Tag: liverpool

The hidden beauty within Toxteth

As a part 1 architect student we were asked to develop a collage that depicted our area we had been given to design an architectural masterplan, not one to stick to the rules very often I decided to develop an art installation instead.

I designed  an installation that tried to explain that Toxteth, an area given a bad name since the 1980’s riots, still had hidden beauty and gems that not everyone thinks or knows about when they think of this particular area of Liverpool.

Being from the region and my mother being born in this part of the city in particular I knew the  area fairly well and wanted people to see that there were good qualities about the area that must be preserved when in the redeveloping the area.

History covered up

When I visited the area for the site analysis one particular row of 19th century terraces had been bordered up with metal shutters to keep squatters out. These houses had been bought by the local council from its tenants in order to replace them with new designs that the architects in mind had planned.

Noticing that one of these metal boards was leaning against a wall I had an idea. Using the metal sheet project the hidden beauty of Toxteth through it using projectors, filling a space with dots of light from pictures of the area.


 Exposing the beauty within

It is quite a symbolic design, a metal shutter that had been residing on these hundred year old terrace buildings with aeons of history behind them, abandoned but with many stories to tell, are now telling new stories through pictures, light and the thing that were once covering them up in the first place, showing viewers that beauty exists in the places they didn’t expect and sometimes the only way to see the beauty of something is to actually go in to the space and see for yourself whether you deem it bad or not bad at all.


Above a fellow architect student helps set up the installation.


The light of the projector starts to shine on the metal boards borrowed from the Toxteth Region of Liverpool





Other students visit the space to experience the beauty within





Light projection starts showing the images of the Toxteth Region and starts showing people the beauty of the area through light and colour.






 Making our own perceptions

Sometimes when we look at something we consider what people have told us in the past instead of making our own perceptions, Toxteth has a lot of history as well as hidden gems like Toxteth.TV (visit the website here ), a great community, a varied cultural background and a lot of green space for an inner city suburb all things that should be preserved when regenerating the area.

The installation formed the basis of the idea behind a masterplan for regenerating the Toxteth Area, preserving the historical artefacts of the area when adding new architectural designs to the space already being used.  I will include the masterplan of Toxteth that I ( along with two other students ) created in the near future.

Old Architecture works – 2008 part 1 architect graduate

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