• I was involved in the construction of the Stonehaugh Stargazing Pavilion ran and completed by students with assistance from volunteers from the community. We designed the pavilion in the summer of 2013, find out more about that process here.

    The project started on site in late December 2013 with foundations being dug and laid. Assembly of the frames began in the New Year and the project reached completion in May 2014.

    The pavilion is built using locally sourced larch, which was pre-fabricated off site in the architecture school’s workshop, once on site the frames were assembled and lifted into place. The pavilion is being planted with a sedum roof and, later in the year during the sowing season, a wildflower meadow will be planted.

    Video courtesy of Robert McDougal

    Residents of the village assisted the student group throughout the build period, contributing skills and a great amount of enthusiasm.

    During the project I acted as one of two project managers, being responsible for ordering materials, making design decisions as the project progressed and organising build days.

    The project is now finished and open to the public, and will be hosting several fully booked stargazing events later in the year.

  • This is part of a series from my thesis project set in the Catalan city of Girona.

    An interest fuelled by the visit to Girona and further research conducted on return has led to a great interest on the subject of Catalan independence from Spain. The project proposes a people's parliament for the city in which a hypothetical newly independent Catalonia operates on a system of direct democracy.

    Road to Independence - click to view full size version

    Currently an autonomous region of Spain, Catalonia will be holding a referendum in September 2014 asking its citizens whether they want to become a new independent country. This follows centuries of Spanish rule over the 1000 year old nation during which the Catalan people have had their culture suppressed and powers of governance removed from them whilst being continuously over taxed. This project assumes a move to independence and proposes a parliament for the people of Girona to participate in a new system of Direct Democracy to accompany the new independence.
    Site section - click for larger version

    The forum is designed to encourage healthy debate between participants, encouraging listening and preventing argument. The layout for the forum gives every seat a clear view of the main podium, but allows citizens to split into smaller groupings for smaller debates. In the event of a particularly popular debate, even the Plaça can allow a gathering of standing citizens to participate.

    Approach from Train Station

    The parliament sits at the southern tip of the Barri Vell, the city’s historic centre. It creates a landmark and destination at the meeting point of the city wall, the River Onyar, Rambla de la Llibertat and Carrer de  l’Albereda. Dependent on the occasion, the parliament caters for many possible uses. Some relate to the process of direct democracy whilst others facilitate the everyday activities of the city.

    Exploded Axonometric
    The forum is designed to last for 1000 years and provide a permanent location in the city for citizens to visit and take part in debate. As it is recognised that parts of the building will need to change over the future if the building as a whole is to continue to be used over 1000 years then it is necessary to design the short term elements with deconstruction in mind. 

    1:50 Detailed Section

  • How and Why We Listened: an essay written for to be included in a Testing Ground publication collating the groups experiences and research from the module.

    This essay covers the process of working with the local community to develop the design of the stargazing pavilion from concept through to planning.

    A full copy of my essay is available in PDF format here. The book is yet to be published
  • This is part of a series from my thesis project set in the Catalan city of Girona.
    In October 2013 our thesis studio visited Girona in Catalonia for a week to explore and study the city for our thesis project. The week consisted of an intense schedule of exploration, visits and talks from various people and organisations within the city.
    It also had the outcome of three studies of the city and different scales.


    Sketches from small scale study

    The first was a small scale study of an upmarket furniture shop in the Barri Vell, situated in a renovated building dating back at least five centurys.

    Sketches from medium scale study
    The second study looked at the southern region of the Barri Vell, an area much more domestic than the rest of the touristic old town.

    Section along the River Onyer, for the large scale study (click for larger version)
    Finally the large scale study, taken as part of a pairing with Caroline Brayson, looked at the River Onyer’s route through the city.

    Selected photographs from my visit can be viewed in my Girona Flickr set.
  • This is part of a series from my thesis project set in the Catalan city of Girona.
    Before visiting the city of Girona, we were tasked to create a made piece inspired by a period of the regions history which we had studied. Following research of the 18th century, my piece was inspired by the travels made by the young British upper classes which sometimes passed through Girona.

    Travel case showing map storage under lid and smaller travel case removed

    The piece is a wooden travel case designed with the journey to Girona in mind. The main compartment offers space to hold artefacts acquired during the travels with pockets for storing maps and tickets under the lid. A  hidden compartment in the base opens to at the end to allow the storage of rolled drawing sheets.
    The hidden compartment
    The case is made primarily from orientated strand board which has been finely sanded and polished with multiple layers of natural beeswax to create a smooth texture which is unexpected of OSB. The OSB sheet is set flush within a frame of pine to protect the edges from damage and to hide the flaked end grain of the OSB. Brown leather is used for handles either side and the buckle straps which hold the lid down secure.
    Smaller case and contained sketchbook

  • This project is currently under construction

    Stonehaugh Stargazing Pavilion is a live build project designing
    and constructing a pavilion which celebrates the declaration
    of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park. Working in close
    conjunction with the local community the pavilion was wholly
    designed and constructed by the Linked Research group.

    Section from original competition presentation

    The design of the pavilion was generated from a design competition held within the linked research group by four different teams. The proposal put forward by my team, consisting of myself, Sophie Connor and Jennifer Calvert, had a plan formed of two concentric circles with offset centres formed by a series of timber ribs. This design would go on to be chosen by the community as Stonehaugh to become the design for their Stargazing Pavilion.
    Members of the community discuss the competition proposals
    As part of the intention to encourage engagement with the community, two events were held at the village.
    The first presented the different design proposals from the competition to the village in order to gain their opinions on each design and to determine which design would be developed unto the constructed pavilion.
    The second event displayed this developed design in a greater detail, addressing issues which had been highlighted by the community, this event was used to check for any concerns which could be addressed before the pavilion was submitted to planning.

    Section and Elevation of the developed proposal as submitted for planning permission
    The pavilion was submitted for planning permission to Northumberland National Parks Planning Authority for approval in August 2014.For this, a full planning application was created and submitted including plans, sections, a design & access statements and other supporting documents.
    Planning was approved in October 2013.

    The pavilion is currently being constructed on site

  • This project proposed developing a disused brewery in Wolverhampton into a W.V.O processing plant with facilities to fuel both cars and the local train network. The brewery, known as Springfield Brewery, was home of W. Butler & Co. Ltd. from 1873 when the brewery was built until 1990 when the brewery shut down and was abandoned. Since then the brewery has remained uninhabited. Plans were made to transform it into housing but were discarded when funding was lost. In 2004 a fire was started by arsonists which gutted large areas of the building.

    Analytique: Overlaying brewing process, detail exploration and location map

    Analysis of the building, city and brewing process highlighted the importance of efficiency flows. The city’s industry is built alongside the train lines and canals. The brewery used gravity feeds to move beer from process to process without the need for additional pumping.

    Investigation into the brewing process highlighted interesting parallels to bio-diesel production. Both processes have multiple inputs at different stages to create the end product and also produce by-products which have a commercial use. The proposal of the project developed into creating a facility for processing Waste Vegetable Oils into bio-diesel to power primarily trains, but with surplus going to road vehicles.

    Case studies of various petrol station typologies

    A reading of Marcello Minale’s ‘How To Design A Successful Petrol Station’ highlighted four key factors which all filling station designs take into account. These case studies investigate how three common filling station chains, and two famous examples, deal with these four key factors. A proposal for how the Bio-Diesel plant will resolve these key factors in respect to both road and rail is then made.

    Due to the similarities between brewing and bio-diesel processing it is possible to re-use all the brewing spaces for the bio-diesel equivalent. The spare spaces are used as a rest area for train drivers and facilities for training in energy efficient driving. The existing landmark of the brewtower is utilised as a recognisable point for depositing collected W.V.O.

    Ground floor plan of the proposed
    The proposed canopies have flat form and are relatively light in contrast with the complex and heavy geometries of the existing brewery buildings. This distinction creates a distinct recognition of the location of the filling station to the motorist who seeks refuelling. This recognition is enforced by the fuel tower which anchors the two canopies Sitting taller and wider than the existing chimney it is immediately recognisable from the main roads and forms a new landmark on the site.
    Model showing site massing at 1:500 scale

    As the original brewery had an elegant public façade hiding the industrial inner, the treatment of the canopy types are the same. The public road fuelling station has a canopy with a neat cladding covering up the services with a few exceptions where they peek through. The private train fuelling station, in contrast, has an unclad canopy which exposes all the structure and services that pass through it.
    Section through vehicle refuelling station, refuelling tower and train refuelling platform

    Visualisation of refuelling platform

    Visualisation of processing room

    Detailed section through train refuelling platform

    Section through processing plant and fuel tower

  • As part of my Linked Research module, Testing Ground, myself and sixteen other students helped create a pop-up café made from up-cycled materials. The café was run as part of research into up-cycling being carried out by the engineering department. During its installation in the middle of April the café hosted casual conversations with members of the public about their views of up-cycling everyday waste.

    The café was designed and built by our Linked Research group, in collaboration with engineering department. The majority of the construction  was made from old cardboard delivery boxes collected from supermarkets. Below is the construction method used to create the walls of the café using a modular lattice work of cardboard sections.

    Assembly method for modular cardboard walls

    The café ran for three days and was a huge hit with the public, who generally found the cafe interesting and engaging, with many saying they were inspired to look for ways in which they could up-cycle at home even if it was in smaller scale ways.

    The event allowed the university engineering department to collect valuable insight into peoples view on up-cycling which will be used as part of a submission to gain funding for further research. The project was awarded Best Environmental Initiative at the Newcastle University Environment Awards in 2013. It also gained extensive coverage in local and national media.
    A cardboard stool made from 'up-cycled' cardboard boxes
    An information poster used at the event to explain the assembly of the cardboard stool

    For a full set of the photos of the café, visit my Flickr account.
  • Picture Perfect: Fetishism of the Photograph in Architectural Media, is my essay on the way in which architecture is portrayed in architectural media through the medium of photography.
    The essay explores the 'standard poses' pieces of architecture are photographed in considers how this may change the our perception of the portrayed building.
    If you would like to read the essay in full email me for a copy.