• This project is on site, check back occasionally or follow me on Twitter for regular updates.

    I am currently involved in the construction of the Stonehaugh Stargazing Pavilion which is being run 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 frames of the structure have recently been raised into their positions, ready for the floor to be placed and a sedum roof installed over the sheltered part of the pavilion.

    Setting out the site prior to the excavation of foundations

    The project started on site in late 2013 when foundations were excavated and poured ready for construction in the New Year.

    Prefabrication of the beams within the architecture department
     The design of the pavilion allowed us to pre-fabricate many of the elements off-site in the architecture department's workshop. This was done over a one week period in the beginning of January. Once completed assembly and construction on-site was able to start.
    Assembly of modules into frames

    The construction method first involves the assembly of parts into their individual frames. After this the frames were raised and fixed to their footings allowing the substructure to be fitted.

    Interior of the shelter as the flooring is being laid
    Throughout the project members of the community have been heavily involved in assisting with the construction and bringing their own skills and expertise to the project.

    Fully assembled structure, prior to construction of the stone wall

    View of the pavilion on approach to the village.

  • 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 a larger high resolution version

    A drawn piece ‘Road to Independence’ explores the potential of the Catalan movement for independence by assuming a future timescale over the next few years based upon research into current events and long term themes. This has been used to set the scene for the project which is set at the end of the century.

    Frame from site analysis showing the change of use of the Plaça during markets days

    The parliament is situated on the Plaça Catalunya, situated in the centre of the city. The Plaça is a key, but underappreciated, part of the city's public space. 
    Sketch section of initial proposal

     The parliament is being developed as a series of stepped seating, inspired by ancient Athenian amphitheatres, which will create an external space overlooking the plaça for the citizens of Girona to gather debate and participate in democracy. These steps also act as a roof for conference, media and administrative functions which take place in the space below.
    Development sketch for column typology

    As part of the project a technical specialism is being developed. This document will focus on the technical aspects of creating the stepped seating from concrete with the vision of them lasting for Catalonia's next 1000 years of history, but whilst the additional spaces below are detailed in a way which allows them to be updated, upgraded and changed on a smaller time scale as technologies and requirements develop.

  • 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