Category Archives: ARC552 – Studio

Studio15 : DeCoding the City – Reclaiming Spatial Production

Module: ARC552

Tutor: Sam Vardy, University of Sheffield

Description:

Studio 15 aims to explore the notion of urban Codes to develop proposals of spatial production. By spatial we mean the creation of new spaces, new activities and new constructions in cities, but also new practices, new social and political relationships, new networks and new identities. the work produced by the studio will critically question the current hyper-regulation of space and the production of architecture and urbanism, and search for tactics to reclaim the ‘right to the city’. This will be thought of from both the point of view of the ‘citizen’, their right to intervene and to make, and to occupy space, and the point of view of architecture, by questioning its role in the contemporary urban situation.

Deadlines:

Thu 02/12/2010 and Fri 03/12/2010 – Studio cross-reviews
– Mon 17/01/2011 – ‘Summary’ Drawing / ‘Project Agenda (Attitude)’ Drawing

Social Assemblage / Spatial Assemblage

I’ve been using simples diagrams to explore and define the spatial and social assemblage in my project – this should help me make some decisions about exactly how people use various spaces and for what reasons, which will help me interrogate the plans I produced earlier.

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Plans from models….

As part of my ongoing process to develop my studio design project – tentatively titled the Academy of Added Value – I have begun a process through which I first give from through models, then draw a plan of the model, before critiquing and rationalising the plan and returning to models or exploring through section. I will also be exploring relationships between spaces diagrammatically as part of this process. These plans immediately need alteration – I feel that the scheme is too large overall, and that the architecture of the various programmatic elements (mentor units / CHP plant / canteen / reception (’embassy’) on the ground floor, and library / ‘silent’ space / roof garden / link to existing building of first floor) needs to link together better. However, its been good to get a ‘first iteration’ out, tangible, in order for it to be critiqued. I treat this plan as a point of departure.

The models to which these plans relate can be found in a previous post .

Ground Floor Plan – 1:100 @A2 – (PDF – First Draft – GF – 1-100 – A2)

First Floor Plan – 1:100 @A2 – (PDF – First Draft – FF – 1-100 – A2)

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A Pattern Language…

This extract here, from the book ‘A Pattern Language’ by Christopher Alexander, is particularly useful for my studio project…

No one enjoys his work if he is a cog in a machine.

Therefore:

Encourage the formation of self-governing workshops and offices of 5 to 20 workers. Make each group autonomous – with respect to organization, style, relation to other groups, hiring and firing, work schedule. Where the work is complicated and requires larger organizations, several of these work groups can federate and cooperate to produce complex artifacts and services.

 

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Model-making…

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Wick Curiosity Shop…and site visits.

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Just returned from London having spent three days in and around Hackney Wick, conducting site research and analysis and taking part in events run by the Wick Curiosity Shop. more to follow…

 

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Roof Plans….so much better than figure-ground!

I am currently – and laboriously – Illustrator-ing a figure-ground map of Hackney Wick for Design Review Panel next Wednesday. All I can keep thinking is that a roof plan, although taking longer, actually shows everything the figure-ground does (massing, grain…) and more, like character of buildings (for example, terraces show up on figure-ground, but a roof plan shows that they actually have a common hipped roof, rather than individual double-pitches. This kind of information becomes relevant at later stages, and also helps to ‘flavour’ the area being investigated.

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Happenings in Hackney – Horrible and Happy

1/ Gensler’s ski-centre (Snow In The City), to replace the media centre for the Olympic Park in Legacy Mode…..is it really legacy if your adding it afterwards? Other phrases that spring to mind are ‘zaha’ and ‘wannabe’……..HORRIBLE!


2/ GHM Rock Townsend have received planning permission for this building right opposite my proposed site in Hackney Wick…having previously been criticised for being ‘of poor design quality’ and ‘too tall’.

I would maintain that these criticisms are still valid of the revised scheme. The area – particularly the building shown to the left in this image – is rich in existing vitality (particularly of the light manufacturing type proposed by sportswear manufacturer Pentland, who are the client for this building), and it seems far too intrusive an insertion to be appropriate for its site.

Even last minute concessions to change metal cladding to ‘local vernacular’ brick do little to help the building settle in to its site. From our experience of researching this area, it seems that although there is a history of architectural resilience in the area, there is also a tradition of humble, user-initiated intervention. This feels far too brash and new to be where it is. What happened to the idea of re-instating the pub?

A BD Article can be found hereHORRIBLE!

 

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