Project 2 - Design Unit
stoke bardolph, nottingham
We were given the choice of three weir sites along the river trent (Beeston, Colwick & Stoke Bardolph) and after visiting the three, the huge contrast in sound and the potential for bridging across the river
inspired me to create an architectural intervention at Stoke. I wanted my architecture to accentuate and bring people to the site and emulate the interesting contrast in acoustics that I experienced there.
The site is very picturesque and I felt that it would be well suited to a getaway retreat, I have always had an interest in psychology and the human body and prior to the project I had come across the field of Bioenergetics; a body-oriented psychotherapy based on the expression of feelings, which aims to remove muscular tensions in order to release repressed emotions. This is done through movement and stretching, and can involve crying, screaming, shouting and other cathartic emotional releases. I had the idea that the crashing sounds of the weir could create an acoustic mask which would allow people to express themselves and remove the depression of emotions (which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder and longer term mild depression) without judgement from others. I used the line of the weir to create a spine which splits the building into an equal balance of the opposing spaces which are associated with Bioenegetic therapy, key contrasting themes include; light/dark; loud/quiet; exertion/relaxation and light/heavy. I have also been inspired by Louis Kahn, his philosophical views on architecture; honouring your materials and the importance of silence and light have helped shape this project. Bioenergetics is about evoking a deep physical response in the body to release emotions and I have echoed this in my architectural intervention through creating heightened atmospheric spaces which merge into their surroundings to enable contemplation and catharsis.
“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.” Louis Kahn
A selection of sketches from site analysis to design development