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a tHEsis DEsiGn ProJEct nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

created by nicholas Francis

Extracttion Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Introduction Collaboration Thesis Showcase Narrative Writing Painting Timeline Film Storyboard Concept Investigation of Light Prototyping Light Show Site Photography Sketching Modelling Site Concepts Contents Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Design Abstract Precedents Site 2156 Characters Layout Plans & Perspectives Hand Scale Strategies Technical Models Review Photos Apprasial & Feedback Collaboration Tutorial

Contents Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout


The second semester project entitled ‘Extraction’ was undertaken as a joint effort between Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout. Our decision to collaborate was based on our identification of each other’s architectural abilities and the compatibility of thesis propositions. The final project is the result of Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout combining to fully integrate and test the topics discussed in our written dissertations.

Collaboration Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Rebalancing Thought Does the employment of non-rational capabilities evoke a stronger response when brought into balance with erudition? Non-rational capacity exists both in lifestyle choices and architectural aims. It’s prominence however is over powered by right sided thinking which is fuelled by erudition. Throughout the architectural world, research and intellect has governed approaches to architecture with its importance seen as the factors in which we design to. What has entailed is architecture which has in many cases forgotten about sensual values and it’s emotional response to the user. The reasons for this can be seen at both an individual and world scale, in which modern lifestyle has evolved humanity. Preconception has stopped man from fulfilling non-rational thought, via fear of rejection and revealing personal attributes. There does however seem to be those which are bold enough, in both their studies and practice to display their feelings and respond to these in the form of artistry they produce. For this reason I believe the architecture produced contains both boldness and heart through its connection with the user, evoking inner emotions. Establishing these ‘artists’ and using their techniques. Thesis - Rebalancing Thought Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Textual Constructs Architecture + Narrative Juhani Pallasmaa declares a true work of architecture integrates all of the sense; tactile experiences, thermal quality, even olfactory sensations, play fundamental roles in our overall experience of a place. However, what of the ‘textual experience’ of architecture? I would promote the notion that, as we experience new places, we subconsciously translate our perceptions into words. Consider the visual and textual domains interrelated; in the same way one cannot help but visualise descriptive literature, we cannot prevent ourselves from mentally uttering ‘arch’ when such a form is observed.There exists an inevitable transference of the textual into visual data and vice versa. With the transfusion of imagery into the body of literature, words hold great power to stimulate our visual imagination. Similarly to a painting or architectural draft, a story can be adjusted and reworked, its words forming walls and boundaries, casting light, and moulding textures. Consequently my thesis focuses on the role and potential of narrative and creative writing within a design methodology and its significance after realisation of the architectural intent. I promote and test the notion that creative writing can be used to formulate a narrative which can textually conceptualise a more poetic architectural proposition. Thesis - Textural Contructs Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Showcase - Pandora’s Box The showcase provided the first chance to communicate our written direction, alongside the proposal of a conceptual design and descriptive narrative to the project. The decision was informed through a short piece of creative writing in which a series of short stories were woven together for the underpinning of a brief, here metaphor would produce the starting point. The showcase contributed to the development of an idea alongside the abstract representation. The ancient story of Pandora’s box produced such an opportunity. The narrative in which hope was the last word that to squeeze from the opened box allowed a connection to historical stories, present realities and futuristic opinions. All this was brought together through creative writing and mixed media for an artistic representation of a brief.

Showcase Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout


Writing - Extraction In the first half of the second millennium, mankind paid no heed to the signs of the world around him; the minatory indicators of his mindless destruction, marginalised by indomitable greed. Chaos and conflict gripped tight, squeezing all life out of a once flourishing species. Hope withdrew; sequestered into the deep depths of the mind, locking itself away, as a distant and obscure memory. Great swathes of land lay in ruin. The civilised world, desolated by hostility, became derelict and uninhabitable. Earth relinquished its fight, allowing the infestation it harboured to inevitably consume itself. Enfeebled and destitute, man sought refuge in remote corners of the world; places long regarded as inferior habitats. Yet these were the places which had escaped the worst of man’s destruction. A remote and ancient settlement on the edge of desert, once part of a land known as the Kingdom of Morocco, was one such place. Relegated to a primitive life, beneath scorched crimson skies, man re-inhabited the abandoned remains of Ait Ben Haddou. For decades man clung to existence within its crumbling walls; devoid of hope; unable to shift from his stupor; awaiting his final chapter. Yet the story of man had much that remained to be told. As the words Writing Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

began to draw to an end, a new chapter was set to begin. It told the story of man’s improbable salvation. Roused from an ancient hibernation emerged a long forgotten forbearer; a species far advanced yet not too dissimilar to man. From their deep slumber, they woke to perceive what man had become. Thus came the dawn of a new age. The precursors offered mankind a chance to revert back to a time before. With superior knowledge, they began to delve into the ground in search of something. Man gathered to participate, working to pay back their debt and replenish their sins. He had learnt his lessons of greed and selfishness, now he craved only payment in one currency - hope. Huge structures dominated the settlement below, drawing from deep with the earth an element unknown to man. Only the precursors knew of its potential and how to harness its power. They drew from the natural energy around them to power a great mechanism. Its process discarded fragments of the element, to be scavenged by the humans. The scraps became valuable to the resourceful inhabitants that had flocked below the machine. Word had spread, drawing more and more to aid the curing of the world. Thus the destruction of the world was slowly undone. ‘’The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.’’ Italo Calvino

Writing Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Painting - Understanding Place The walls of imagery are drawn from our scope, the architect has simply become aware to record place for its actual realties within its dimension and scale, often forgetting the values of activity and shape that form the culture of spaces and in particular the fluidity in which they are used. Through the arts of mixed media within traditional techniques, painting from both memory and actualities, painting has tested skills to reproduce site. With thoughts not always based around hard fact and rather the emotion of place; colour and texture have been the tool to evoke thought and creativity. In particular the Marrakech Soux’s with it metal workers and Ait-Ben Haddou’s divided community broken by the artery of water, have inspired the pieces.

Painting Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

timeline With a future scenario pictured, we choose to depict stages throughout time that may cause controversy or importance within the build up of the world in 2156. choosing a small selection of these years and highlighting there importance to the world and in particular our design consideration would aid a stronger understanding and final project.

tiMELinE nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Film - Extraction Following the route of our thesis’ directions and design brief interaction, we choose to integrate a short film into the project description and review. The film prescribed a location and background, setting up a series of situations that depicted Africa and its future state. Using an array of news bulletins and small clips we formed an overall image, which held a base of work around research and strong moving imagery. This culminated together to create drama and suspense for the viewer, delving into the design proposition quickly and taking the audience into a moment in time.

Film Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Storyboard - A new beginning A traveller happens upon the ruins of the abandoned settlement of Ait Benhaddou. In the ruins, he meets a man taking refuge from the sun. They sit, contemplating the sorrows of the world and its path ahead. They continue to meet and, after some time, draw new people to participate and learn. Attention turns to the cavernous hole beside the ruined remains of the granary and the opportunities therein. Now redundant structures are deconstructed and the materials reclaimed. reclaimed material is utilised to inhabit the sinkhole with an evolving structure, providing A place to foster deeper discussion. Through the art of story telling a mix media, to accompany both thesis exploration and Moroccan traditions, the design proposal set a brief through the art of film and narrative through a story stitched an amalgamated from experience. The project looked to develop existing issues and strike a strong reaction to the Africa’s issues. Ait-Ben Haddou a fortress town, contained a rich history, with a important granary located at the top of the mound, its facilities offered the opportunity for hope.

StoryBoard Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

concept - scenario conceptualising design and brief allowed for imaginative drawings to paint pictures of both africa and ait ben-Haddou, the idea of the images were to evoke response and create a bold vision of various aspects. the hope to question and test opinions was the arching theme in creating these images and the ideas.

concEPt nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Investigation of Light

Protoypting - Model Testing Working alongside the art of modelling, the prototyping week allowed the production of a working pattern to develop. Testing ideas and producing artefacts which would respond to a possible facade system allowed us to design panels which would replicate lighting proposals. Through understanding the qualities of Moroccan light, it was possible to apply the fundamental opacity levels which would work within Ait Ben-Haddou’s context. Thus leading to an understanding to methods of filtering, diffusing and reflecting light. These exercises tested the properties of different materials, colour, and their interaction of light. Meaning the knowledge gained could be utilised within the final design scheme. The overall findings were reproduced with use of a photo booth and a continuous camera shot, adapting only the direction of light at considered times.

Prototyping Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Light Show Following the prototyping week, we took upon further research, interacting and understanding the power of light via a stronger context, where art and exhibitions artefacts had been carefully considered within their response. The exhibition held a range of beautiful pieces, in particular Carlos CruzDiez’s Chromosaturation; Conrad Shawcross’ Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV; and Olafur Eliasson’s Model for a Timeless Garden.Prior to visiting the show, With recommendation to spend a length of time within the colour rooms, which would present themselves to us when we arrived we looked forward to the visit ahead. As we found the Chromosaturation into a blue haze; a white-washed chamber lit by blue-filtered fluorescent light. Viewing across the varying coloured spaces, the vivid colours of red and green and their tropical blend cast on to clean surfaces. Over a period of time the colours gradually adapted and changed upon the eye, slowly the blue immersion appeared to die away as my eyes adjusted to perceive the surrounding walls in their true white form.

Light Show, Hayward Gallery, London Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout


Photography - Ait Ben Haddou Located in the foothills on the southern slopes of the High Atlas in the Province of Ouarzazate, the site of Ait-Ben-Haddou is the most famous ksar in the Ounila Valley, Morocoo - Africa. The Ksar of A誰t-Ben-Haddou is a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture. The ksar is a mainly collective grouping of dwellings. Inside the defensive walls which are reinforced by angle towers and pierced with a baffle gate, houses crowd together - some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections decorated with motifs in clay brick .

Photography Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

sketching - Place through the art of sketching, a connection a closer understanding of site was depicted - an experiential side to the location that had become our site.

sKEtcHinG nicholas Francis & andrew Grout


site - contextural With the site confirmed and an understanding of its textural and typographical conditions, the group worked to develop a site model to represent all. With an understanding that the local context held a strong connection to the earth it stood on, with many of the buildings incorporated within the plan constructed through mud bricks and other local supplies, the model opted to represent these qualities. a continuous approach to material choice was paramount, with the modelling resolution taken to be designed in one continuous palette of material, thus creating the idea that the buildings were born of the ground. using a range of computer skills and laser cutting machinery we constructed the model through a puzzled configuration.

sitE nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Concepts - Timber Through conceptual design development, modeling became vital to design communication in expression of ideas and thoughts. Starting with a simple approach to form and the site in place, these allowed the progression of thesis ideas and design proposals to develop an understanding of a thinking process. Starting with small timber elements, an organic arm that reached from the depths of the sink hole, began. With ideas, of core building components, with access and circulation vital within a vertical structure.

Concepts Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

concepts - Metal Developing the project through the stages, where the use of a range of materials would both represent content and design thinking, production of a scavenged formed model was produced, encapsulating the ideas of a building created from re-used and recycled elements. this equal process was mirrored in construction through visits to workshops, using components to create an abstract representation. Following the design creation, a carefully considered model base was produced, representing an idea that reflects the true nature of visual representation. With structure a key component to design proposals, floor space and prefab bodies, meant tensile strings would be required, providing cords that replicate a tent structure, in which a facade design would be incorporated.

concEPts nicholas Francis & andrew Grout


Abstract - Extraction

A Haven For, Discussion, Discovery, And Dissemination; Extracting, Preserving And Harnessing Wisdom To Inspire Hope.

Abstract Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Derinkuyu Underground City Nevsehir Province | Turkey

Caveland Missouri Festus | Missouri | USA

Sala Silvermine V채stmanland County | Sweden

Mogao Caves Dunhuang | China

Pabellon Desconectados Plan B Arquitectos | Colombia

Termite Mound Africa

Nomadic tent Asia & Africa

Insitut Du monde arabe Jean Nouvel | Paris | France Precedents Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

sitE 2156 nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Site 2156 Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

sitE 2156 nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Chararcters - Brethern I have spent many of my years here, finding those both in need and in search of something, my brothers and I guide those upon the path of knowledge. Most come asking for a solution, yet this is best left in the safe hands of the form before them. Without offering answers, I pose the simplest of questions to entice exploration and discovery. As a hub of collection and dissemination, the pointers I offer need only to teach the power of involvement; drawing from the expansive repository of information. The knowledge I have gained through the power of discussion has served me well, with the varying cultures of the men, women and children placed before me I learn every day, hoping to encourage others to forge a new future, from the gentle beginning I offer them opportunity, which only gives me the greatest of rewards - honour. One man once asked me, what are you searching for? Enlightenment? Hope? Opportunity or a place of spirit? I never knew the answer but it always lay within my finger tips, the sand beneath my feet, connected all of this. The place was called home. It continues to help me to this day and as I wake to the shimmering purple haze, I venture ‘home’ to my place of spirit, where I now offer the same question my father placed before me. ‘What are you searching for?’ Characters Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Chararcters - Traveller Walking far and wide, these sandals scuffed and sodden have trod on the remains of the deserted and commercialised world, yet I have protected what is sacred, a personal collection bound together through my ancestors. Using the power of memory, its knowledge is recorded and heard for years. Placing my garments and belongings within the safety net of extraction, I pause and rest before entrusting them with the brethren. I feel the engagement of the structure, developing around me and by contributing knowledge I can only extend its quality. I have never visited such a hidden gem, the depth of structure is a hive of activity with noise circulating from top to bottom. My day is spent transcending between layers, meeting others who hold the keys to my questions, whilst I find out it is me who they are fascinated with. I have never realised what I possess, my ancestors are more than relations but key members of society who made differences, they began the rebuilding process and I have been placed here to fill the missing gaps. The library is my home, the books hold wisdom and my research encapsulates the audiences that bellow in the chambers.

Characters Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Chararcters - War Lord My involvement in the ‘fight’ has put me in the hardest battles, witnessing the bloodiest of conflicts, but no matter the war, the man who stands next to me is my friend and I trust him with my life. Fighting to make change, I have been masked by destruction placing fear and danger upon those I love, my enemies are in search of the same but we argue and resort to pain to solve our issues, what we must reveal is the truths, no man is greater than the next but through community a spirited bond is formed, it’s the connection which binds together the hope for equality. I have paced the floors of extraction, no man here knows my past and as they all discuss their thoughts from history, I realise I have been misguided, the facts and research prove my actions wrong. I have become infamous for making my continent a place of despair and corruption. I have the chance to be a small piece of a large evolution, fixing my wrong doings. One day I will broadcast my stories and hope for forgiveness, but as I stay quiet the memories cannot be forgotten. I find a crevice in the rock and there lies my confession, a record of my guilt. Characters Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

LaYout nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Plans & Perspectives Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

HanD scaLE nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

HanD scaLE nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

strategies - ventilation taking precedent from termite mound typology, the sinkhole is ventilated via tunnelled shafts which draw in fresh cool air whilst stagnant warm air is passively expelled.

strategies - access & Escape visitors journey through a short tunnelled passage leading to a possessions room 6 meters below the sinkhole opening. the brotherhood guides are provided tunnelled entry passages from key dwellings within the old town.

stratEGiEs nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

strategies - irrigation Water is drawn up from the reservoir utilising power from the prevailing north-easterly wind. the water is then used to irrigate the land, enabling sustainable food production.

strategies - Lighting The intense Moroccan Sunlight is captured and reflected down a light shaft and dispersed into the sinkhole interior with reflective surfaces. Fibre optic cables draw light to further depths, providing low levels of light where intended.

stratEGiEs nicholas Francis & andrew Grout

Models - Log Through the use of varying media with both hand crafting and technological advances, models became a vital connection in the representation of our scheme. With a clear outset to connect material and modelling choices, the quality of building and experience we were proposing allowed for a parallel momentum to convey ideas, reflecting real life building materials and methods in there formation. The site model was constructed through the appreciation of a log, obtaining this and treating it over time, allowed us to cut and carve the log before re-piecing the elements and reconstructing. With an overall form we were able to replicate our proposals within a void, with the burning of edges heightening the quality and sharp edges of the sink hole.

Models Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Models - Detail The detail model was a counter balance, articulated through machinery and pieced together in precision, the model was pure accuracy, which reflected the engineering skill and thought process required to combine materials and meeting of junctions within the formation of the overall structure. The smaller scale model also focused on the librarium, which highlighted the tone difference, with the rough rock against the cut and inserted steel or concrete which held a linear pattern and uneven texture.

Models Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Models - Beacon With design creation complete, a carefully considered model base was produced, representing an idea that reflects the true nature of visual representation. With structure a key component to design proposals, floor space and prefab bodies, tensile strings would be vital to both strength and aesthetical cladding, providing cords that replicate a tent structure, in which a facade design would be incorporated.

Models Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout


Review Choosing to articulate our idea within the overall narrative that had been a focus throughout the scheme, we read the project like a story board of events and point in time. The project was represented within a developing world. A short film introduced a location and brief overview, displaying the period of time in which the scheme sat, pulling the viewer into the ideas and understanding of the project. With artistic approaches to representation the scheme described a world through a range of media whilst sitting alongside a story which encapsulated the small details of understanding and modelling, describing the flowing nature from process to the final outcome.

Photos Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Apprasial & Feedback

Collaboration - Written by Andrew Grout It has been a real pleasure to collaborate with Nicholas Francis on our final thesis proposal. Nick’s keen work ethic and pragmatic approach to working have provided the momentum which enabled us to deliver the project not only to schedule, but also to produce more work than initially programmed. In addition to a great architectural skill set, Nick possesses a superb capacity to adapt. This allowed us to share confidence in one another’s abilities and produce work that maintained a project consistency in both quality and aesthetic. Enthusiasm to explore both of our thesis orientations has also led to the production of work in various Medias, including video and models, which may not have occurred in an individual enterprise. Ultimately Nick’s organised and motivational personally has made the project a pleasurable and relatively stress-free endeavour and I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again. Andrew Grout

Collaboration Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Collaboration - Written by Nicholas Francis Collaborating alongside Andrew Grout has been a great pleasure, his commitment and working ethos has been an inspiration both personally and ultimately to our design proposition. With optimism and bold decisions we have tested both ourselves and our thesis proposals to the maximum of their abilities. Holding the highest confidence in Andy’s working ability and his delivery of beauty in all his work, we have prevailed. I can only thank Andy for pushing me to use new representational techniques within the framework of my thesis proposition, pushing the boundaries of design. Furthermore Andy holds the ability to work creatively, forming well crafted and thoughtful design propositions which have been inspiring. With the key assets required to be a team member, we have developed both individually and collaboratively throughout the process, reaping the rewards of team work, which can only help us within our future career paths. Nicholas Francis Collaboration Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

Apprasial - Tutorial Your design diary is a wonderful collection of thought and endeavour on a wide variety of subjects and scales. We would recommend identifying some sketches you would wish to show the external examiner as you are discussing your proposal this show your character as a designer and supporting ‘extraction Story Book’, demonstrates your pride and time spent in sharing your design process. The final definition of typology medieval monastic university will help you define your scheme to yourself and your external examiner. Esoteric images born of imagination which take you into a film like scenario, this is the strongest element of the scheme. The labels ‘subsequent to review’ are helpful especially where you summarise the changes. The post thesis review work responds the main points made in the feedback and clarifies issues of the ‘future’ and what else is happening in the world, especially in response to skills, origins and the building over time. The final drawing of the folio demonstrates yet more energy with a further ‘what if ’ scenario. An inspiring idea beautifully illustrated. Apprasial Nicholas Francis & Andrew Grout

created July 2013

Extraction Design Booklet  
Extraction Design Booklet  

Design Diary for final year project