Monday, 19 December 2011

The street

Borneo Sporenburg housing development in Amsterdam was a precedent for the new studio module “The street”. It is about defining and constructing a street by houses located along it. houses designed by individuals forms blocks and streets between. Parameters arranged by the group defines character of the whole block. 
I got unit at the very North end of our block (yellow).

The location: Dundee, Rosangle area, Taylor's Lane between Perth road and Magdalen Green.

The context of the site is mainly residential area with 2,3 and 4 storeys high terraced houses; calm, non-transit street (used just by locals) with moderate slope, close to the large parkland area and the river Tay. 

Open for significant views and close for a privacy

 The best view to the river Tay and Tay Bridge

  The street view

 Sun path

The main focus of this project is on relationship between different aspects of the built environment such as: public and private; individual and community; ownership and territory; interior and exterior.
There are 3 main concepts on which I based my design: community, function and light. 


Here I put emphasis on creating semi-public and semi-private zones to achieve the
interaction between close neighbours. On the East side it is semi-private/semi-public area (in my case - transparent showcase) to make public pathway wider visually and fill it with public function.
On the West side it is set back threshold - semi-private zone between pavement and the main entrance under cantilevered volume. 

Diagram showing relationships with surrounding environment

Parti diagram - creating thresholds


I expanded previously defined focus group (family of young professionals) to extended family (with some grandparents) because I found this family model more interesting and sustainable in urban living style. This is big challenge to design dwelling for 3 generations because of big differences between their life style, interests and requirements. I also split up function into three parts: living, learning/working and sleeping.

Parti diagram - interaction between inhabitants and functions

Initial scheme of spatial relationship between inhabitants and functions

Initially I used ramps for moving through different levels but it is not to implemented by Scottish regulations (4.3.11 Pedestrian ramps) which allows very moderate gradient of flight (1:12 with maximum rise 166mm(!) or 1:20 with maximum rise 500mm). It is appropriate for wheelchair users but too strict for pedestrians which can easily use ramps with gradient 1 in 10.
Then I came to idea about split-levels with moderate slope stairs between levels to provide accessibility for the all generations. I split up functions into two parts: private (sleeping) on the East side and common (living/working) on the West side.

This solution gives necessary enclosure and privacy for the each generation and in the same time allows validly communicate between them. 

The void (staircase) becomes a space in-between where interaction happens using all senses.  

3. Light

Exterior sketch. Night view

Interior sketch. Staircase

Model. Night view

 Model. Interior. Staircase



Sunday, 16 October 2011

Inspiring text. Space and place

Citations from Herman Hertzberger book "Space and the Architect"

* 'Feeling free means having the space you need.'
* 'If nothing obstructs our view, it can carry very far indeed. But if it meets nothing, it sees nothing: it sees only the thing it meets: space, that is what obstructs the view, what catches the eye...'
* 'The sense of space is sustained by the lack of an overall view of the space you are in. Even when we mean a space shut in on all sides that is surveyable in all its parts,there is, or at least so it seems, always something around the corner.'

Mountains outside, mountains inside
Johan van der keuken, 1975
* 'So, in your mind, the external space is projected inside through this rectangular lens of the darkened room, into the space inside yourself, your own space.'
* 'Place is where you recognise yourself, something familiar and safe, specially for you.'
* 'Meaking space and leaving space are inseparably bound, there must always be that openness to new interpretations. The dilemma here is that the more suitable and right you make something, the stronger one particular significance will clamp to it. This significance then leads a stubborn life of its own. The more riveted space is to significance, the less space there remains for other significations and experiences.'

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Open house

2nd year of studies already have started in the end of August when Sketch Design Competition was announced and I started to generated ideas for it. Object is an outdoor learning space different from the traditional. Client is real - the pupils and staff of Grange Primary School. This means - the best proposal will be realised.
I came to my concept very quickly without being on the physical site – thanks to my spatial imagination. 

This photo shows significance of the place – presence of nature. Narrow belt of trees along the site creates view free of buildings and other elements of the city.
The main idea of my concept is building – 'mediator' between inside and outside, people and nature, as well as place for feeling, exploring and playing. 

As a base for my design was taken archetype of a house - compact, simple form; double pitched roof (local feature ;). 
And then... I opened it.

...filled with content...

I open it for all 5 senses.

This house is open to the light – direct light in the morning and diffused during the rest of the day.
It is open to the best views towards the cluster of trees.
It is open to scent what comes from flower bed.
It is open to sounds what come from birds and school nearby.
It is open for pupils and everybody who walks along. There are sitting stairs inside where to sit and eat lunch. 

Site plan



South view

It is hard to realise from the street that there is a school. While “Open house” will be as a place mark to pay attention and be inviting. 

Street view

Street view

 Build-up scheme

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Inspired by nature

Could you imagine more inspiring place for architect as Botanic garden? University of Dundee Botanic garden which celebrates 40th Anniversary this year amazed me by diversity of plants and places there. For more details see in: 
In the one of two glasshouses where tropical plants grow I found very interesting plant which impressed me for the last tectonic design project - Pavilion. This plant is Nepenthes (Pitcher plant).

Any engineer could be interested to analyse structural properties of this plant to figure out how does this thin pedicle can hold this big pitfall trap filled full with liquid.
When I was thinking about concept the very first idea was about Pavilion for our architecture school. I found site very interesting - located by the way from the centre of campus to our school.

I tried to create pavilion which could embody essence of architectural studies, which could be attractive to visitors and which could literally suck them inward. 
Before I turned to something organic I sketched and tested on paper something box-shaped...

... until I drew this:

And then I remembered plant has been seen in glasshouse.

Further sketches led me to the final image:

Structure consists of several different size circular 3x centred arches arranged one behind other and connected perpendicularly with parabolic arches. All this structure is supported by one large arch which in turn is supported on the first arch of structure thus forming one whole, closed structure.



 Elevation and section

Site plan. Pathway improved to correspondent with Pavilion

View to the Pavilion and Architecture school behind it. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011

GREEN answer to stressful daily life

My summers have always been linked to the countryside. I guess from here I have desire for a green lifestyle. Here in Dundee I have joined to the gardening group for being in relationship with nature and make new friends. Every Sunday we meet at the Botanic gardens in our small allotment to do some garden work. It is agreeably to see that your work bears fruit, even it is some small sprout in the next week after sowing :).

Climate in Dundee is very suitable for gardening

 Cold-frames – pure thermal physics.
Made from recycled furniture

 Different plants into the cold-frame - for more quickly growing

Very first sprouts - sowed in the previous week!

Herbal spiral - landscape architecture for herbs.

The anatomy of one building

Demolition building was a former shopping centre store in the heart of Old Riga. In recent years different activities have been taken a place in this building - a nightclub, art exhibitions and even the architectural office.
Last year it was demolished to allow the space for a new hotel.
My attention was attracted by the building's anatomy and inspiring details.

Demolition in process 





The best view is from this room

Wall painting technique - roller painting

Momento Mori