional drawings

These drawings are first stage design sections cut through the entire development at Dunmore East. Fig. 1 is a plan view showing where the section cut lines are taken from. Fig. 2 shows the detail sections with
(a) at the top working down to (d).

These sections show clearly the different level changes that occur between the retention slabs (slabs that hold water for sustainable flow into the harbour) and the two buildings.These drawings are still in quite a raw stage and have yet to be annotated but I thought uploading them would give a quick update on how the final major project is progressing.

fig. 1

fig. 2

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Falling tide diagram

The abstract images below represent the direction of the flow out of the harbour mouth during a falling tide. The purpose of these visuals are to try and show in a conceptual way the idea behind the project. The smoke effect is the direction silt will be removed around the breakwater as a result of the architectural manipulation of the tidal flow.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Entrance to Spa Building

The image below just shows the concept ideas for the spa entrance built in grey card and shaded to highlight ground levels and light. The steps into the span building are shown in the bottom image as a elegant approach that is framed by the planes of the viewing platform which projects over the marina section.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Development Model of Site

This is a 1:200 grey card model of the final major project development. The massing of the buildings can be seen and a general form of the stage 12 design. The final slabs and landscape have yet to be put onto the model but the layout of the retention slabs can be seen clearly.