A sawmill for Glenarm

Sadly, the blog has been neglected lately due to the all encompassing final few months of my degree, but now that it’s all over and handed in, I thought I should share my final project! We were tasked with designing a sawmill for the small coastal village of Glenarm, on the Antrim coast. On closer inspection of the forest, I found out that like a lot of woodlands in the UK, its larch trees have been diagnosed with the P.Ramorum disease. A huge amount of the forest will have to be cut down, and so my building became about the larch cull.

I sought to create a very simple, temporary structure for the sawmill, which would quickly and efficiently deal with the diseased trees. Following the felling of the trees, the mill can be removed, as the forest is not large enough for commercial forestry, leaving only its limestone plinth it sat upon.

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The limestone slabs, acid etched with a dendrite motif, will remain as a reminder of the cull, and become an important new place for the people of Glenarm to enjoy the forest. My project was heavily influenced by two books by Robert MacFarlane, “The Old ways”, and “Holloway”, which were recommended by bldg blog, and have become some of my all time favourite books. They helped me begin to appreciate what landscape means to people, and how it shapes our identity, and what it would mean for this forest to become so altered. This helped me try and understand what would be a sympathetic approach to the brief.

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Belfast Bathhouse

So my long blogging hiatus is hopefully over! Last week I had my January portfolio submission of my years work so far, with our main project being a Belfast bathhouse. I thought I would share with you some of my work for it, and hopefully when I get my results in a week or two all will have gone well! (Click each image to enlarge)

Drawing of the site just of Belfasts City Hall 

Sketches of the different approaches one could take to the site
Sketches of the different approaches one could take to the site

labelled floor plans

labelled floor plans 

Long Section through building
Long Section through building 

Hand drawn technical perspective section, highlighting the fabric walls
Hand drawn technical perspective section, highlighting the fabric walls

 

 

 

Site Illustrations

My latest brief in Uni has been to design a new bathhouse for Belfast’s City Centre, and since the project has just begun, a lot of my work so far has been site analysis, eg. examining foot-fall, sun patterns, and surrounding buildings. I haven’t much to share but I thought I’d upload these 1:500 street elevations I have just finished painting! Let me know what you think! (Click on the images to enlarge!!)

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Carving and Building Space

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago ( click here to read) my first university project of 3rd Year was called ‘Carving space’. From a 8x8x10m mass we had to create a beautiful entrance, stairway, and final room. Continuing on from this, we then had a project called ‘Building Space’, were we had to take our designs, take them out of the mass, and apply materiality, surface and substance to the projects, adding layers of detail and technical knowledge. I had my crit on Friday and since it went well I thought I’d share this introductory task with you all!

This first image is of my sketch section for the ‘carving space’ portion of the project, showing mass and light. The corridor and main room are weaved between tall light wells which pierce the top of the mass. These corridors and final room then ‘borrow’ light from the light tunnels, rather than receiving direct light.

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Following this stage, I then had to think about materiality, and taking this space out of the mass.

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My building eventually ended up with these tall brass light wells, which reflect the sunlight down through tiny connections into the main space. Not only do they fill the spaces with a warm orange glow, but they capture sound, changing the acoustics inside into an echoey metallic vibration. The other surfaces are textured concrete with stitching running through them, inspired by the work of Tactility Factory in Belfast.

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I made a video showcasing the way the light travelled through the building at different times of the day, and the tinny sound rain would make as it travelled through the light wells and bounced off the metal, unfortunately I can’t upload it on the blog but let me know what you think and if you would like to continue to see uni updates 🙂

Year 3, Brief 1

So I made it to third year! The end is in sight but the pressure is on! On Monday we received our first introductory brief, the first segment of which is to be submitted this Friday. It is called ‘Carving Space’. We are to imagine we have an 8m x 8m x 10m solid box, and from this mass we are to carve out an entrance, a stair, and a final room. There is no site, no purpose to this building, only the objective to work with mass, light and shadow, to create ‘exquisite’ rooms, focusing of the quality of space. Our only goal is that it needs to be amazing! So in one sense, very easy, in another, enormously hard. When the buildings sole purpose is to create an experience, whether good or bad, design is everything. I immediately remember my visit to Hotel Puerta America, when the sole purpose of each unique floor was to impress.

Here are the first rudimentary sections of my ideas:

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Not quite ‘exquisite’ or ‘amazing’ yet but the more I sketch the more my ideas develop. Since this is only an introductory task, with the scope to do anything I want, I’m thinking I should go more crazy. These photos I took in Madrid maybe are a more appropriate response:

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But with deadline in two days I had better get back to work! I will update you all with my final design when I have made a model and completed to scale plans and sections! Let me know what kind of building you would make if you could carve anything out of a box!!

Hand Drawn versus Photoshop

Just a quick post today! I’m taking a break from making my final model and I thought I’d take some photos of the Masters level work on the floor below me. I absolutely love the first three pictures I’m going to share with you, as they are hand drawn perspectives and sections. The details just look so intricate and well thought out. I’ve always preferred hand drawing as opposed to using AutoCAD or Photoshop for plans and such, and this project highlights how effective and lovely sketching can be.

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These following set of photos are some more Masters work that stood alongside the above project, and although the graphics of this second project are really strong visually, something about the hand drawn project just impresses and inspires me more! The boys in my class disagree, and I’d love to know what you guys think, especially any employers out there! Hand drawn, or Photoshop??

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Final Portfolio of Year 2

Long time no see! Sorry for the lack of posting here but uni has just been so hectic these last few months, and the final deadline of the year is now looming, the 20th of May! But I thought I’d show you guys some textile pieces and model photos of my current project, let me know what you think!

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My 1:500 scale site model

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Site model at sunset

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My very very rough 1:200 model of my building. The pins and thread represent the dye garden and vegetable patches for the horticultural centre we are designing. Hopefully photoshop will help me out!

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A conceptual textile piece of an elevation, looking through the dye garden. These pieces are meant to be very simple and highlight the growing plants as opposed to the buildings themselves.

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This final silk perspective was my first attempt at a textile piece. I really don’t like how cartoony it is, and the shiny cladding is too blingy for me! The cladding is meant to be dichroic glass, as used in Niall Mclaughlins peabody housing project, photos here http://www.niallmclaughlin.com/projects/housing-for-the-peabody-trust-silvertown/

I’m finding it very hard to represent such a complicated and delicate matierial in my own models and plans etc. Let me know what you think so far!