29 Jan 2012

Mr Bjarke Ingels Does it Again!

This guy is a genius... Check out this video, it is 22 mins long so if you want to skip parts focus on 8:05, 10:20, 18:50.

I've no doubts that once you've started watching it you wont want to stop anyway! Enjoy...


18 Jan 2012

Term One @ NTU

So here is a couple of examples of my work guys and gals :)

Project One :

Lifetime Homes - a residential housing estate, comprising 6 houses to lifetime home specification.

These visualisations were support items to formal drawings produced on Autocad. Documents were produced for planning permission, building regs and tender... The pages shown above were actually made up using photoshop after just 6 days of playing around. I was pretty pleased with the outcome and have since produced more and hopefully a lot better mock ups..

Another part of this project was to produce a 3d visualisation of the way part of the building should be constructed. Our visualisation tutor picked a complex detail and asked us to demonstrate to the contractor how he should build it in the simplest way. I broke mine up in to the four diagrams shown below...

These were modelled using Google Sketchup, rendered using Artlantis Studio and adjusted on Photoshop.

In another subject titled 'Horizon Scanning' we were provided with a site in Winchester, which was currently the location of a family home. The dwelling was dilapidated and beyond repair. We were asked to investigate the site and its surroundings before preparing a proposal for a modest yet modern family home. The context of the site was challenging in terms of its physical properties, placed on a hillside in a conservation area and surrounding by tall trees of which 95% were protected.

Through exploring massing studies, spaces and volumes became apparent. these then had to be combined with the clients requirements of their family dwelling including a master bedroom, 3 childrens bedrooms, a guest bedroom, family bathroom, kitchen/living/dining space, outdoor connecting spaces and covered parking for two cars.

The materials and construction methods were in fact irrelevant for this task and in fact the project was based more on the interpretation of the site and in turn the form that developed from this. Creating a building that acted as an environmental filter, using good design to control internal spatial conditions such as daylight and passive ventilation without using bolt-on technologies.

Below is my final presentation board displaying plans, sections, an external visual and an internal visual. Shown also is the model I produced to support my design and show the dwelling in context to the site.

Please leave comments :) Id like to know what you think...

12 Jan 2012

Boxpark, Shoreditch

The United Kingdom’s cities are littered with derelict sites once of industrial activity. The re-use of these sites does not have to be permanent in order to have an impact on the environment and its surroundings. With the Olympic Games heading to East London in 2012, Roger Wade, of designer clothing brand ‘Boxfresh’ felt it was the perfect time to launch his latest idea, Boxpark, a ‘pop-up’ shopping mall located on a brownfield site in Shoreditch. The Bishopsgate Goods Yard site opened its doors in August 2011 as the world’s first shopping mall to be constructed entirely using recycled shipping containers. The idea makes use of a site at a time when all eyes will be on the East of London, not only promoting the area but also the creative re-use of shipping containers.

The mall is split in two halves, retail at ground level and a mixed-use area upstairs including cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and exhibition space. No high-street brands can be found on site either, encouraging the rise of new independent designers to demonstrate their innovative abilities to a wider audience. Boxpark, described as ‘Shoreditch’s answer to a 2011 shopping mall’ has identity, uniqueness and something that distinguishes itself from any other mall, within which you could quite easily forget where you were sometimes as they all look the same!!

The development displays grand scale recycling on a level that has not been seen in the world today, It makes use of an empty site in an expanding city, enhances the local economy, uses a completely recycled structural element and further still creates a vibrant social core encouraging interaction and life, a fantastic example of what can be achieved through recycling.

Comments please :) particularly if you have been there.. what did you think? did it feel temporary?? Ill be checking it out for sure over the next few weeks during my Xmas break.

11 Jan 2012

Standing Out From the Crowd

For me trawling all the architectural blogs day in day out is fun, it gives me huge motivation to do well in my masters degree and enormous amounts of inspiration. Though there was a certain architectural practice however that kept popping up that is really producing some of the most fantastic residential properties ...

They go by the name of Pitsou Kedem. Their website is


Do check it out.. they've done some pretty cool stuff!

7 Jan 2012

Kevin Mccloud's got the wrong end of the stick...

For all of you that got to see 'Kevin's Grand Design' on channel 4 on Thursday night, what did you think??

For me, fair enough, he was trying to solve a social housing problem, something that has been tried unsuccessfully all over the country.. but i cant bring myself to say that his attempt was any better. If anything the recession that prevented him from selling the 4 bedroom houses privately did him a favour as I don't think anyone would have bought the houses anyway!

Understandably, we do only get to see what is shown on the television, but clearly there were huge issues with management and planning, specification, and basic design... and this is what I'm going to have a rant about now!

First the colours.. and them chimneys. What on earth was he thinking? The houses are going to look so outdated in 5 years!

I did like the central triangle and feel the masterplan of the site does work well. It encourages interaction and in no way limits dwelling numbers.. it is a shame the idea of parking in the rear garden couldn't materialise.. because of an idiot architect that specifies doors with a handle on one side!! I mean really?? And when this issue came up, why on earth did they not change the door rather than re-landscaping the entire site to include parking at the front of the properties??!

However, my biggest bugbear.. was that the houses were static and could in no way be adapted for change. They can't be extended at the back, the front nor in to the loft space... in fact there was no loft space, not even for storage! All them young families he moved in will no doubt be growing over the next few years resulting in a need for more space.. which their new house cannot offer in anyway. They will have to move.. Not very sustainable if you ask me. A HUGE mistake with the development.

This short video shows how architecture can be adapted for growing and shrinking families.


Please leave you comments.

5 Jan 2012

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Ateliers Jean Nouvel is one of the largest architectural practices in France. It is the culmination of of a series of practices headed by Jean Nouvel that date back as far as 1970. Someone worth investigating further?? I think so.. Shown earlier on my blog was one of Nouvels most famous designs - the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris with the adaptive facade, completed in 1987. Since he has continued to push boundaries in design and particularly in the use of light, both natural and artificial be it through a facade system or using other techniques. This is something that interests me a lot..

Sofitel Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Made up of a 5* hotel with 182 rooms, conference rooms, fitness club, restaurant with panoramic views from the 18th floor, retail area and even a public car park.

Doha Office Tower, Qatar.

A 45 storey office building in Qatar, designed to exceed its surrounding predecessors in remaining crisp, clean and dust-free. The building has an interesting facade that controls light and also acts as a skin.

And the building complete...

I think this last image really shows how well this building is designed when shown next to the surrounding towers... it relates back to something a guest lecturer had referred to. He feels identity is being lost in buildings, each countries vernacular architecture - that was designed that way for a reason - is being lost in these high rises. Across the world high rise have become similar, tall glass boxes that do not succeed in providing natural, sustainable comforts from the user.. unlike our older buildings. This Doha Office Tower however goes some way towards adding some character to an area that has been for so long deprive of any.