Long Bristol and a Foundation of Ideas for the City Where I Live
This project is a response to the rapid change of the city where I live. In the city, it was observed that there has been a gradual desire to better understand and contribute to the change by the people of the city. By assuming that ideas of the people are the instigators of the change, a Foundation for the Ideas of the City is proposed, suggesting a different time and a place for the ideas of the city.
As the project developed, it was found that to respond to the change of the city, it was important to address how it is imagined by its people. Through an exploration that starts by re-interpreting the city by mapping its ideas, this project questions the coexistence and relationship between the constant construction and re-construction of the real city and the city constructed in our minds.
The Culture Shed
Based on the multicultural identity of the city and the strategies of the Bristol City Council that seeks to promote Bristol as an international city, the project aims to explore how people from different cultural backgrounds can gather and build social relationships together, by showing and expressing different aspects and ideas from their particular cultures.
The proposed building through its design intents to embrace the values of inclusivity and diversity and allow people to show what makes them different. The building proposal also tries to motivate those people to engage in different activities and help the formation of a multicultural community, where everyone can equally inform and express thoughts about society. Architecturally, the building by following principles of High-tech architecture such as flexibility and adaptability and the code of “honesty through expression” achieves to create pleasant and comfortable environments for its users as well as respond perfectly to the industrial atmosphere of the area.
Follow Giorgos Porakos on LinkedIn
Confucius Institute / Paper folding
The scheme for the Confucius Institute in Redcliffe Wharf aims to become a focal point in the area, encouraging social interaction, curiosity and diversity through connecting people from the local and the wider community with handcraft, Chinese Paper Folding in particular.
The art of Chinese paper making and paper folding lies in the heart of the project. It is not only the mail use but also a conceptual driver of the scheme. Key features of paper that were acting as a driving force in the design process are: State of being folded / unfolded - Transient nature - Repetition of form and legibility.
Performing the City Test - Bedminster to The Community Arts Towers:
Development within Bristol is at large, but what does this means for the culture of the city, as independent venues, communities and art organisation are becoming threatened by the demand for new development.
This project explores how architects can act as enablers for these threatened communities by empowering them with systems and processes to encourage them to take back control of the city and combat profit driven development.
Spread over two contested sites, Firstly, a temporary ‘Meanwhile’ project located in a former factory building in Bedminster and then moved to the Wickham Theatre on Park Row as a Community Land Trust.
The project aims to provide temporary and mobile structures which can be moved on to another site and made permanent. The structure is the architecture, providing site and services and allows the users to define their place and infill when and how they desire.
A Tale of two Theatres - Take root or take flight: As the economics of property tightens its grip on Bristol more and more performance venues are forced to close by pressures from new developments and decent, secure housing becomes increasingly unaffordable. But as this formal cultural life declines, we are seeing a rise in the amount of informal and unlicensed performance events and an increase in the amount of people living informally in in vans, caravans and tents. This project explores this dialectic through two very different theatres.
The Holy Theatre defies the commodification of land by becoming part of the landscape. It is built into and out of the Redcliffe caves and is designed to reinvigorate the ceremony of formal theatre.
The Rough Theatre takes flight from the politics of land and ownership. Inspired by the van dwellers of Bristol It is at once a kitchen, social hub and stage for a travelling theatre troupe.
RNLI Rescue Facility: the outside, giving a sense of security and safety. The form parts at the eaves allowing balanced daylight to cascade
within and opens at each end to allow views for the observing and resting rescue team.
The facility houses an emergency treatment room, observation platform, workshop/ vehicle storageand a staff rest area.
The spaces have been programmedto function efficiently during
an emergency situation. The observation platform sits
at the front of the building within the workshop and storage area for quick access. A rapid roller shutter door opens and
allows the team to launch to thebeach via the ramp. Partially offsetfrom the facility; the ramp and pier extend back,
giving direct access to the roadside.
The facility has a strong presence on the 4km long beach at Weston- Super-Mare .The repeating glulam A-frame cradles
the zinc clad prism within. The internally exposed CLT structure extends to a height of 7m, encasing the occupants from
The Basin: Bristol’s Community Climate Hub and Research Centre
Bristol’s Community Climate Hub and Research Centre is a local council funded and run educational hub with a strong focus on climatic and wider environmental issues.
It is dedicated to inspiring, promoting and creating a more conscientious relationship between the community and the environment. The main role of the hub is to act as a flagship building in Bristol’s campaign to become a carbon neutral city by 2030. It will further provide educational opportunities such as lectures, workshops and exhibitions, that will be facilitated by the hub in conjunction with leading climate change experts.
By improving the relationship between the community and the environment, the climate hub will thus create a better understanding and approach to the reduction of carbon emissions within Bristol. With the aim to become a key focal point and in influencing factor in the country’s response to the inevitable changes in our climate.
Aura is a product designed to aid social isolation and improve wellbeing for a diverse set of situations. It helps families fit communication in with busy lifestyles, increasing the importance and value of communication, encouraging us to reach out and talk.
Follow Benjamin Capern on LinkedIn.
View Benjamin’s portfolio here.
Natural Eye is designed with both the well-being of our planet and its users in mind. It is a solution to reduce plastic waste in the cosmetics industry by providing consumers with the means to create sustainable and 100% natural mascara with the home-making kits provided within the service.
Follow Emma Davies on LinkedIn .
View Emma’s portfolio here.
‘Aspire’ is a soft ballet training shoe for beginners to pointe work. The shoe ensures the correct ballet technique of ‘feeling through the shoe’ is established at an early stage of training. To do this the soft shoe comes with three pairs of interchangeable ‘pointes’, so that the dancer can cater their training requirements whilst dancing comfortably and safely.
Follow Olivia Hutchings on LinkedIn.
View Olivia’s portfolio here.
Urban Sprout is designed to empower and support users in their quest to grow indoor houseplants from a very early stage. Utilising a mixture of augmented reality and artificial intelligence, the user receives a tailored kit, delivered to their door.
Welcome to plant parenthood.
View George Littlefield’s portfolio here.
The Glass House, Bristol Confucius Institute of Glass Art and Culture
Art, past and present, varies between cultures. Heritage and local events will shape what is created by natives. Sharing a knowledge of the arts can provide us with a deeper understanding of cultural backgrounds, bringing nations closer together. The Glass House will provide a place for the exchange of culture with a focus on the Chinese arts.
The site of the proposal, the Bristol harbourside, once flourished as a bustling imports and exports hub, for a trade business that is a defining characteristic of the city's success. One of the products manufactured locally was glass. By combining the Confucius Institute with a glass workshop for the teaching and production of glass art, I intended to honour the past industries of Bristol. The teaching of traditional Chinese decorating techniques will integrate China’s rich glass history. The central brick cone is a form taken directly from the historic glass factory chimneys, a feature that once dominated the Bristol sky line.
The scheme houses the mixture of uses under one roof, creating a facility for cultural enrichment.
Female Sports and Rehabilitation Centre
ATTIC Project: The idea behind this project is to design a double glass skin facade system, which allows air to flow inside and through the vertical louvres system. The louvres functions as a solar shading mechanism that rotates during different times of the day. While the double skin facadeuses three adjustable louvres. These are implemented within the glass facade, one at the bottom that allows cool air in, one from the inner leaf which extracts the stale air out from the building's interior spaces and another one at the top of the facade system, which exhausts bothwarm and stale air out into the atmosphere. In addition to the vertical louvre system, this process utilises the stack effect strategy whichcontrols the temperature within the building and provides natural heating and cooling. The rotating louvres also allow the building users the choice of privacy or interaction with the external elements while undertaking their academic studies.
Institute of Contemporary Dance
For the final proposal was designed to be an institute of contemporary dance on Bristol’s Waterfront Square, utilising the harbourside’s scenic views and the neighbouring Millennium Square’s cultural heritage. The institution is proposed to push the creative boundaries of Bristol to a broader extent, therefore, it intends to provide higher education for the elite who wishes to pursue dance in the professional sector, as well as offering beginners’ classes for the children of Bristol.
The scheme is designed to conjure a sensorial journey for the users, embodying a contemporary dance performance with the use of light and materiality that will heighten the users’ senses, thus, elevating their experience and interaction with the building. The form and elements within the building will also evoke continuative movement from the Millennium Square into and around the institute.
Everyday life is a multi-sensory experience and the institute shall strengthen the connection of all the senses.
Recovering From Opiates
Confucius Institutes are traditionally defined as public educational organisations operating in affiliation with the People's Republic of China, with the aim of promoting Chinese language and facilitating cultural exchanges. Confucius Institutes continue to garner negative press surrounding their attachment to universities and are being forced to rethink their approach or close their doors for good.
This project aims to begin to repair Britain and China's scarred relationship, long defined by the opium wars. Bristol and China aim to work together by focusing on a community-based institute, working with those still affected by heroine and opiate addiction. Founded in Confucius' core belief that you are only as good as what you do for your community, this institute aims to create quality recovery and learning space for addicts to reintegrate within the community. The project draws on the Chinese vernacular of courtyards and the connection to nature often explored within healing architecture.
The Porridge Yard
Confucius Institute allies ancient Confucian thought with contemporary teaching practices to help tackle the bourgeoning issue of juvenile probation and rehabilitation. The holistic programme promotes both physical and mental wellbeing, with the building acting as an instrument for learning.
My concept is to redefine how a building can be utilised in education, by providing spaces and facilities that are specifically designed to show students the reality of their chosen profession.
The mud dock site is a car park located on the riverside in Redcliffe with a beautiful view. My aim was to design a building that utilises the whole site for a mixed-use scheme as well as the main culinary educational facility.
Greatly inspired by the book Life between Buildings by Jan Gehl, I explore the cube form and experimented with the various shapes, surfaces and levels one can gain by using many cubes. I believe this multi-levelled scheme where work, leisure and learning are intertwined, is a forward-thinking way of how the communities of tomorrow can grow and thrive.
Mechanical Circus Theatre
The Mechanical Circus Theatre provides an affordable and flexible facility with technical and physical standards for circus performing activities. It has committed to offering something innovative, transformative and engaging in the heart of Bristol. It explores the manipulation through the theories, themes and different zones established on Fun Palace by Littlewood and Price. These being:
University of the streets
The overarching scheme of the Mechanical Circus Theatre is to develop a centre for ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, entertainment and education that welcomes people of all ages and social classes.
Architecture of Transience
The ‘mechanical’ representation of the Circus was not only an aesthetic treatment but the basis of its form; its structural armature executes the interactive and fluid programme.
Laboratory of Fun
Provoking the hedonistic joys of utilising the circus building into endless possibilities by incorporating three different zones: pulsating, imploding and exploding.
Cybernetics makes the Circus’ facades that respond to external environments. These elements transform the building into a performing living creature. It creates an ‘accidental spectating’ which draws in public and creates a spirit to the surrounding site, specifically the Millennium Square.
The Tea Factory
The Tea Factory is a social enterprise which combines light industry with vocational learning opportunities to create a mixed-use site, outputting tea-based products provide jobs at all skill levels with the intention of uniting the polarised neighbourhood of Redcliffe around social principles inspired by the philosopher Confucius.
Situated on Redcliffe Wharf, the building responds to its context by using the historic land formation and its namesake of the red cliffs to generate a form that blends into its landscape. Using “Gonshi”, the study of rock formations which display characteristics denoting beauty and balance in Chinese culture, the building’s rocky exterior undulates across the site, pausing to allow glimpses into a softer tectonic found internally. An integrated technical strategy sees services and heating and cooling solutions sandwiched between the primary and secondary structural components, allowing great flexibility with maintenance and future alterations.
Death in the Healthy City:
Through our master-plan, the urban unit developed key principles about health and the city. Health was measured across Physical, Social and Mental, all of which were addressed and focused on, in what we believed a healthy city could be. In my personal project, I choose to focus on the social and mental health of the city, in regards to examining our unhealthy relationship with death. Death in our current society is seen as a taboo subject, it is something to be feared or ignored. This has been reflected in the architecture created for death, they are buildings of reserve or platitudes. I wanted to challenge this idea within my design, to develop a place of mourning and grief, but also of closure and memory. Inspired by other cultures approach to death, meditative architecture and research into what makes us healthy. Death in the Healthy City.
Confucius Culinary Arts Institute
The Confucius Culinary Arts Institute aims to break the norm of the standard model of Confucius institutes that are generally rooted within already established educational systems of universities, colleges and schools. This is achieved through having a public focused programme of the building through a street food market and restaurant that celebrates the diverse range, of both forms and regions, of Chinese cuisine. The market aims to act as a catalyst, bringing vitality to this area of the harbour and forming as a node that extends the already vibrant bar and restaurant scene of the floating harbour. This will complement the educational programme of the institute that specialises in the Chinese Culinary arts, serving as a hub at many levels from producing qualified Chinese chefs to the enthusiasts that want to immerse themselves more into Chinese food culture.
As a whole the project aims to achieve the fundamental goal of Confucius institutes of promoting Chinese culture and learning but to the wider society rather than a focused audience, typically found within existing institutes.
Bristol Confucius Institute for Pottery
As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, our relationship with other countries becomes more important, particularly to those with a global outreach and influence such as China. The building proposal is a Confucius Institute which aims to aid in the UK’s relationship to China which is important for trade.
The institute provides space for the teaching of the Chinese language and sharing of Chinese culture, as well as a pottery. The design of the pottery aims to connect the resident potters to nature; an important inspiration in Chinese arts.
Confucius Institute and Gastronomic Centre
Confucian philosophy is deeply reflected in Chinese food culture. Combining a Confucius institute with a gastronomic centre in Bristol creates a great way to celebrate this while bringing people together through the common love for food. The site will give visitors the opportunity to experience a journey with food. This begins with the small city farm where people can engage in the process of growing food, the food market hall then gives visitors the opportunity to buy good quality local food products, cooking classes are available to teach visitors what can be made from those foods, and finally a restaurant is on-site to provide visitors with a great dining experience.
The building itself is designed around a large Chinese garden that leads down to the waterfront inspiring a new green space. The biophilic design ties together with Confucian philosophy to create a healthy community space for all people to enjoy while simultaneously promoting Chinese culture.
Within the scenario of this project a ‘No deal’ Brexit has taken place, leaving the UK in a dystopian condition. The project looks at using Sir Thomas More’s Book Utopia written in 1551 as the manuscript for a new age of society within a dystopian post apoca-Brexit UK. More’s Utopia provides the brief for the spaces that are needed for the society to function, these include education, the common hall, market/item store and workshops.
The pure and simplistic nature of society is where the language of the architecture has been found. The materiality of the project and the poetics of the tectonic aim to portray these emotions and beliefs through a simple pallet with traditional connections aim to mirror the function and monastic lifestyle of the society into the architecture.
The Imperfect Solid
The scheme is situated in the heart of the city of Bristol. The building is designed as an addition to the variety of cultural venues around the city. The aim was to add a place with a different character rather than overpower already established venues in the area. It provides a platform for artists and performers of traditional, physical and circus theatre to unite and produce a different and unique type of performance which does not have a home in Bristol yet.
The key drivers of the design are breaking boundaries between a performer and a visitor, merging routes, interaction and contrast. All decisions made based on these points have been directed by the relationship between users and their experience.
Follow Jakub Raspl on LinkedIn
The ‘Design Hive’ Building is a statement to how architecture is perceived from the perspective of the different disciplines within the design community. The external appearance of the building is a bold statement of architecture in its striking aesthetic and message of how the hex-panel system is symbolic of a community working in collaborative harmony, much like a hive. Once inside, the panellised system reveals its resolution through careful design and engineering of a bracket system that can support great load and is flexible to the requirements of its application. The exposed services and structure reveal how the bare bones of architecture form and fit together, offering a teaching tool for those that occupy the building, as it is a school of architectural design in the broadest sense.
ATTIC Project: The final Studio project of the course required us to design a new building inthe vacant plot adjacent to the Architecture Centre in the centre of Bristol.The Architecture Technology Teaching & Information Centre, or ATTIC, is anextension of the existing Architecture Centre providing a variety of spacesfor students, staff and the public. The primary focus of this project howeverwas to develop a façade strategy that is visually appealing, in addition to providing a response to environmental factors including ventilation and solar gain.
I initially took an approach that celebrated the area’s industrial past bypredominantly using stone. However, to provide contrast and a more visually pleasing aesthetic, an extensive amount of glazing and timber was also used. The timber louvre panels and North-facing window surrounds were designed to decrease unwanted solar gain and to add depth and an aspect of disorder to the exterior of the building.
Made in Salisbury: The scenario sees a Salisbury born, internationally respected hi-fi manufacturer with humble beginnings return to its roots on Salt Lane where it all began. The aim, to become the go to destination for audiophiles around the world.
Hi-fi is defined as the high quality reproduction of sound- to hear it as the artist intended it to be heard. This mecca for music lovers will shelter the entire spectrum from when music is written to the moment sound enters the listeners ears. In theory, this will ensure the quality is retained throughout the process something fundamental in the mechanics of hi-fi manufacturing.
The world we live in is becoming increasingly noisy, finding time to contemplate and shut off is becoming a rarity. My architectural response seeks to adopt a design approach that creates moments for contemplation and the creation of solitude within an urban landscape.
Grain of Sand: This project is set in the fishing city of Chilaw, Sri Lanka. The coastline is historically famous for its oyster pearls. Due to overfishing during the Dutch and British occupation, the oyster population has been decimated.
A Grain of Sand looks at how a lost industry can be reintroduced to provide a new revenue stream for the local community. The project is a systematic framework that allows the local community to take ownership. The framework provides the essential services whilst the community occupies the space.
1. The council builds a bridge to reconnect the fishing village to the rest of the city.
2. Pearl farming towers grow up around the bridge.
3. As the pear industry grows small temporary markets appear on the bridge.
4. The farmers organise a Pearl Framing Guild and the markets become a permanent feature on the bridge.
5. This new lagoon village grows up to become the pearl capital of Sri Lanka.
Nature Unification is an organic model for healthcare which has the intentions to improve the physical, social and mental health of the community by implementing natural health treatment and integrating mind, body, building and nature to create an ecological whole. The facility provides a multi-functional programme including a GP practice and spa facilities to create a revolutionary approach to health and wellness. The partnership will promote natural healing which is fundamental to those who suffer particularly with mental health issues. The holistic intervention proactively integrates better prospects of health into the design, by using an organic architectural approach which immerses the user in a landscaped environment. The integration of theories biophilia and minimalism, strives to unify space, interiors and exteriors to create a harmonic built environment not separate or dominant from nature, but as a unified whole.
Field Study Trip – Paris ATD 3
In January 2019, the ATD final year cohort visited Paris for three days in the freezing snow and winter sunshine. They reviewed a number of case study buildings in preparation for the final studio project. Each day included visits to a number of modern and refurbished buildings, investigating various approaches to building “facade” design and architectural technologies.
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Bristol, UK student exchange
We have a wonderful partnership with the City school of Architecture (CSA) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For the first time this year, Students from the Master of Architecture programme had an amazing opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka in November 2018 and work with our partner students on the Masters programme in Colombo, and in return we hosted students from the CSA at UWE in January 2019. This education exchange is a new addition to the existing partnership between the CSA and UWE. The exchange began with an intensive 6 day collaborative workshop November. This phase of the exchange culminated in presentations to Colombo city architects to discuss future masterplanning ideas for the small coastal city of Chillaw. It was a wonderful experience for our students to really get to know a very different cultural setting and therefore prepare them for work in a multicultural context. Proposals included a pearl farm, performance venues and the replanting of Mangroves. Students Theo Scaramanga, Helen Beresford, Oliver Berry, Anupa Puri, William Hicks, Alexandra Wye, Matthew Cox, Chloe Allen and Matthew Tseu were wonderful ambassadors for UWE and helped to make the exchange a great success.
The return workshop visit in January to a cold UK was designed in collaboration with the UWE students to build on the experiences in Sri Lanka. We were keen to introduce an element of hands-on-making to the process. This workshop then asked students to work in groups to design and build performance stands and/or market stalls using waste materials upcycled from UWE’s waste recycling hub. We then travelled to the market town of Stroud to explore how these might work in the reality of a market town. We even managed to arrange snow for them on their last day! We are looking forward to continuing the exchange next year. Many thanks to our Hosts at CSA.