‘Architecture as socially and environmentally responsible art’
The Master of Architecture programme aims to educate critically engaged architectural professionals with an ethically responsible attitude towards society, clients, users, and the environment. This is realised through a community-based activist approach exemplified in the first year through an emphasis on live projects. The live project work this year established student work in connection with a wide variety of local and regional partners, including: The Creative Youth Network, Little mead Primary School, Shape Our City, Bristol Civic Society, Frome town council, Coleford Regeneration, Avon Wildlife Trust, The parks Forum, Brislington Green trail.
(for more see: http://www.hands-on-bristol.co.uk) and the later chapter on Live Projects. This very ‘real’ engagement was followed by a more in-depth development of the live projects or a more typical studio-based project, which asked students to explore architecture through one of three projects exploring: Live projects continued with Sally Daniels; A Forest Guild with Scott Hills; Bristol Rising: Myths, Follies and Shadows with Sophia Banou and Matthew Hynam.
In the second year students are able choose between three specialist studios exploring: socially driven architecture with Tonia Carless and Rachel Sara; conservation/creative re-use with John Comparelli; and healthy urbanism with Louis Rice. These studios allow students to work in small groups to generate collective knowledge through their individual thesis design projects.
This design work is strongly connected to professional practice modules in first and second year, which begin to prepare students for the Part III course, as well as Cultural Context modules, which help students to establish a theoretical and cultural understanding for their work.
The Architectural Representation and Modeling module and the Design Research module prompt students to develop work to be communicated through two exhibitions (See examples of the work exhibited in the Design Research chapter). This year we held the fifth annual Design Research symposium to launch the exhibition.
The following pages represent a sample of work from each of the graduating specialist studios.
Dr Rachel Sara, Master of Architecture Programme Leader
Primitive Futures: The proposal seeks to move beyond the science and technology fetish present in today’s society, by proposing a farm, process buildings and market in the flood plain intersecting the centre of Salisbury. This way an existing natural process can be augmented to generate a place bound design, contributing toward the development of Salisbury’s vernacular.
Lisboa, Palacio Divertido:
01. A conceptual collage which explores atmosphere, activity and articulation of space amongst existing ruins, forming a 'stage set' for performance.
02. A long section through the site, whereby the proposal is read as a series of cascades responding to the context.
03. This external axonometric presents the proposal as a cohesive entity that is integrated into the landscape of the Alfama district .
Gates of Olisipo: Re-establishing the lost connection between two historic neighbourhoods of Lisbon through the revival of the old housing estate.
Sao Jorge Cable Car Station: In the past decade, the number of tourists coming into the Portuguese capital has increased exponentially. Although this is proving financial benefits to the local economy, it is also developing new stresses on Lisbon’s public transportation systems. In particular, with the main tourist attraction located atop the Colina de Sao Jorge, this entire zone has been subject to congestion and overcapacity.
01. View down main arcade
02. Entrance to Thermal Baths and Spa
Centro comunitário de Lisboa
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.
The Brew-House: 01. Internal Visual showing the Public walkway through the building. 02. Ground Floor Plan showing relationship with its historic site (1880s) 03. Cross Sections Showing Public walkway (Right), Bar/Cafe (Top) and Brewing Zone. 04. Long Sections showing the liniar relationship between Brewing and the Public.
Salt Lane Centre for Wellbeing
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.
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.
The project aims at experimenting a conversation between the city and the theatre using the concept of promenade.
The Courtyard Market Theatre: The Courtyard Market Theatre is about introducing theatre as a new layer to St.Mary-le-Port's historical role as the centre for commerce and market. The project aims to allow both market and theatre communities to perform within Bristol's old city. Through re-inhabiting and integrating St.Mary-le-Port church as part of the design proposal, the Courtyard Market Theatre aims to encourage people to look at the city as an `urban scene' where the `urban drama' flows from inside the building to the outside. (Mumford, 1937).
The project is developed by layering of performances, and by looking at theories of space and time as well as past and present, to create an authentic architecture to help St.Mary-le-Port to become the rightful heart of Bristol City again.
Lighting the Performance:
01. Initial site analysis model within a 'viewing box' which restricts views across the site and controls lhe level of light.
02. Interior model of the main stairs up through the building that over looks the proposed theatre.
03. Interior model of the top floor public bar and the key connection space into the existing Wickham lhealre.
04. Conceptual images representing how J imagined light to spill out of the existing building onto the busy pathway outside. It also suggests some of the activities that would be happening in the new proposal.
The theatre of light
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.
The Thoroughfare Stair
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.
Community hub that consists of communal, recovery, learning and socializing spaces to promote health and well-being. It also creates a feeling of belonging within a family.
The aim of this project is for togetherness where people, activities and values are weaved together and support each other. It encourages the community to meet, interact, share and exchange experiences, knowledge, values and more.
The Old Market Broadcasting Centre:
The Tea House:
Old Market Language Exchange:
This project explores how architecture can encourage communication and integration of different social and ethnic groups, in order to foster greater social cohesion and a multilingual and culturally diverse society.
The proposal provides facilities to celebrate and learn about Bristol’s rich cultural heritage and diversity, including an exhibition space, community gathering spaces, community kitchen and activity spaces.
The different languages will be celebrated through the use of language symbols manifesting themselves in perforated panels throughout the interior and exterior of the building.
Receptive Space i Theatre + Market Hall:
The two main programmes of this project consists of a flexible theatre and a food market. The vastly contrasting nature of both these programmes seek to complement one another. The nature of a space in which a market is located in is temporary, it appears in the day and disappears at night. The theatre provides an opportunity to fill in the gaps of usage to allow the site to be utilized throughout the day and night.
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.
Wade community academy: