Friday, 18 May 2012

Project 7 - "A Moment of Mystery"

Hello, long time no post.
I finished project 7, my final project of the year on wednesday.
It was a project that I found myself really getting into, as it was our first 'real'/'conventional' assignment as we were actually designing a real life building for a real life client with a legitimate brief.

project brief. For those who are interested in this, the brief is below. It's a tad lengthy, so i'll excuse you for skipping it.
 You are to design an inhabitable structure; i.e., a “thinker’s dwelling”, on your chosen
site, which is to contain the following spaces:
- Gathering / communal room.
- Thinking room.
- Resting room.
- Cleansing room.
- Dining Room.
- Entry / Entries
- Circulation as required.
 The following are strict conditions to incorporate into your thinking for this project:
- Underpinning Schumacher College’s ethos and its work in formal education and
informal environmental awareness is an emphasis on sustainability. Though
sustainability has many definitions, we can understand it as a concern to protect
and enhance present-day conditions of ecological, economical and social
livelihoods while not diminishing their capacity for future generations.
- Further to this, in order to conserve energy and reduce construction costs, all of
the spaces with the project brief are to be part of a single building; a collection
of rooms as separate free-standing structures is NOT permitted.
- In order to conserve energy all proposals have an external envelope that is at
least 50% solid construction (i.e., the walls AND the roof each have to have an
at least 50% solid construction); proposals may NOT have an all-glass external
envelope.
- You are not allowed to cut down any existing mature trees; any existing
saplings (i.e., recently planted trees about the height of a human) may be
removed and replanted elsewhere. If you are unclear about what is a mature
tree and what is a sapling please speak to one of the tutors for clarification.
- The dwelling should be able to accommodate more than 1 person.
- The maximum floor space for the dwelling is 75 sqm.

In short, the brief was to create a 'thinker's dwelling' on one of 4 predetermined sites at schumacher college, Devon. This was to be an ecologically friendly building, which related to its context (surroundings).

The main points of my design were a rediculous maze system to create a real boundary between the private and the public, and the idea of light being restricted to create a dim environment. The latter was in relation to the text I read as part of the design project; "In Praise of Shadows" by Jun'ichirĊ Tanizaki.I read an awful lot on this project, which I feel has only strengthened it. To show this, I wrote a quote on the bottom of each presentation sheet.
Final Presentation sheets

Design process. Apologies for the sideways nature!

Building section showing the way in which the earth is
connected with the building and vice verse.

Perspective drawing 

Completely upside down site analysis. Sorry!

1:100 model showing how the new building is pretty
much invisible, except for the light well.

Approach to building. Black= trees and people.


In my design I endevoured to create a dwelling which posed the least impact, both visually and environmentally, and I think that I managed to do this. The scheme is almost invisible from 3 angles, and the grass roof work as both a new place to walk about and inhabit, and proves to keep the design economically and environmentally viable.

It was stressful, and there is so much more that I wanted to do, but right now I am proud of what I have achieved, even if it does seem like it dragged on.

Just the portfolio to hand in on Wednesday now!

Much Love
Abi