5th Year, Bath : Artist Studios, Generosity of Space
5th year at the University of Bath explored the architectural design process. Following the first semester that was in practice, the academic term was split into mini week long projects which encouraged us to focus on different aspects of design including the landscape strategy, concept and detail.
The project is a collaboration with the Bath Artist Studios to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. The brief was to design a proposal for new Artist Studios within Bath, working with a real client. This project was an investigation into the idea of ‘Generosity of Space’, playing with the concept of generous space and generous flexibility, but also to the artists and the wider community.
Site Model, View along river to site
Site model showing routes and visual connections around and through site
Generosity of Space
Part of this project was to map the urban fabric surrounding the site. The idea of ‘generosity’ within the urban environment was mapped in various ways; through ideas of refuge spaces, wifi or connection zones and natural green spaces. The route is along a busy road through bath and what became clear is the disconnect between the city and the river and the claustrophobic feel of the road. I therefore studied the idea of subtraction, by subtracting and making softer edges a more humanistic environment can be created.
Route along project site
Mapping of types of ‘refuge’ spaces : Destination (Blue), Opportunistic (Pink), Intended (Yellow) and Natural (Green)
Mapping of Wifi connection areas
Mapping of green spaces along route
Flexibility and Modular
The design for the artist studio must be able to accommodate a range of different needs and environmental requirements, especially where light is involved. User involvement is key so that artist can manipulate their studios to their needs. During this year Mike Tonkin (from Tonkin Liu Architects) gave a lecture on the role of play and story telling in architecture. This evolved into the idea of a birds nest; to try and create a flexible, modular system that would be the artists own to change and inhabit.
The difficulty in designing flexibility is that of designing flexibility, i.e how the building is flexible must be designed and predetermined. The project looks to extend the ‘nest’ metaphor and develop a simple, low tech solution to this.
Module design showing slot detail in order to place timber panel to create surfaces (walls, strorage etc.)
Simplistic design for easy usability
Example of single module with slots
Demonstation of use
Hidden timber connection joint
Module with slotted panel
Series of photos show how the panel is inserted and sits within the frame. The panel itself is made from timber layered. This makes a place for the users hand to hold the panel as well as the place for the dowels which are inserted into the frame.
The building became more about designing the infrastructure i.e designing the circulation and facilities which become ‘permanent’ and the studios become the ‘flexible’ element.
Ground Floor Axonometric
First Floor Axonometric
Cedric Price and his ideas about time are instrumental in the inspiration and design of this project. The scheme has become an experiment and never became truly finished, something Cedric would probably have approved of. It was this project that is the inspiration for my dissertation ‘Cedric Price, Events in Time.’