The Comprehensive Design Project (Personal/Public Spaces)
The projects are based around two themes. The first theme is ‘Community’.
In an age where more and more social interactions are becoming virtual, the importance of a place which enables likeminded people to come together, to share an interest, to interact and build relationships face to face, cannot be understated.
The second theme is ‘Fostering Enterprise’.
The economy of not only this country but also of the majority of the western world has been in recession for quite some years now. A time of recession is hard on most of us, but none more so than on those people starting out in a new career. Whether they have just graduated from college or university, or whether they wish to change career and move into a different field, the issues of having no experience and no proven track record can often be a major obstacle on their path to finding a job or progressing their career.
In addition to this, the shape of our economy and of our cities is changing at an alarming rate. The move of more and more of us towards shopping online has had a massive impact on our cities, with long established and previously prosperous companies going out of business. Many of the remaining larger businesses have also made the move out of the cities and into the out of town shopping centres. At the same time old warehouses and factories have been developed into residential apartments and many people have responded to this by moving into the city to live. As a result we are seeing more supermarkets, bars and restaurants opening up in the city centres to feed the rising number of city dwellers, alongside boutique shops replacing old style shops, offices and churches.
In response to the changing face of both our economy and our cities, we want you to design one of the five building projects (listed below) in order to help give creative people the support they often need at the start of their careers. The proposed facilities are all ones which bring together likeminded people – to work together, but also to help and support each other. Each of the facilities will be leased to the tenants at a significantly reduced rate, but only for up to a year (as stated in each brief) – by which time they should have gained the experience they needed and are able to move on to allow others to take their place.
Your proposals for this project need to fully integrate and demonstrate your understanding of the themes of ‘Community’ and of ‘Fostering Enterprise’ in the buildings you design.
The sites for the projects are all located within the City of Nottingham. The place we now know as the City of Nottingham can be traced as far back as 600AD and was originally known as Tigguo Cobauc meaning ‘the Place of Caves’ (presumably due to the array of natural sandstone caves that still exist underneath it).
From the 11th Century onwards it was home to a large market of five and a half acres which was situated on the Old Market Square and occupied the council house and the surrounding area. The history of this market can still be seen in the names of the nearby streets such as Bridlesmith Gate, Smithy Row, Goose Gate and streets previously known as Sheep Lane (now Market Street) and Cow Lane (now Clumber Street).
The Market Square also hosted the world famous Goose Fair from 1284 to 1927 (with the original fair being renamed Goose Fair in 1541). The Nottingham Goose Fair, which is nowadays a fun fair, was relocated in 1928 to the Forest Recreation Grounds and is still considered to be one of the oldest and most prestigious fairs in the UK.
Although Nottingham has always been a thriving place, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that Nottingham became a major name on the world stage due to its manufacture and exporting of lace, bicycles and tobacco. The Raleigh Bicycle Company started in 1885 as a small bicycle workshop on Raleigh Street, Nottingham before going on become one of the biggest and best known cycle brands in the world.
The Lace Market, which is the said to be the area of the original Saxon settlement that became Nottingham, was also at the heart of the world’s lace industry during the days of the British Empire and was full of shops and warehouses where the lace was stored, displayed and sold. After the Second World War the textile industry declined as manufacturing moved to the Far East and Asia and left an impressive array of old warehouses which have now been turned into modern offices, high-spec apartments, boutique shops, bars and restaurants and academic buildings.
Hockley lies directly adjacent the Lace Market. It was originally called ‘Walker Gate’ named after the way the people who worked in the area would ‘walk’ or stamp on the cloth to soften it up after it was woven. It is a more bohemian part of the city, similar in character now to the Lace Market but with more boutique shops situated along and around Carlton Street and two independent cinemas (Broadway and The Screen Room). This area has not always been so affluent. Sir Jesse Boot, the founder of the Boots Company (which is now a global pharmaceutical business) and the man who donated the University Park Campus to the University of Nottingham (in 1921) was born in poverty in the slums of this area in 1850.
In 1897 Queen Victoria granted Nottingham its city charter and it took the name The City of Nottingham. Located at the centre of England, on the River Leen and with the River Trent running on its southern boundary, Nottingham is the 14th largest city in the UK and the 11th largest city in England, behind Bristol, Wakefield and Coventry. Although it is not very large compared to London, and a third of the size of Birmingham it does have a very large student population of over 60,000 students which attend the city’s two universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
Famed for Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood, it is best known today for its culture, nightlife, sports, shopping and tourism. Nottingham is a very buoyant city with people visiting its attractions from all over the East Midlands and the rest of the UK. Known as the third shopping destination in England after London and Birmingham it is was also named it as one of its top 10 city destinations in the world in 2010 by travel publisher Dorling Kindersley. Culturally it has numerous large and small theatres, museums, Nottingham Castle and art galleries including the new Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre. It also boasts two main stream cinemas, two independent cinemas (with The Broadway Cinema being rated one of the ‘best in the world’ by Total Film magazine in 2009 and the Screen Room Cinema, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s smallest, with just 21 seats), and several live music venues hosting major UK and international artists (most notably Rock City which is one of the biggest names in the UK for live music). Nottingham also has a reputation as a sporting centre with the city being home to the National Ice Centre, the National Water Sports Centre, the world-famous Trent Bridge test cricket ground, Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Clubs and Nottingham Panthers Ice hockey club.
Site / Brief Options
Please Note: Each brief is allocated to a specific site. You cannot mix up the sites and briefs. For instance you cannot design the brief for site 3 on site 1. However you can enlarge on the briefs as long as you meet the basic requirements.
SITE ONE – Hockley – Performance / Leisure
The location of the site is on Woolpack Lane in Nottingham. This area is known as Hockley. It is a very vibrant and trendy part of the city, containing boutique clothes shops, bars and restaurants and has been described as ‘the Soho of Nottingham’. This is an ideal site for this project as this is a busy and noisy part of the city which is already known for its night life.
PROJECT ONE is a MUSICIANS & SONGWRITERS CLUB / CAFE The City of Nottingham wishes to provide up and coming musicians and songwriters, local to the region, with a venue where they can come together to write and perform music. The building will provide a larger space for intimate vocal and/or instrumental performances, group discussions, club meetings, etc. as well as a number of smaller spaces for between one and three people to practice, write and/or interact. The main space needs to be completely adaptable to be able to cater for performances ranging from one person singing or playing an
instrument to a small group. It also needs to be versatile in the mood it sets, providing the required focus for song writing or group discussions, as well as more dynamic atmosphere when artists are performing.
The building will include a bar/café open to the public as well as members of the club. The emphasis of the design is to provide a place that enhances the creation and performance of music for people at the start of their music careers as well as providing an informal community venue for likeminded people.
In detail the building will provide: a larger space for small performances, discussions and music events, smaller spaces for playing, practicing, discussing and/or writing music (both for people on their own as well as smaller groups of 2-4 people), a small bar serving alcohol, coffee tea, drinks and snacks, external spaces for individual and group music sessions, a small office for the people who run the club, a small entrance foyer with places to advertise forthcoming events, etc. and five W.C’s (2 male, 2 female and 1 disabled).
SITE TWO – Weekday Cross – Exhibition / Manufacture / Retail
The location of the site for this project is on Weekday Cross in the car park across the road from the Pitcher & Piano bar. This area of the city is known as the Lace Market and is located just next door to Hockley, which is a very vibrant and trendy part of the city, containing boutique clothes shops, bars and restaurants.
Lying between Hockley and The Lace Market is Stoney Street, which is home to the art, design and fashion departments of the New College Nottingham, as well as numerous textile and embroidery businesses / workshops. The location of this site, with its many bars, restaurants and cultural attractions such as the Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre and the Galleries of Justice Museum and located close to Hockley, is ideal for a venture of this nature.
PROJECT TWO is a FASHION FACTORY The City of Nottingham wishes to support start-up ventures for people interested in pursuing a career in textiles / fashion. The aim is to foster a creative community in which three different people come together to design, manufacture, display and sell the items they create. These people can come from the same or different disciplines of the textile and/or fashion industry, but as this is aimed at start-up ventures, the lease will only be for one year, at which point three new people will replace them. The design and manufacturing of the garments / accessories will take centre stage alongside the display and selling of the items produced. The design of the building needs to take into account this manufacturing process and present it in an innovative and imaginative way. The project aims to foster a sense of community therefore the building will also provide living and sleeping accommodation for each of the three people.
In detail the building will provide: a studio / shop in which they design, manufacture, display and sell the garments / accessories they create, an area for deliveries with a small storeroom attached, a separate W.C next to the studio / shop and three individual / private sleeping spaces with en-suite shower room (with shower, wash hand basin and W.C) connected to a communal living, cooking and eating area for the three people to share. The project will also include an element of landscaping of the external areas on the site to complement and enhance the use of the site as a fashion factory.
SITE THREE – Lace Market – Well Being / Veneration
The location of the site is on Short Hill on the South East corner of St Marys Church in the Lace Market. The site is in the lower car park accessed off of Hollow Stone through an arch under Short Hill situated to the left of Lace Market House. This is an ideal site for this project as it is on the edge of the Lace Market, close enough to the centre of the city yet far enough away to be in a quieter area.
PROJECT THREE is an URBAN RETREAT. The City of Nottingham wishes to provide an Urban Retreat with gardens and rooms for conversation for the people who live, work and visit the city. The urban retreat will be a place of beauty and of quiet, in which people can get away from the noise and fast pace of the city, to rest, reflect and recuperate. The gardens of the retreat will be designed to enhance visitor’s sensory experience as well at their relaxation and healing. In addition to this place of quiet and reflection there will also be rooms for private conversations. These can be used by visitors to the building as well as people at the start of their careers in counselling or therapy, who wish to use the space as beautiful and contemplative space in which to work with their clients.
In detail the building will provide: at least one large internal space along with other smaller internal spaces for quiet and reflection, exterior spaces in the garden (partially enclosed, canopied and/or open) for quiet and reflection, five rooms for private conversations, a small office for the people who run the centre, a small storeroom, an entrance foyer, and five W.C’s (2 male, 2 female and 1 disabled). This success of this project will be as much about how well the external spaces are designed as the internal spaces, therefore full consideration of the landscaping element of this project is vitally important.
SITE FOUR – Weekday Cross – Education / Leisure
The location of the site for this project is on Weekday Cross in the car park to the right of the Pitcher & Piano bar and the left of the Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre. This area of the city is known as the Lace Market. It is an ideal site for this project with its many bars, restaurants and cultural attractions such as the Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre and the Galleries of Justice Museum.
PROJECT FOUR is a COMMUNITY KITCHEN & COOKERY SCHOOL. The City of Nottingham wishes to provide a Community Kitchen and Cookery School to be run by three emerging chefs at the start of their careers where they can share their love of food and to pass on their cookery skills to the people of the City of Nottingham. In a world where convenience and processed food is so widely available, fewer people are learning how to cook nutritious meals from scratch. The aim of the cookery school is to teach young people and their parents / guardians not only how to cook but also how to grow vegetables and fruit in an urban environment. The food made in the cookery school will then be sold in the community kitchen alongside meals created by the in-house chefs at discounted rates to the disadvantaged members of the community as well being sold at normal rates to people who live, work and / or visit the City of Nottingham. The building will also provide free living and sleeping accommodation (for a year) for each of the three chefs in exchange for them running the cookery school. At the end of the year they will leave and be replaced by three new emerging chefs with a community focus.
In detail for the Community Kitchen & Cookery School the building will provide: a kitchen that is large enough to be used both for cooking the food to be sold in the dining area but also for the chefs to teach cooking to the young people and their parents as part of the cookery school, an open kitchen dining area in which the people eating at the centre can see the food being prepared and cooked, a dining area with both internal and external places to eat, several small south facing areas (linked with the eating areas) where vegetables and fruit are grown in an innovative way in an urban setting (thereby promoting and encouraging visitors to do something similar at home), a small office, three individual / private sleeping spaces with en-suite shower room (with shower, wash hand basin and W.C) connected to a communal living, cooking and eating area for the three chefs to share and three W.C’s (2 male, 2 female and 1 disabled) for the people who visit the centre.
SITE FIVE – Carrington Street – Leisure / Retail
The location of the site for this project is the junction between the canal and Carrington Street (which runs between Nottingham Central Railway Station and Broadmarsh Bus Station). The site for this project is the building currently called Munch Bunch which is located on the edge of the canal by the bridge and to the right of the Magistrates Court. The site sits at the junction of the National Cycle Network (which runs along the canal) with the City of Nottingham on a very busy street which runs from Nottingham railway station to the city centre. This site is also an area with a vibrant night life with people visiting the city to enjoy the bars and clubs along the canal side and in the city centre.
PROJECT FIVE is a CYCLE CENTRE The City of Nottingham wishes to mark the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network by creating a cycle centre to the south of the city. The addition of the cycle centre is intended to further encourage and enable more commuters who work in the city to cycle to work as well as attracting leisure cyclists who are either visiting Nottingham for a day out or stopping off as part of a journey for a quick rest, refuel and/or visit. The centre will offer facilities for commuter cyclists to safely store their bike (and accessories), have a shower, get changed and even have a bite to eat in the cafe before (or after) going to work. The centre will be a place where people who share a love of cycling can meet and chat (including weekly meetings of cycling clubs in the café). It will also be a place that offers information on the cycle network, the local cycle routes, cycle hire in Nottingham, etc., thereby promoting cycling in and around Nottingham and/or Nottinghamshire. The cycle centre will have a positive effect on reducing the environmental impact of the city, boosting commerce and tourism by encouraging more people to leave their car at home and visit the city by bike.
For more information on the National Cycle Network visit http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/national-cycle-network.
In detail for the Cycle Centre the building will provide: a café selling drinks and snacks (which will provide space for a group meeting as well as spaces for individuals and smaller groups of 2-4 people), a cycle workshop for repairs, a small shop selling bike equipment, accessories, maps, snacks etc. as well as bike hire, a bike store for forty bikes where each bike (and its equipment) can be locked /stored securely and retrieved day or night, a lift for bikes, pushchairs and/or wheelchairs, an information board, a small office for the people who run the centre, entrance foyers at both street and canal level, external spaces for cyclists to rest, eat and wait (either as place where they stop on the canal side for a picnic as part of their journey or as a starting / end point for a day out and/or as external spaces associated with the cafe), seven shower pods with individual changing (3 female, 3 male and 1 disabled) and three W.C’s (2 male, 2 female and 1 disabled) for the people who visit the club.
Every project must adhere to the following requirements:
The building must be between 250 and 350 msq. This means that if you have two or three levels, each of the floor areas combined must not exceed 350msq in total. This has been defined in order to restrict the size of the project. You should also consider any external covered spaces and all the necessary landscaping that will integrate your proposal to the existing conditions of the site (paths, vehicular access, parking, terraces, gardens, etc.). However, these external spaces and landscaping will not be included in the calculation of your overall 250-350msq.
Your chosen site must be fully analysed and this understanding used to inform your design. Each design must integrate the understanding of the specified typologies.
The client requirements and the ergonomic implications must be fully analysed and this understanding used to inform your design.
Challenge the constraints of the site in regard to the solar axis, through the day and the seasons, is of utmost importance in all of the designs on all of the sites (especially site 4).
All drawings / models must be to scale (even initial sketch ones). It is a waste of your valuable time to create drawings or make models that are not drawn or made to a specific scale (1:100).
Please bear in mind that all areas must have wheelchair access!
Your site plan, site section, plans, sections and elevations for this project need to be drawn in the manner outlined in the drawing project (relating to line weights etc). They must be drawn by hand, composed on A2 tracing paper in ink, include north arrow, drawing titles, scale etc and these drawings must be shown at all reviews and submissions.
The Importance of the Site and Client
Your project will be primarily assessed on whether your design responds effectively to the site you have chosen, your client’s requirements (functionally, aesthetically, psychologically…) and how well you have designed the building in response to the light. We cannot over emphasise the incredible importance of designing your building in response to daylight. Light needs to be considered at every stage of the design.
Fully analysing the site and the client, and using this understanding to create the design, is a fundamental requirement for all successful buildings and designs. Every real life building project has a specific site that has been acquired with a specific type of building in mind. Every real life project always has a client who wants a building that responds to his or her needs or the needs of the people who are going to use the building. To create a building project that ignores the site and ignores the client is to create a poor quality project.
At the end of the Personal Spaces project we saw quite a number of proposals that looked great and were beautifully made but could have been designed for anyone and could have been sited anywhere. For those students whose designs did not respond fully to the site in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and their chosen client, this is your opportunity to demonstrate you understand the importance of the site and client to the whole design process and can incorporate this understanding in your final project.
Once you have chosen the site / brief for this project you need to analyse your chosen site. This analysis should be completed in small groups (however only people sharing the same site can by part of the same group).
Once you have studied your site you will individually need to decide where you propose to put your building. Stand in the middle of this location and sketch the area. Take photographs of this specific position on your site from a range of angles and from different positions (looking out from the centres of the site as well as looking at your chosen site from a distance away). You will probably need these images and photos to superimpose your proposed building on to show how your design sits within the context of the site. Think about how large a building of 250 to 350 msq might be on the site. Try pacing this out on the site (it is often smaller than you might imagine). In your groups – visit the site at different times of the day to research:
1. What is the area in which your site is located currently used for, who uses the area, and at what times of day is it busiest or relatively quiet (how does this change from the week to weekends, from day to night?). For instance, is it mainly businesses around your site or do people live in the area? Do people pass your site walking between particular areas of the city, and what are the places they are walking from and to?
2. How does the light move and change on your site during the day and at different times of the year? Create an analysis to show how the shadows are cast from adjacent buildings throughout the day.
3. What are the climatic conditions on the site (wind directions, noise levels, etc.)? You will also need to research the history of the area in which your site is located.
In your groups you will need to produce:
1. Two detailed street elevations / sections of your site drawn at a scale of 1:100 on A2 tracing paper in ink (see below for details of where the site section / elevation needs to be taken and number of sheets of A2 landscape paper to be used).
2. A site plan of your site and the surrounding area drawn at a scale of 1:200 drawn on A2 tracing paper in ink.
Site Elevations and Site Sections
Site 1 – Hockley – Woolpack Lane
Site Elevation 1 – cutting through Woolpack Lane and looking in the direction of the site (drawn on one to two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper). It will include a section cut through the building at the end of Woolpack Lane where it meets Stoney Street.
Site Section 2 – cutting directly through the site from north to south and looking in the direction of the Stoney Street. The site section will include the Carlton Street to the north of the site and a cut through the buildings on the south side of the site (across the street) (drawn on one or two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site 2 – Weekday Cross –
Site Elevation 1 – cutting through High Pavement and looking in the direction of the site (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site Section 2 – cutting directly through the site from north to south and looking in the direction of the Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre. The site section will include the raised carpark to the north of the site and a cut through the buildings on the south side of the site (across the street) (drawn on one or two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site 3 – Lace Market
Site Elevation 1 – cutting through Hollow Stone and High Pavement looking in the direction of the site from the road on the north of the site (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site Section 2 – cutting directly through the site from north to south and looking to the east. The site section will include a cut through the building to the north of the site and will show the change in level and the estate to the south of the site (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper)..
Site 4 – Weekday Cross
Site Elevation 1 – cutting through High Pavement and looking in the direction of the site (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site Section 2 – cutting directly through the steps which run down the east side of the Nottingham Contemporary from north to south and looking in the direction of the site (to the east). The site section will include a cut through the buildings to the north of the site and will show the change in level on the south of the site (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site 5 – Carrington Street
Site Elevation 1 – cutting from east to west at 90 degrees through the bridge over the canal on Carrington Street and looking in the direction of the site to the south (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
Site Elevation 2 – cutting directly through the site from north to south and looking towards the site (to the east) from the west side of the site. The site section will include a cut through the buildings to the north and south of the site and will include an elevation view of the bridge across the canal on Carrington Street (drawn on two adjacent landscape A2 sheets of tracing paper).
24 Hour Narrative
The 24 Hour Narrative for this project will be for the specific people who you imagine would use the building you have chosen to design. Once you know have been assigned one of the five projects you need to carefully read through the specific brief for your chosen site (outlined above) before starting the appraisal for the 24 hour narrative. For this exercise you will need to create a 24 hour narrative for a typical day in the life of your building. This narrative is a bit like a fly-on-the-wall documentary looking at how your building will be used throughout a typical day. The narrative would include even the most ordinary activities as well as the exciting ones.
The 24 hour narrative would run from midnight to midnight (or from when your building opens to when your building closes). Describe each of the spaces in your building in detail including what it feels like to be in that space and how the spaces responds to the specific needs of your clients. Think about where each of the spaces required in your building would need to be positioned in relationship to the light during the day (and night). Think about the order in which each activity would happen and the type of spaces you are going to design for these specific activities. Also have an initial think about the location of each of these
spaces in relationship to one another.
To summarise, think about:
All the activities your clients would do in a typical day
The order in which they would do them – including the time of day each activity is performed
The type of light and/or view needed for each activity and specific space
What it feels like to be in each of these spaces and how the space responds to the specific needs of the users of your building
How each space is located in relationship to one another
Once you have thought about all of these aspects of the buildings activities, you need to put them together into the pictorial 24 hour narrative. You may need to create a narrative for the summer and the winter seasons to explain the various ways the building is used throughout the year. If you choose, this 24 hour narrative can be combined with the ergonomics analysis by adding the ergonomic dimensions to each of the activities on the narrative panel (please see ergonomic analysis below for details)
Work needed for Thursday 12th February
You will need to bring your initial ideas and sketches for your 24 hour client narrative and your initial site analysis research (listed above but not the site elevations or site sections) to studio on Thursday 12th February where you will be working on refining your client narrative, creating your group site analysis panel (from the information you have collected).
Work needed for Monday 16th February
You will need to bring your refined 24 hour narrative and your group site analysis, site plan and group site sections and site elevations (listed above) to studio on Monday 16th February for an informal review.
On Thursday 19th February you will be doing a typological study in the same groups that you did your site analysis. In preparation for this group work, on Monday 16th February you will be given the name of a specific building or buildings for you to research before Thursday. This building or buildings will be a very good example of the building typology you have chosen for your project.
When analysing your assigned building you will need to fully consider and research:
Why was the building originally constructed / who was it built for?
What did the surrounding context of the city look like at the time the building was designed / what were the key features and environmental aspects that needed to be taken into account at the design stage?
What were the major factors in the external environment that needed to be considered when laying out of the design of the building? For example: where did the entrance need to be located (and why), where were the good or bad views, where does the sun rise and set (and how was this incorporated into the design) etc?
What were the major factors that needed to be considered when designing the internal layout of the building? For example: how does the main entrance relate to the main space, how do each of the internal need to relate to one another (what is the order of the layout of these spaces), what is the overall effect the internal spaces create (the atmosphere and intended feeling for the people using the building) etc?
Does the building fulfil its original intentions (is it successful)?
Work needed for Thursday 19th February
On Thursday 19th February you will need to bring plans, sections, sketches, photographs and any other key images which help to explain the building you have researched in preparation for the group typological study. In groups you will be discussing the buildings you have researched, drawing conclusions as to the similarities and differences between these buildings and devising a list which summarises the key characteristics that define your specific typology. In your groups you will produce a minimum of one A2 panel (using InDesign) to summarise the buildings from your research and to define the key characteristics of your specific building typology.
DEFINING THE DESIGN GENERATOR
As part of this project you will need to define a design generator. The Design Generator is an abstract idea that helps you generate a design and is a statement of intent for your project. The design generator can be expressed as an image or a word or a model, but it is purpose is to guide the design decisions of the project. The design generator conveys the essence of your design ideas – it is the key idea from which your building is created.
The concept can be derived from anywhere. It can describe how the space and activities are organized to suit the user’s requirements or could be influenced by the site or defined by a relevant thought about the user, the main activities to be performed or the atmosphere to be created, etc. It is most often a unification of the program requirements (the site, the client, etc) into a clear and concise statement of intent.
Often the simpler concepts create stronger design responses, and a project that starts with a basic idea / concept then develops greater complexity as the project progresses. When a project is “governed” by a single, simple yet powerful concept, this leads to a clear ‘understanding’ of the proposal.
The design generator should not limit your design or constrain it, but help you to focus on the important elements and convey your ideas clearly to your tutors / fellow students / clients etc. A strong design generator is one that is still relevant to your project even if the physical form of your building changes.
Site Model at 1:100 (for Monday 23rd February)
You will need to make a sketch site model at a scale of 1:100 (no larger than A2) for Monday 23rd February. A sketch model should be made out of scrap cardboard, they do not have to be to final presentation standard. Make sure you include representations of surrounding buildings, paths, roads, trees, etc. on your site model.
Work needed for Monday 23rd February
For Monday 23rd February you need to bring to studio all of the work you have completed so far: your group site analysis, site plan, site section and site elevation, your sketch 24 hour narrative, group typological study panel, sketch site model at 1:100 of your immediate site, an initial idea of your design generator, your studio sketchbook and any initial design ideas (diagrams or models) of the initial designs for your project.
The Design Approach – Design through Model Making
Once you have analysed the site, analysed the 24 hour narrative, researched your typology and defined the design generator, you are able to start creating your initial design proposals through model making.
Making models is so important because when you make models to scale you can see an exact proportional representation of the space you are designing. This enables you to see if the proposals work. Whereas when you design through sketches you are unable to truly see the work as a spatial solution. Sketches can misrepresent space and give you a false sense of confidence about your designs. Sketch models made to a specific scale will show you the space as it actually is. You can also view the space from many angles and test them in the light. They are the fastest way to progress a design project successfully.
The two major considerations of any design project are how the building will respond to both internal forces, namely the client’s requirements, and to the external forces, the site. Designing a building is a bit like solving a very complex puzzle where all the factors (such as the site, client’s needs, ergonomic requirements, the design generator, the environmental design criteria, etc.) need to be considered equally. As part of the design process each of these factors are held within the mind of the designer who then translates them into forms, planes and spaces which are moved, changed, adjusted and reworked until a solution is reached that works well and satisfy the majority of the criteria outlined in the brief.
As a student, the process of learning the art of designing buildings is for you to create design solutions that respond fully to the brief you are given and for you to present these solutions to your tutors at tutorials to gain feedback. The study of architecture is an ever evolving process of design, feedback from tutors (and other students), redesign, more feedback, more designs and so on. This process of continual progress never really stops, and there is always more that can be done, but at some stage you have to stop and draw up your ideas for review or for the design to actually be built. Even after a building is finally completed and its occupants have moved in, the architects often think of ways they could have improved its design.
The best way to approach a design project is to initially produce a sketch / rough model of your site in cardboard at 1:100. Once you have the sketch site model, you can start making quick sketch models of your initial proposals.
Your design should progress through a series of process models, both in response to the feedback in your tutorials / reviews and from your own insights as your design progresses. Remember to take photographs of the light in your models at different times of the day (both in summer and winter) to test the light in your building – some of these photos need to be included on your process panels (however, please remember to take photographs of the inside of your design not just the outside in order to demonstrate how the light affects the internal spaces).
Monday 23rd February
Using your sketch site model (at 1:100 scale) start making some initial scale models of the external form of the building and how you think it would respond to the characteristics of site: the views, surrounding buildings, roads, etc. This exercise of external form finding does not need to take into account any of the internal spaces but simply will look at the external forms and how they respond to the site. You will need to make a simple model of your clients at 1:100 to enable you to design the external forms of the building in relation to the size of your clients.
The ergonomic analysis is a vital part of the project because it conveys to your tutors and review panel your understanding of your client. A thorough analysis of both your client and your site will help you create a highly relevant and responsive building.
In the Personal Spaces Project you were asked to create an ergonomics analysis panel for one specific person – your artist. In this project your clients are more general and much more varied. As a result, you now have to consider the needs and desires of a wide variety of people.
You can combine the ergonomic analysis with the 24 hour narrative but if you chose to produce a separate ergonomic analysis panel you should start by using your 24 hour narrative to think about the ergonomic implications of each of the activities your clients will perform in your building and in any external landscaped areas surrounding your building. You will need to include wheelchair users in your definition, as each design proposal must have wheelchair access.
For instance, how would you analyse the activity of eating/drinking at a table. First you might start by thinking how many people you would like to sit around a table. Would it be a square or a round table? How large would the table need to be to accommodate 2 or 4 or 6 people? If the table is situated near a wall, what is the distance of the table from the wall to allow a person seated at the table to easily be able to pull back their chair and get up from the table? Also, what would the distance need to be between two tables to enable people to sit comfortably without How large an area (or volume) is needed for four people to eat or drink at a table? How big is the table? How much space is needed between two tables to enable people to sit at the tables, as well as space to get up from the table, etc.?
The purpose of this exercise is for you to create an A2 visual sheet containing detailed 3D drawings of the different types of spaces you will need to include in your proposed building. This is a vital part of your design process because it visually explains the needs of your client. At each stage you will be able to refer back to these detailed drawings, thereby reminding you of each activity you need to include in your final proposal.
The A2 panel needs to contain dimensioned three dimensional sketches of your clients performing each of the activities outlined in your 24 hour client narrative. Everything in the panel needs to be drawn in the same proportions and the sketch needs to be dimensioned (width, depth and height). There is no point creating an image where the people sitting in the chairs are not drawn in proportion to the size of the chair or table, as this wastes your time and can give you a false sense of security (for instance by thinking you can fit 20 people into a space which can only really fit 10, etc.). Remember to draw these activities situated in a room or a space – not floating in mid-air. Compile these sketches to create an Ergonomic Panel with the title of your site and project typology at the top of the panel.
Please note: These images need to be related specifically to the activities of your clients and not a person simply sat down or standing up in the standard pose taken out of any ergonomic text book – this approach will not help you design your building in any way!
Architectural diagrams are a useful way of stimulating and clarifying visual thinking. They can be used at any stage of the design process to explain: site analysis, the design generator, the initial form finding, evolution of the design, the daylight strategies, movement through the building, or anything else that you want to explain about your scheme. They can be very helpful when you are trying to visually describe complex design ideas in a clear and effective way.
The disabled access regulations in the UK are the laws which ensure that all people, no matter what their physical disabilities, will be able to enter all public premises equally. For this project, as an initial preparation for designing buildings that comply with the disabled access regulations in your professional career, you will need to ensure that your project enables wheelchair access to all areas of your building. There will be a lecture on Inclusive Design on Monday 2nd March.
Integrating Taught Modules into your Studio Projects
The purpose of your studio projects is not only to learn how to design a building but also to demonstrate what you have learnt in your taught modules. Architects need to consider each and every factor of environmental sciences, tectonics, humanities etc when designing buildings, because in order for their building to be a success it needs to consider the cultural and architectural context (both historical and current), to ensure the building will stay standing up, that it will it maintain the correct temperature, acoustics, lighting levels needed for the clients requirements at different times of the day and year, as well as being a great place to live/work and look good as well. This is a very complex process and, as Architects in training, you need to demonstrate the insights you have gained in your taught modules when creating your studio projects.
Architecture depends on light. As light reveals the forms of architecture and the places made by it, it simultaneously reveals the meaning and intentions that are released through the process of conceiving, designing and building. These moods should be designed intentionally and not left to chance.
The way of experiencing light as a means of revealing architecture can be split into four thematic areas:
Light Revealing Experience, which focuses on the experiential use of light, both personal and universal, such as Place, Climate, Time and Task;
Light Revealing Form, which focuses on the formal uses of light and how parts of the building reveal themselves in light (Light and Form, Structure, Materials);
Light Revealing Space, which focuses on how spatial ambiguities of light are related with an emphasis on the relationship of the inside to the outside environment (Light and Space, Boundary, Direction, Focus);
Light Revealing Meaning, which focuses on the search for the symbolic meaning of sacred light as related to the mind and spirit (Contemplative, Symbolic, Divine Light).
Each theme/subtheme reveals different approaches to designing light for specific purposes and demonstrates an intricate understanding of the embodiment of light into design. You need to consider these aspects of design and incorporate at least one approach when dealing with light into the design of your building.
Design Process Panels
Your process panels will help visually explain how the design of your building has evolved. It is important to include images of the buildings and design ideas that have inspired you, together with photographs of your process models, sketches (and notes) of your design ideas, process plans, sketches or photos of how the light enters the building, the impact light has on the spaces internally, etc to enable your tutors and review panel to fully understand your design process. Please Note: it is very important that you reference each image in your sketchbooks or panels by including the name of the building / object, the name of the person
or company that designed it and where the building is located in the world.
The Visual Journey
As part of your presentations for Reviews 2 and 3 you will need to create a visual journey through your building. This will take the form of a series of images taken at key stages on this journey as a person approaches, enters, moves through and exits the building. These images need to include exterior views of the building sitting in the context of the site, interior perspective views of the key spaces within the building (expressing materiality and the impact of light in each space), together with diagrams and images that clearly explain your design intentions for your project (either hand-drawn or a photo of the model in a photomontage). For your presentation you need to devise a strategy to explain each of the stages of the design process for your scheme in a clear and concise way.
Project Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes of The Comprehensive Design Project are:
(in response ARB criteria GC1 – The ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements) you will start the process of learning to prepare and present building design projects of diverse scale, complexity, and type in a variety of contexts, using a range of media, and in response to a brief.
(in response ARB criteria GC5 – Understanding of relationship between people and buildings, and between buildings and their environment, and the need to relate buildings and the spaces between them to human needs and scale) you will demonstrate the understanding of the needs and aspirations of building users and the understand of the way in which buildings fit into their local context in your design project.
(in response ARB criteria GA1) you will start the process of demonstrating the ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively.
The aims of The Comprehensive Design Project are:
To learn to analyse the requirements of a specified client.
To understand the relationship between the building and its immediate site – to respond appropriately
to a given site, understanding it as a real context
To develop an understanding of appropriate dimensions related to function and use (ergonomics) and to design an ergonomic and functional space, identifying & synthesizing user’s demands
To explore the appropriate use of materials
To develop design skills (spatial, formal & material integration)
To further develop presentation and graphic abilities and to communicate effectively the design intentions / ideas through models, graphics and verbal presentations.
To design an exciting building / related spaces which respond well to the brief.
This project is marked on:
Your analysis of the site. Does the site you have chosen suit the needs of your client?
The analysis of your client. Have you carefully considered your clients background and needs?
How effective is your design generator. Does it help or hinder your design process?
How well does your design respond to the characteristics of the site and the needs of your client.
How successfully has your design developed through model-making?
The submission of process panels which clearly illustrate both initial ideas and the design as it develops, together with the precedents that have inspired your design.
How well your project responds to the light throughout the day (summer & winter), that this response to light is clearly identified and present throughout the design process and in the final design.
The submission of a complete set of work which clearly and effectively communicates your project.
Accurate and correctly drawn orthographic drawings of your project. Your plans and sections must be drawn and composed on A2 tracing paper, by hand in ink using the correct line weights and include drawing titles, north arrow and scales. These drawings must be present both at the reviews and at the portfolio submission stages.
A2 panels whose presentation and layout are well thought through and easy to understand.
Relationship to General Year Objectives – The Year to Date
The first year is a foundation and qualifying year. At the start of the year, each student had a very different set of skills. Some were good at sketching, technical drawing, or working with computers, while others had never drawn before, or made a model in card or drawn using a computer.
Each of the projects during the year has introduced new ways of thinking and many varied ways of communicating ideas. This project marks the end of the first year, the Foundation stage of the BArch / MEng Courses. The Comprehensive Design Project is the point in the year where you can integrate all that you have learnt from the course so far into the design of a specific building. It is the opportunity for you to produce your best work and to utilise your individual strengths and interests to design a small building in a real context. It is your opportunity to demonstrate you have acquired the necessary skills, methods and knowledge to progress to the second year of your course.