From 2004 to 2008 I was a part 1 Architect student and part of the course was to create scale models of the designs I was creating. This was a radical bookshop on a bridge design that got my highest marks and was also my favourite design that I created in the 2nd year of the course.
The idea is that because the bookshop sold alternative books and a different way of thinking about things then the bookshop should also reflect that in its geometry by not following the forms of that surrounding it. In terms of material the external part of the building would be clad in wood and the internal walls would be metal, again juxtaposing what is expected to be found in a building.
The bridge itself would re-use some materials that the original bridge was replacing and allowing visitors to graffiti on the bridge just like what it used to have.
The bridge is a place for those with alternative way of thinking to reside and meet, discuss and philosophise. If only a place would exist rather than creating shopping mall after shopping mall, office block after office block.
Site visit before creating and designing the Architectural Model
In the images below you will see the shop that I designed the bridge shop for and a few images of the original bridge and the new location for the shop to reside.
I hope you enjoy viewing the site and the architectural model, I promise to be blogging about graphics, web and marketing in my next blog post.
In 2007, during my architectural degree I was assigned into a group of four and asked to come up with a plan to regenerate a part of Liverpool that had long been in need of some refurbishment for our CDP, a Toxteth Architectural Masterplan CDP. So we sat around a table and firstly discussed our ideas on how we should tackle it.
Researching the past
We decided to do some research and discovered that Toxteth used to be a hunting ground for kings of old and then later the home to many dockers and traders of the shipyard docks until the early 20th century. Realising that as a group we had environmental thinking as a priority we wanted to use the idea of the woodlands as a basis for our design and also to show the beauty within Toxteth that has been forgotten due its recent bad press.
This is the Art Installation we created, it was created after we had visited Toxteth and realised that Toxteth had beauty within but it was hidden. The light was created in this form by ‘borrowing’ a fence from a bordered up building that was hiding the beauty of the Toxteth terraces facade. Once we had it we projected images of Toxteth onto the board and through the board different dots of light was created crating an image of beauty, something that people don’t necessarily think of when they think of Toxteth. At the foot of the page is the city skyline and trees populated throughout the city. To represent the idea of repopulating the city with lots of trees and forresting the city to make it green once more.
This was the bridge and market of Toxteth, along the boulevard of Princes Avenue, we noticed it was an used space that had a lot of potential for development to re-energise the area into a busy area once again like it was in the victorian era.
We decided to include a bridge so that it links both sides of the area together to bridge the community on this busy street which we intended to make one way and reopen windsor street on the part of Toxteth to increase passing trade for the shops along that space and make Toxteth thrive again.
The bridge itself would be a green bridge with the opportunity to grow your own vegetables or flowers to help bring a stronger sense of community.
This was the school. The idea of the school was to promote the idea of sustainable lifestyle from a very young age so it is the way they live rather than it being something ‘they choose to do’. When the child enters the school they plant a small sapling and as their education grows the tree also grows with it. After their 18 years of education the tree should be fairly large and then the pupil would be able to replant the tree somewhere else in the city repopulating the city with greenery improving the atmosphere with cleaner air, improving the landscape for the inhabitants and also increasing the value of the properties as it is proven that tree lined streets increase the value of property in its vacinity.
Rather than build a community centre we decided to build a distraction centre. This is a space that allows the community to use it for leisure but see other activities going on around it thus creating a distraction. It is known that a reason a lot of young people say they cause trouble is that they are bored so by havign a distraction centre it would improve the community spirit.
This is the ecotower where the local community can grow their own food and is linked to the school. They are like vertical alotments creating a sense of community and teaching people about food and the benefit of growing it yourself.
Below are a few mockups to show how the idea of a greener Toxteth.
This was a group architecture project i took part in and I enjoyed working with other creatives very much, we came up with some great ideas and actually looking back some of our own ideas have started to be implemented only this year in Wirral ( as they are starting to plant more trees) and the green bridge is also something a dutch designer created so some concepts we had back in 2007 are also in the minds of other architects, we definitely had the right thinking. Although architecture is not what I now practice it was a great experience and led me to where I am today. I hope you enjoyed reading this article about my past education.
As you may already know, long before I became a graphics and branding designer I attended a BA Hons degree in Architecture at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating in may 2008 when the recession was at its peak and the building trade had all dried up, even worse in the north of the UK so a part 1 architect position was not exactly oozing out of every crevice.
I have decided to include my past works in my blog as I feel this was a stage that did develop my creativity and led me on to where I am today.
This project was called the Kente Locus based around fashion and dedicated in memory to the African connection Liverpool has. The concept was that everyone who was on the boulevard had to pass through the building so that the fashion designers who reside in the building can people watch and get inspiration from the varying cultures of the area and also be a multifunctional space that could be used for catwalks, fashion pods, lectures, a research space, a meeting place and an exhibition space on the top floor. The below plans were drawn using AutoCad 2008
Depending what event was on at the Kent Locus the lighting within the Locus would inform the passer by what was happening. One colour may be a fashion show, another for general creative use and another for an exhibition etc.
The facade of the building is clad in reflective metal and glass for two purposes, firstly to reflect the surrounding georgian buildings that the dockers of Liverpool used to live in thinking of the past that created the wealth and history of the city, the long form of the building like a piece of cloth that Africans make to fabricate a cloth together and secondly so that the building can get passive solar gains from the internal concrete walls of the building to ensure it can make the most of its sustainable credentials.
In this section it shows how the central space can be used in various ways. From a lecture being conducted, to a catwalk etc
This is a closer look of a lecture being conducted with light tunnels filling the space with natural light. This was not the final design as it was decided that bridges should cross the space on the third floor so that observing others fashion was easier.
These 3d pictures were created with the use of 3ds max 9 and photoshop, the largest image is the entrance to the Kente Locus, a space made of concrete and plain metal so that the colours of the people would be the features of the building rather than the building itself. The two pictures on the right of the large picture show two people observing people as they enter the building and below shows that there are many different angles you can observe people no matter where you are in the building.
This shows the OMAA DA boxes, boxes that can be place together to create seperate private spaces and be used for different purposes. In this illustration you can see the space being used as a pop up shop, an art class, a changing room or even a meditation pod for quiet reflection.
In this section it shows clearer details of how the building is constructed and how both the passive solar gains would work and should there be a fire how the smoke could be removed from the building as quickly as possible due to smoke being the main killer of a fire rather than the fire itself.
Unfortunately I don’t seem to have taken pictures of my model or I have mislaid them but in my next post I will be showing one of my most popular models that I constructed which was a book shop that sold radical books on a bridge. The Architecture course was a great experience and I don’t regret any of it, the subject will always hold a place in my heart and I am still a fond studier of construction and buildings. Please feel free to leave any comments below