Stonehaugh is a small village within the Kielder forest, about an hours drive North West from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Kielder area is likely to be granted a Dark Sky Park in October, so to celebrate this our Linked Research group will be working with Kielder Art & Architecture to design and build a Star Gazing Shelter in Stonehaugh Village.This is a live project, so will continue to develop. Check back occasionally or follow me on Twitter @archiwelch for updates.
We recently took various proposals up to the village for a community consultation evening to gather input from the local residents. The images on this page are from a proposal put together by Sophie Connor, Jennifer Calvert and myself.
Our proposal for the shelter based on the form of two circles with offset centres. The inner circle is open to the sky to allow stargazing, whilst the outer circle is open at the edges to allow wildlife observation, giving the shelter purpose at all times of day.
Axo view of the proposed shelter
The structure consists of 42 timber portals of varying width but with a continuous pitch. The offset centres of the circles mean that the spacing between portals on the inner circle is constant, so to keep localised light pollution spilling into the shelter, whilst the outer circles spacing increases to allow views of the wildlife but still disguising the forms of people within so not to scare the wildlife off.
Elevation of the shelter during the day
Section through the shelter at nightFollowing the first consultation period, a preferred design(s) will be chosen and will be developed further so to be taken to a second consultation period to screen for planning objections. The shelter will then be submitted for planning aiming to be constructed in autumn by students.
Visualisation of the shelter on site during the day
Visualisation of the shelter on site at night
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 (left) and responding proposed typology (right)
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
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.
East elevation of canopy & section through brewhouse Visualisation of refuelling platform
Visualisation of processing room
Hugh Craft, this table tennis table was created for the social space in the ground floor of the newly renovated architecture studios at Newcastle University.
The unfinished plywood table with orange markings is intended to match the new decor of the studio space. When not in use the table can be disassembled and laid flat to allow the space to be used for crits.
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.
Because the modular design of the café allows easy re-deployment, there are intentions for it to appear at other major events in the North East, including Love Architecture week and British Science Festival 2013.
For a full set of the photos of the café, visit my Flickr account.
Study of the Unsichtbare Mauer and its implications has led a project focused on creating a city wide Mahnmal for the Separation of Berlin. Mahnmal is a German composite of mannen (to warn) and mal (to mark), and is used specifically for monuments which aim to act as reminders to stop atrocities occurring again. The aim of this Mahnmal is to encourage the people to remember that although the border can now be crossed with ease, it was once near impossible and although the other side of the borderline could be seen, it could not be reached.Drawn around half of Berlin, based upon postal codes, the successors of war split the city along seemingly arbitrary lines. Lines which cut through streets, parks, infrastructure and buildings. Separating them into two different countries.Two countries infinitely far apart from each other in terms of politics, ideals and freedoms. Infinitely far apart for those wanting to transverse the two countries across the line. Although the border had its physical interpretations, the reality was that these two countries remained separated by an infinitesimally small border line.An infinitesimal line which can only ever realistically show as single line of light, regardless of the scale of representation.
Whilst the line crosses the city with infinitesimal size, there are points where its impact becomes real and measurable, points where those attempting to cross the wall were killed. For those people the border was at its full infinite width, a width which could not be crossed even though they tried.
The points of the border which they failed to cross are marked by glass walls. Featureless, they create points of anonymous intrigue, to understand more the viewer must find out for themselves what happened and so have a greater understanding of events. At night the glass slit and walls illuminate to trace the borderline as it intersects the city, creating a small but incredibly visible rift between the two halves of Berlin.
Following the borderline below the ground is a subterranean Mahnmal. Constructed from smooth pre-cast sections, the only light comes from images of the street above projected onto the wall though the glass slit.The projection of the images relies on two optical phenomena are combined, total internal reflection and the camera obscura effect. The projected image consists purely of natural light which gains a mesmeric quality.Entrances to the subterranean Mahnmal are discreet and unannounced, occurring only when changes in the cities geography cut through into the tunnel allowing entrances to be formed, meaning that upon entering there is no knowing how long the experience will last.The glass walls are featureless create points of anonymous intrigue, to understand more the viewer must find out for themselves what happened and so have a greater understanding of events. The wall merely creates a disturbance which momentarily interrupts their route to something they can so easily see.
Participated in during the first week of October, the design charette 'Testing Ground' acted as a primer for the Linked Research project, of the same name, to begin in semester two. Based around a visit to Kielder at the start of the week, the charette culminated in an exhibition aimed at conveying the wealth of art and architecture offered to visitors of the park. Making use of interactive digital exhibit pieces alongside more conventional pieces, and the exhibition aimed to engage viewers far more than a standard single format presentation.
To simply collecting emotional responses across the group, they were recorded as photographed notes on site and were then shown in the exhibit.
With an interest in perception of scale in a Kielder, we photographed scale people within the forest to increase the perceived size of surroundings even more. Higher resolution versions of these photos can be found on my Flickr page; here.
The exhibit featured a large interactive OS map which conveyed information of Kielder's pavilions, and supported by videos and photographs.