Natural Metaphors- long-listed by AMC Redevelopment Board
Built in the 1980s, the Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC) in Amsterdam is the largest building in the Netherlands and currently swallows up 75GWh of energy. It costs a fortune to run, and desperately needs an updated facade. The proposal considers how a flexible climate strategy can adapt to provide sun shading as required, vastly improve passive ventilation in summer, and recoup energy through introduction of ERV systems in winter. Additionally, solar panels arrayed in horizontal bands reinterpret the original horizontal aesthetic of the current facade.
Sun shading system offset from building allows views out to be uninterrupted while providing attractive dappled light inside.
Disassembly, Assembly, Structural and Climatic concepts
Smart corten sun shades adopt a naturalistic pattern to create attractive dappled light. They can be raised or lowered to match the altitude of the sun. Since they only shield the windows, the solar panels receive uninterrupted solar radiation for electricity generation.
Punctures in the technical floors facilitate improved passive ventilation in summer.
Retractable doors on the technical floors facilitate passive summer ventilation.
1-20 detail model
The model explores the layered construction required to build up the new facade, and the movable sun shading system was prototyped with a counterbalance mechanism.
Early external visualisation
Summer day climate concept
Summer night climate concept
Animal Physiological Control as a starting point for design
Building Physiological Control, inspired by animal systems
Existing condition (cold bridging, poor/ no insulation, windows inoperable)
Remove everything except basic structure?
Inhabiting a Ruin- Winner of 2016 Charles McKean Memorial Prize
This 4th (Final) Year project was completed in collaboration with my good friends Jon Allcock and Lucy Allen. The project sought to breathe new life into the ruined Preston Tower, which had once formed the heart of a community built around craft and cottage industries. The project thus envisages the formation of a new such industrial story- a craft glass workshop that augments the carved stereotomic language of the stone. A corten path guides visitors along this journey, becoming at times the WALL, a GANTRY, a CANOPY, or a STAIRCASE. Tectonics thus unites and details the journey through both the workshop and the inhabitation of the ruin.
The Hot Workshop
The Corten Steel walkway cuts 'floats' through the hot glass workshop to provide a viewing gallery onto the space. Lighting is strictly controlled to focus attention on the workspace, and in particular the kilns.
The long section emphasises the delicate rise and fall of the proposal, and the transition in experience in the journey from the glass-works to the exhibition and viewing galleries.
Looking North from the base of Preston Tower
Controlling light in the hot workshop
Detailing the corten walkway as an object
Plan of the workshops
Section through the workshops
A guiding corten path on the experiential journey through the Glass-works
Looking South from the gardens
The popular treasure-hunting app provided a strategy for reconnecting to industrial heritage. The new glassworks acts as a base from which to run the geocache boxes which players search for. The tower itself is the final part of Prestonpans’ geocaching network.
Preston Tower- the final 'Geo-cache'
Flow through the Glassworks
The project offers 3 ways of interacting with the project, each tailored for different users. An experiential journey for visitors allows them to interact with the new industrial story; a cafe and exhibition space serves as a gathering space within the community; the gardens are sufficiently preserved as to allow the dog walkers to continue using it.
Underpinning the Tower
Excavation beneath the tower is to be completed in stages, using temporary props (both vertical and horizontal) to support the Tower during excavation. Reinforcement bars are then tied into place, and in-situ concrete is poured in stages to provide permanent support.
Looking up at Preston Tower
Reinhabiting the spiral staircases
Supporting Walkways and Suspending Exhibitions
Existing gaps in the tower (between chimneys and through windows openings) used for carrying the loads of the external exhibition, and to support the glass viewing platform.
View from the external walkway back across the scheme
Civilian Memorial in Tripoli
This 3rd Year project envisages the erection of architectural tributes to civilian casualties in specific conflicts, choosing to focus on the very recent Libyan Civil War of 2011. One of the greatest losses of civilian life involved the sinking of refugee ships fleeing for the Italian island of Lampedusa from Tripoli, accounting for around 1400 civilian deaths. The project aims to provide a sacred place for remembrance, prayer and closure on an imagined site in Tripoli.
Memorialising the dead
Cast in iron into a concrete plinth, the names of the dead are allowed to rust in the saltwater environment- literally staining the Libyan ground with the memory of those lost.
The drawing reveals the transition from the shelter of the city to the framed enclosure of the opening stages of the project. Such protection then degrades into complete exposure where the names of the dead lie submerged beneath the sea- cast into the concrete in iron and allowed to rust and literally stain the Libyan ground.
Looking back towards Tripoli
Viewed from the air, the memorial projects out into the Mediterranean towards the intended destination of the refugee ships. The transition from the security of the land to the exposure of the sea aims to evoke something of the fear the victims faced.
Using the familiar arched steel forms employed throughout the rest of the project, the prayer room exhibits how these forms can be used in a protecting manner. This highlights how perception is the key factor which perpetuates mourning, inviting the victims' relatives to consider aspire to closure while continuing to remember.
Thresholds of spatial experience
This exploded isometric picks out the changes spatial experience- from initial enclosure, to void, to exposure and a sudden change of direction. From exposure to heightened exposure, and finally to quiet shelter within a terminal prayer space which aligns east towards Mecca
A glimpse of Secular Salvation
As the visitor enters the scheme, they are provided with a glimpse out towards the intended destination of the fleeing refugee ships- the Italian Island of Lampedusa.
Transitioning to total exposure
After the shelter of the entrance space, the project opens up as it enters the Mediterranean sea, exposing the visitor to the wind, spray and sounds of the ocean where the names of the dead are revealed to them.
Lighting study for the prayer space
This study considered how the steel grille could be used to dissect light delicately, where previously this element had been used to expose the visitor to the power of the sea.
The journey to prayer through remembrance
The plan illustrates how the visitor moves from the shelter of the city to the early shelter of the project which orientates towards the intended destination of the refugees. The route then sharply and unexpectedly breaks left to reveal the names of the dead, before guiding the visitor on towards prayer and a re-orientation towards Mecca.
The exposed steel walkway
To their left lies the sea, while to the right is a steel grille enhances the feeling of complete exposure.
Earlier lighting study for Prayer space
This study considered how light could be directed from the direction of Mecca in the Prayer room
Explorations in Form
This 3rd Year study project began by considering gravity as a form finder. Initial explorations with suspended models were gradually inverted to generate canopied space. Final explorations considered a transitional route through exposed 'unfinished' form-work to enclosed, 'finished' architecture.
Transition from framed exposure to canopied enclosure
The scheme transports the visitor through a journey from exposure to enclosure. Initially, the views are restricted by the forests of columns, before giving way to greater clarity within the enclosing canopy of shells
The journey through the structure begins in a forest of columns which support the 'unfinished' 'form-work' above.
The initial exposure gradually gives way to sheltering enclosure which simultaneously allows views out from the scheme.
Experiments in framed form
Grasshopper programming-based experiments explored the creation of a variety of fluid forms which could be used as form-work.
Aspirational Sketch Development
Transition between exposure and enclosure, ultimately realised through thresholds between 'unfinished' formwork which gradually morphs into 'finished' canopy.
The Hyperbolic Paraboloid
Manipulating a two dimensional grid to generate a 3 dimensional hyperbolic parabollid.
From form-work to shell
Hyperbolic paraboloid constructed from straight lines which then become a form-work for the casting of a shell over this frame.
Lightness of enclosure
With minimal points of contact and the capacity for an incredibly thin shell, the hyperbolic paraboloid overs incredible lightness of enclosure.
Suspended analysis of the Capilla de Santa Monica
Felix Candela's Capilla de Santa Monica employs a system of radial, paired hyperbolic paraboloids supported on an off-centred column.
Loading onto the off-centred column
The edges of the hyperbolic paraboloids for the whole Capilla come to rest on this off-centred column which transmits all loads to the ground.
Public Library in Madrid
For this second year project I designed a Library in Madrid, and aimed to use the new proposal to draw an existing, but isolated housing block into the urban fabric. This was ultimately attempted through a geometrical alignment between the housing block and a crucial transport node, and by introducing a toy library within the project to help attract the large numbers of families within the block to engage with the project. The book stacks were located below ground so that the superstructure (including reading rooms and a cafe) was literally built on the books. This area served to unify the space and connect different components of the library.
The Childrens' Library
This perspectival section cuts through the reading space and exterior water feature. This part of the project aims to encourage young families into the scheme, and the adjacent toy library caters to the youngest children.
Section through the communication tower
The cylindrical tower within an otherwise orthogonal layout anchors the project to the adjacent transport node, and serves to connect the ground level to the subterranean bookstacks, as well as offering relaxed reading spaces in its upper level.
This Section picks out the subterranean book stacks which tie the apparently separate components of the library together. This strategic locating of the book stacks below ground also allows for better control of light levels and climate, to better preserve the books.
The Subterranean Bookstacks
Steel I-beams support the components of the project located above ground, and the spaces between these structural elements house the book stacks. Thus, the layout of the books directly mirrors the plan of the spaces above them, and so the design appears to grow out of the books as one climbs the ramps to the reading spaces located above ground.
The Subterranean Bookstacks
This detailed view highlights how the book stacks fit snugly between the structural steel I-columns which support the above ground components of the project.
Spatial Organisation Concept Model
The concept model marks a programmatic divide in the project- the acrylic components mark the spaces related to reading which have connections across all three floors. The wooden components pick out the more social spaces which are all readily accessible at ground level, and which lie nearest to the previously isolated housing block.
The reception space rests within the cylindrical tower, while a helical ramp leads visitors either down to the book stacks or up to a relaxed reading space with novels and magazines on offer.
A multi-level library
This perspectival section well displays how the subterranean book stacks connect via ramps to the ground level reading spaces. The strips of program (and intervening void spaces) located at ground level align with a crucial road junction in one direction; and the isolated residential tower seen at the rear left of the image.
Construction Section through a reading space
This more detailed section picks out the structural systems employed to support the design: with I-columns between the subterranean book stacks supporting the masonry structure above ground. Concrete ramps serve to connect the spaces.
Ground Floor Plan
This plan highlights how at ground level the project consists of a number of apparently separate blocks. but slivers of plate glass betray the subterranean structure containing the book stacks which lies below.
A Public Library
This sectional cut highlights how the strips of program open a conversation between the rather secluded tower and the library, inviting the residents into the city.
Between the floors
Opaque glass plates throughout the project allow controlled light to filter down to the subterranean levels, visually reconnecting the reading spaces, cafe and book stacks. These opaque floor plates are intended to be traversed to better acquaint the visitor with the multi layering of the project.
Section Model through a reading space
This model highlights the structural principle employed in the library design, with subterranean I-columns supporting the above ground ensemble which houses reading spaces.
The Roof Terrace
Located directly above the reading rooms, the roof terraces allow visitors to take their books up to read in the fresh air should they desire.
This drawing demonstrates how the design is built up over a number of layers of program, with the subterranean book stacks located beneath the majority of functions at ground level, with exterior terraces and a relaxed reading room located at first floor level. Connections between these components are made through accessible ramps.
Early Developmental Model
At this stage in the development, the proposal was looking to dramatically connect the transport node and housing block through large monolithic strips of program.
Early Development Model
At this stage, the reading spaces were located below ground and between these monolithic blocks which housed the book stacks. These intervening 'voids' of reading spaces were to be enclosed by a steel and glass framing system.
Early Development Model
This view from the street picks up the gradual escalation in height of the project as it climbs upwards and narrows. However, the blocks are not actually aligned on a centre, so this view is achieved as one moves towards the junction which then picks out the alignment of the strips of program with the junction and the residential tower block.
Early 'Contextless' Prototype
Initial stages of the design process involved proposing a library without any site context as a theoretical excercise. The prototype wrapped the glass backed book stacks around a central social space. Thus, from the social space would be cloaked by walls of books. Cuts running right through the structure allow light to travel through the prototype.
Early 'Contextless' Prototype
With its origins in the catenary curves produced by suspending string, this prototype looked at locating the books between these structural ribs and locating the reading spaces above.
Early 'Contextless' Prototype
This view displays the reading spaces located on suspended planes within the structural ribs. At ground level, the spaces between these ribs would house the books.
Mixed Housing Project in Glasgow
This second year project was to design a mixed housing block within a post industrial community in East End Glasgow, with around ten different apartment types to cater for different needs. This post industrial landscape was definitely in need of positive change, which it was hoped the Commonwealth Games 2014 would help generate. Taking influences from the Sir William Arrol & Co. steel works which were once located on the very same street as the project, the design aimed to refer back to the heyday of the area when this company built such landmark structures as the Forth Rail Bridge.
From Baltic Street
From the street side, the window panels are rather regularly orientated, serving to compliment the crisp lines of the steel circulation core.
Section through family housing units
This section shows the central void running through the heart of the family units, which connects the two floors of each apartment and strives to turn the hall and stairway into a social space within these family dwelling.
Night View from Baltic Street
Lit up at night, the large steel forms of the circulation core seem to grow out of the ground and tie the different components of the design together and into the Dalmarnock Community. Behind the residential units is preserved one of the last public green spaces within Dalmarnock.
The axonometric views the design from the small green space, where the irregular strip pattern of the glazed units aims to reflect the trees which lie in front.
This section through the four bed flats begins to illustrate how the stairway and hall space leading on to the balcony can be used as a communal place, but with different subsidiary spaces.
Master Bedroom in the four bed apartment
This subdividing of space is also employed within the master bedroom, with panels marking a threshold within the space, allowing subtle moments of increased privacy.
This model depicts the private spaces (apartments) as inaccessible blocks, while the shared public walkways are depicted as accessible floor plates to be shared and enjoyed.
The Communal Terrace
The upper level of the design incorporates a shared terrace which provides panoramic views back into the city and can be used for large social functions should the residents desire so.
Long Section through shared spaces
This section cuts through the terrace, communal circulation core, and studio flats. It illustrates the large expanse of shared open space at the roof of the project, which may be used for community gatherings.
From the air
Elevation from Baltic Street
Early Circulation Concept Model
This model lays out the circulation core amidst a series of stacked floor plates, the theory being that an open air, communal circulation space provides an opportunity for meeting and sharing without the negativity associated with dark, windowless communal stairwells.
Urban Timber Bridge
This Technology group project required us to design a timber bridge for Grassmarket Street in Edinburgh. Using a traditional post and beam structure, the timber bridge spanned the Grassmarket to re-connect the remains of the medieval town walls. The bridge was considered as an approach to the castle, and so we wanted it to appear to climb visually towards the old fortress. We re-imagined the crenelations of the old wall, opting for a system of irregular vertical elements which would make up the balustrade. These gradually climbed up towards the castle while alternating in height and parting in places to offer and deny views onto the Grassmarket at different points along the bridge- much like the original battlements which the bridge was to replace.
Walking across the bridge
Walking within the bridge offers a constantly changing view of the Grassmarket- particularly as the slats increase in height nearer the castle as a visual escalation to this historic monument.
View from Edinburgh Castle
Winding its way across the Grassmarket, the proposal is intended to reconnect the disjointed elements of the medieval town wall to allow a more continuous walkway for pedestrians as well as offering a tribute to the city's history.
Night view from the Grassmarket
With numerous street lights on the Grassmarket, the irregular slats create a jagged silhouette against the sky, referencing the battlements of the old wall.
House for a Dressmaker
This first year project proposed a house for a dressmaker abutting a tenement on one side, but book-ending the street on the other. The project aimed to express the occupation of the owner through a stitching of paneled cladding elements, and delimits the shop space on the ground story using fabric-formed concrete panels.
Exploded Isometric of Component Assembly
This isometric highlights the various structural systems employed in the house- with an emphasis on 'architectural stitching'. This notably includes the connecting of the zinc panels to the frame. In addition, the lower shop story employs a fabric cast concrete panel language, marking out the public space and its function as a dressmaker's.
The sections highlight the long openings and light-wells created both horizontally and vertically within the project, including a central feature void for hanging fabric samples.
Sectional Model through the street
This model locates the project within its surrounding context, highlighting the emphasis on glazing towards the street as is common-place in the area and the height precedent of the surrounding tenements.
These drawings highlight the projects important position as a book-end for a tenement block. The design takes its precedent for height from the the neighbouring tenements, but nevertheless endeavours to mark the end of this older development.
Site Plan and Section
This drawing picks out the projects location within a side street, highlighting its location at the end of a tenement block and adjacent to a private garden.
The workshop and retail space for the client occupies the lower story, while the upper level contains the private family space. An unusual angle in the plan of the site is taken up within the staircase and void to allow orthogonal planning throughout the rest of the spaces.
Spatial Organisation Concept Model
A service and circulation zone against this shared wall acts a noise buffer between the design and the neighbouring house.