Saturday, 5 September 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009

SSoA Summer Exhibition 2009

Studio 1 invite you to come and visit the Sheffield School of Architecture Summer Exhibition 2009.

When: Friday 19th June 2009, 18.00pm
Where: Crookesmoor Building, Conduit Road, Sheffield, S10 1FL

Exhibition runs from the 19th June - 25th July 2009

in association with SUAS : Sheffield University Architecture Society

Taster images of the exhibition will soon appear on the this space!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Rebuilding the West Pier in Brighton

Although this project started by thinking about how architecture creates an exotic experience in modern tourism, it ends with a completely opposite position creating a walkway of peace calming one’s mind. The original idea was to rebuild the West Pier, which was burnt down, to be an ‘entrance’ for a theme park about disaster, which is portable on a container ship. However, after a few visits to Brighton, instead of a theme park, a place for spiritual health may be more suitable at this seaside resort in this modern time.
In the 19th century, people would come and visit Brighton as they believed that staying at the seaside was good for their health. With the passage of time, a wide range of entertainment was added in Brighton and the idea of having good health was forgotten. In the 21st century, the tempo of living is so fast that it threatens some people’s mental health. A place where people can calm and rest their minds may be needed. The new proposed West Pier is about peace and serenity.
By building a circular walkway around the ruined old pier, people may clear their minds by walking on it. At one entrance/exit, an herbal tea shop would provide natural refreshing drinks for visitors. At the other entrance/exit, a spa could provide massages.  A 12 meters high viewing platform at the furthest end provides a panoramic view of Brighton from the ocean. 

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Poor Tourism

'When Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel, Pope Julious II wanted him to spread rich colours and gold on the frescoes he was re-touching. 'Holy Father', he said pointedly, 'in those days men did not bedeck themselves in gold, and those you see painted there were never rich. They were holy men who despised riches.'
Inside the Vatican
Many desire to escape their day to day life when they decide to go on holiday, for a week or maybe two, you can journey to a beach, an exciting new city or perhaps a ski resort and enjoy some time out from the monotony and hardships of life back at home. My proposed project seeks to explore how the homeless, poor, or those with very little might enjoy a similar type of escapism from their day to day life. The project is about a radical yet logical shift in the Vatican's approach to tourism in their country.

Sunday morning mass in St Peters Basilica, Vatican City you will find grand, luxurious spaces, elaborate rituals and a large number of holiday makers recording the scene. However not far from St Peters Square you will find the homeless sleeping on the streets, the old begging and people selling what they can to passers by. 

A quarter of buildings in central Rome are owned by the Vatican, the holy see receives about £50million a year in donations and in 2006 alone, 8000 properties were gifted to the church in wills. The project is about how Vatican City might be able to give something the poor living in Rome. 
By Marc 

Axis Theatre - The Built Stage Set

Client: Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
Sponsor: DirectGov, British Arts Council & The National Lottery
Location: Island Gardens, Greenwich/Isle of Dogs
Project: Thrust Theatre (708 seats) incorporating a Cafe and Landscaped Roof

The Axis Theatre is a contemporary theatre situated in Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs in London. It has a seating capacity of 708 and is capable of hosting plays,ballets, operas, musicals, pantomimes and small concerts. The use of the theatre is centred around a market of various companies that are invited in to perform for contracted amounts of time to increase the range of productions and appeal to both foreign and native visitors. The building is comprised of a main auditorium that houses a thrust theatre with a glazed backdrop to reveal the infamous Greenwich axis as a stage set. This view is also expressed by a vast roofscape over the main auditorium that is adjoined by a public, open-air, informal amphitheatre and a cafe. The scheme proposal is in keeping with the intentions of the Greenwich development initiative to "maintain & enhance key views & provide an attraction for tourists, in turn creating a culturally richer setting and increased employment."

The inspiration for the design of the project sets its roots in a study that commenced in the "public" piazzas of Rome. The study was centred around the transformation of explicitly public performances spaces of ancient Rome to the now "open-private" spaces enjoyed predominantly by tourists and visitors.

Careful consideration was given to the physicality of spaces and the manipulation of views that buildings enforce through their adjacencies, fabric, orientation and interpretation. The teachings of the analyses in Rome manifest themselves in the design of a theatre that intertwines the more private realm of a commercial theatre production with the public setting of a park that is enhanced by outdoor performance facilities, a viewing platform/recreational space and a cafe. This is achieved by creating a space that acknowledges and enhances its built surroundings and axial setting (Greenwich axis) whilst imposing a minimal impact on the landscape and its current use.

VATICAN [towards middle ground] CHINA

The architecture of this project consists of two elements which help conceal a third:

the first, a Chinese language school, on Pincio Hill; 
the second, an underground Vatican archive, in Pincio Hill;
and the third, the concealed element, and paramount of all:
a tacit Chinese seminary hidden in Pincio Hill.

This tacit Chinese seminary-cum-language school is pr
oposed within the context of existing difficulties between the Roman Catholic Church and the Chinese government, manifesting itself in a Vatican-comissioned, seminary for Chinese students hidden within Pincio Hill.

Given that many of the pivotal moments in the Bible take place on hills, it seems appropriate to locate the project on and in a hill. Pincio Hill overlooks Piaz
za del Popolo. With this piazza being of notable significance for pilgrims, it is there, on and in Pincio Hill that the “vatican archive [tacit chinese seminary] language school” project is to be located.

It is in the interests of the Catholic Church to maintain secrecy o
f a soon-to-be Chinese seminary in Rome. This is achieved by setting up a Chinese language school, in a prominent location - Pincio Hill - connected to the seminary. Many Chinese people seen in the area will not arouse suspicion if it is known that there is a Chinese language school nearby. With the underground seminary [secretly] connected to the school, this allows seminarians to exit the seminary through the school.

With six years of seminarians and staff occupying space in the hill, the idea is that they circulate the seminary independently, and have living accommodation specific to each year that is private within the year. However, they also collectively share space, for example, the dining room, library, chapel, etc. This is achieved by creating a labyrinth underground that enables the built form to have an element of mystery and suspense for the users. Seminarians inhabit a “new” area within the seminary in every year of study until they reach ordination.

The rite of Ordination is held during Mass. This threshold is particularly important for the candidate, during which there is a period where candidates prostrate themselves on the floor for about fifteen minutes. Below, I depict the idea of the underground cavernous chapel designed in such a way so that this special moment coincides with the sun basking a beam of light from above.

By Yan

Campo de' Fiori: Cinema Culture-Cafe Culture

This project addresses a small urban piazza, Campo de’ Fiori ("field of flowers") situated in the historic centre of Rome. The Campo offers an eclectic range of activities throughout the day with a traditional food market which takes place in the morning and a buzzing cafe/bar culture at night. The site offers a unique opportunity for natives and foreigners to co-exist within a vibrant inhabited space, experiencing everyday Roman life away from the touristic emphasis of other famous sites in Rome.

The Campo de’ Fiori’s famous Farnese Cinema was built here in 1930s and serves as an important symbol and legacy of the revolution of Italian Cinema in the 20th Century. This single screen (300 seat) cinema originally operated as an art house screening independent films. A recent renovation completed in 2008 has revived the cinema with a more contemporary feel showing a wide array of Italian and international films.

However there remains a missing link between the main space of Campo de’ Fiori and the Farnese Cinema which this project aims to revive and exploit. Therefore through creating a new edge to the east end of the Campo and working with the existing urban fabric this proposal intends to re-address this relationship. Additionally this scheme introduces several civic/community functions addressing the desire to respond to the needs of a range of social groups; young and old, foreign and native.

Programmatic elements include a new entrance foyer for the cinema; a new bar/restaurant which will line the edge of the square; a roof-top cinema/performance space; film workshop/languages class spaces. There will also be on-site storage and services for the market traders, as well as a crèche and roof-top playground.

With reference to the original themes of the studio - authenticity, travel and the past - this project is about reconnecting the old with the new and offering new possibilities for the prosperity and future of Campo de' Fiori.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Greenpeace and Heathrow Airport

Based on a plot of land purchased by Greenpeace within the proposed Heathrow Airport Expansion area, this project explores a possible architecture of protest against the demolition of Sipson Village, a close-knit community outraged at their forced removal in preperation  for the Third runway (if realised). 

Greenpeace have purchased this plot and arranged a legal system of  purchase by beneficial owners - anyone willing can send them an email  to own a piece of the land. Currently 32,000 people have signed up, slowing the enforced land purchase as each owner will have a legal representative in the case against BA, and this project aims to reinforce this movement.

The project also aims to provide information and learning about the  alternatives to traveling abroad by plane. It offers a place to consider ‘holidaying at home’ through the teachings of The School of Life who provide a variety of ideas from philosophy to literature and psychology to the visual arts, all implemented to encourage a rethink into how we travel and to cherish the mundane and everyday

By David Bannister

Beyond the Cutlery Drawer

The project initially developed from my personal interpretation of Rome’s success as a tourist destination by taking influence from the immortalisation of fragmented ruins and the spatial sequences experienced whilst exploring the city, which creates curiosity and anticipation for both tourist and resident alike. As a resident and tourist of Sheffield, I decided to pursue the project locally to explore these themes.
The chosen site for this exploration is the St. Vincent’s area, which provides a link between the city centre and Kelham Island Museum.  Historically known as the Hollis Croft district, the St. Vincent’s area was the first area of expansion away from the medieval boundary of the city centre. During the nineteenth century, the area also accommodated the greatest number of workshops, which were primarily based around the tools and cutlery manufacturing industry. The area now hosts a variety of manufacturing workshops from surgical instruments to non-destructive testing facilities.

The aim of the project is to promote the past, present and future of Sheffield’s manufacturing heritage in the form of a cutlery museum that interweaves within existing domestic scale industrial workshops in the St. Vincent’s area, providing a link between the city centre and Kelham Island Museum. 

go......SEE Rome.

Project Introduction:

The agenda of this project is to question the pace and personal value of the typical, present-day tourist experience, set within the context of mass tourism in Rome. The intention is to provide a public tourist facility that aims to slow the pace of which the cultural heritage of Rome is experienced.

The hope is that by looking at less in greater depth, we might indeed SEE more. That the typical tourist might be converted from 'sight-seeing' to 'site-seeing' with a more thoughtful and enriched understanding of their immediate surroundings.

The site chosen for the building borders the Via dei Fori Imperiali, Mussolini's desired processional route between the Piazza Venezia and the Coloseum, and also overlooks large areas of the Roman Forum.

The intention for the project is to provide a place for shelter and rest, information, nourishment and cultural stimulation, within a building that rigorously explores and exposes the site and its immediate surroundings through a journey of views. The emphasis on a slower pace is enhanced by the provision of alternative seeing tools, and a prioritising of sketching and drawing above the speedy idleness of the digital camera.

Images included:

Seeing aids:

- Camera exchange
- Chair vending

Site Seeing - site analysis

by Rachel Harris.

Trajan's Market Theatre

This final project developed out of an earlier small intervention project – in which the natural ‘auditorium’ of the Spanish steps was given a stage. This led to studies of theatricality throughout Rome, spaces that can be transformed, rigorous investigations of existing buildings, and research into the history of theatres, ancient and modern. In contrast to the initial intervention project, Trajan’s market seemed to provide the stage; the auditorium was to be created out of the existing surrounding buildings.

Trajan's market is located in central Rome, amidst the ancient fora, just outside Trajan's historic Forum. Despite its enormous scale and imposing building mass as a single entity, it is dwarfed by the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II just nearby.

This project aims to reinvigorate Trajan's market as a vibrant, bustling centre for culture, hosting a diverse range of functions throughout the year - changing art exhibitions, lunchtime music recitals, small scale promenade theatre, an outdoor cinema, large opera productions, rock concerts, and many more.

The building will also continue to act as a museum, displaying the archaeological artifacts found on site and highlighting the building elements themselves as worthy exhibits. In highlighting the often unnoticed details, the approach to the building seeks to continue this theme of revealing processes, turning the theatre aspect on its head, revealing some of the mystery and magic of theatre to the audience - allowing them to catch glimpses into props and costume making workshops, set building and rehearsal studios as they journey through the building's spaces.

The re-use of this building also incorporates the re-opening of the Via Biberatica, which runs through the centre of the market. New shops will line the shady street, encouraging a wider use by a larger variety of people.

With a view to making this site more accessible to the public generally, improving the circulation and encouraging routes through the building are key issues. While much of the intervention with the building is 'light touch' in manner, the approach to circulation is stronger, making visual links between levels of the building from its exterior. Using new circulation routes will also help preserve the existing structure, reducing footfall on the worn historic fabric, and encourage people to look again, and in a different way at the ancient building around them.

ROME: Culture & Commerce by Tom Marsh

The story begins with Mario Resca.  The government have formed a new 'super manager' role for him, his task being to create more revenue from Italy's museums.  Vallorizazzione or value-adding is the buzz word.  It is understandable that there is plenty of controversy surrounding this appointment.  Can the culture and heritage of Italy survive the inevitable influence of modern commercial business?
The brief aims to test this idea by proposing a sort of 'McMuseum' that merges exhibition space with retail space that efficiently extracts money from tourists.  It will house two exhibitions; a temporary show of original pieces that are to be loaned abroad and a more permanent collection of plaster casts from these pieces.  This duality questions whether culture can coexist with capitalism.  By adding 'value' to the museum, is the de-valuation of culture inevitable?
The idea of consumption is key to this project.  The building will be sited opposite the Pantheon in central Rome and the architecture will literally consume its surroundings for added attraction.  It is impossible to compete with the ancient wonder of the Pantheon in a contemporary building, however it is possible to offer alternative and enhanced experiences of it from within this building.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Palatine Archaeological Centre, Rome

Project Introduction

This project started by investigating the popular tourist destinations of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. The latter is much less visited in comparison, perhaps the necessary journey to ascend the hill daunts many visitors, similarly; the lack of any well-known 'site-seeing' monuments that await visitor’s upon the hill means that many choose not to go on and explore the fascinating grounds.

Another great shame is that much of the site is inaccessible to any ambulant or disabled users. The Palatine Hill once accommodated one of the most complex arrangements of architectural space known to civilisation; surely it’s not too ambitious to think that this site could now become accessible to all?

The Master Plan looks to reinvent the Palatine Hill, give new merit to its visit whilst opening up some levels to the public, giving it back to the people of Rome. The scheme centralises around an area in the heart of the hill, an area which links the underground networks together and allows visitors to choose how to experience the Palatine. The space itself is a large excavation, built from the process of preserving some of the roman ruins. Modern technology is displayed in its performance, suspending fragments of the ruins, allowing visitors to view and interact with the archaeology in unprecedented ways.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The British Centre, Rome

Project introduction

This project is about the shifting, malleable concept of national identity and whether it needs to be re-harnessed for changing economic directions. The premise of this research questions the control and production of the perception of a nation, and goes on to investigate tourism as a process which works symbiotically with concepts of national identity whilst employing both cultural and economic systems on an equal level.
The project is based in Rome and the site lies in a prominent position between the Trevi fountain and the Galleria Piazza Colonna. This imposing context is used to explore the contrasts between internal and external presence, and the possibilities for dissolving these transitions both in plan and section. The collaboration of the 3 British entities in Rome; The British School, the British Council and the British Embassy creates the opportunity for consolidating the presence of British creativity and cultural production in the foreign territory. The building becomes a singular stage for events and interactions with the overt intention of promoting the evolving British knowledge economy facilitated by diplomatic administration.
The project investigates notions of a foreign national image and culture through materiality and the transformation of urban space with performance and spectacle by studying the dynamics and rituals of the Italian piazza. By employing methods gathered from the creation of retail typologies and mechanics and also the World Expositions as their intent evolved from industrial to cultural exchange, the British Centre seeks capitalise on Rome's intense flow of tourists by exporting and curating the products of the creative industry.

a composite of Nolli's map and an updated civic map

Pete McMahon.

For more information please see my MArch blog at

The School of Life (project introduction)

This Project explores how the recently abandoned Sheffield City Airport may be reinvented into a holiday destination (of sorts), and why we should expect more than cheap flights to Spain from a strangely beautiful expanse of tarmac lying hidden among the City’s seven hills. Inspiration for the project comes from Des Esseintes and Baudelaire , two of literatures least intrepid but most thought provoking travelers. The Villa of Des Esseintes (from J.K. Huysmans 1884 novel A rebours provides the ideological standpoint for reconsidering the notion of tourism.
‘For a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort, there’s at last an ideal travel agency to hand.’ 1
My Client is the ‘School of Life’, a unusual travel agency who dispute the notion that our holidays ought to be about escaping reality, and instead propose that they should serve to enable us to understand the world in which we live. They offer holidays to the neglected corners of the everyday life, such as Holidays up the M1, a Holiday at Heathrow and weekends dedicated to looking at the sky.
Therefore my project proposes the co-existance of two of these types of non-place, the abandoned Sheffield City Airport (reinvigorated by the presence of Sheffield Aero Club), and a new (wind powered, electric car) Service Station on the site. These programs are then enriched by the holiday facilities such as the artificial beach and the cloud room, as well as conference and hotel facilities.

The Future of Service Stations(?)

Demonstration of the world’s first automated battery switch technology for electric vehicles. This simple range extension technology is part of an overall solution that includes an open network of charge spots deployed where cars park.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Schmap Rome Guide

One Dead Man Photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released 7th edition of Schmap Rome Guide:

Hadrian's Villa

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

some global facts [unreferenced though]

heres a little dose of reality for us coming to the end of our formal education and embarking on a 'professional' career!

see this book for some great insights into global knowledge systems...

Designing Universal Knowledge, Gerlinde Schuller, Lars Muller Publishers, 2008

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Bund Tourist Tunnel, Shanghai

"A pedestrian transit tunnel crosses the Huangpu River from the Bund. Passengers board slow-moving powered vehicles which travel along the tunnel, with light effects projected onto the walls of the tunnel. These effects are marketed as a tourist attraction."

Thought this idea of practical transport solution come tourist attraction might be interesting for a few projects. For more photo's search Flickr, there a a few different light effects. It's a bit like Willy Wonka, you can watch it here.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The School of Life (Project Update)

This project is about traveling less but seeing more, it is about how economic and environmental factors appear certain to change our travel habits, and how we ought to respond; It is about holidaying at home.
It explores how the recently abandoned Sheffield City Airport may be reinvented into a holiday destination (of sorts), and why we should expect more than cheap flights to Spain from a strangely beautiful expanse of tarmac lying hidden among the City’s seven hills. Inspiration from the project comes from Des Esseintes and Baudelaire , two of literatures least intrepid but most thought provoking travelers. The Villa of Des Esseintes (from J.K. Huysmans 1884 novel A rebours. (See Chapter2) provides the ideological standpoint for reconsidering the notion of tourism.
‘For a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort, there’s at last an ideal travel agency to hand.’ 1
My Client is the School of Life’, a unusual travel agency who dispute the notion that our holidays ought to be about escaping reality, and instead propose that they should serve to enable us to understand the world in which we live. They offer holidays to the neglected corners of the everyday life, such as Holidays up the M1, a Holiday at Heathrow and weekends dedicated to looking at the sky.
My research has involved membership of the Sheffield Aero Club, thanks to John Dawson (who has both literally and metaphorically taken me into the clouds); and long days spent writing this report at Woodhall Services on the M1 watching the world go by.