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Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Aboriginal Music Festival

Here Studio Architects

Curriculum Vitae

Education Newcastle University, U.K. 2009 to 2012 BA Architecture (RIBA Part I) _ 2:1 Bedford School, U.K. 2004 to 2009 A Levels:


Geography _ A Design & Technology _ A Art _ B

Art _ A Chemistry _ B English Language _ A* Geography _ A* Mathematics (Further) _ B Religious Studies _ A

Biology _ B Design & Technology _ A* English Literature _ A* Mathematics _ B Physics _ B Spanish _ B

Relevant Skills __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Autodesk Revit Architecture, AutoCAD + Navisworks Google SketchUp Adobe Creative Suite Freehand sketching _ A Level Art + University Teamwork, presentation + analytical skills Model Making Bentley Microstation Mac + Windows proficient Web design capabilities

A hardworking and outgoing Architecture student with practised communication and presentation skills, I have recently been awarded a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Architecture from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. I have a good deal of experience with architectural firms in both the UK and Australia and have a diverse background in other communication-based jobs. I’m easy going by nature, but will work tirelessly to achieve my best. Able to get along with both colleagues and clients, I’m currently looking for a design role from May 2013 onwards. This portfolio document aims to capture a flavour of who I am, what I’ve done and how I’d hope to add value to your practice.


Relevant Experience Here Studio Architects, Melbourne, Australia: May – October 2013

CBRE, London Office: December 2009

Here Studio specialises in collaborative architecture and my time here enabled me to expand my professional interpersonal skills and learn how to manage and direct people who looked to me for design advice.

This was a short internship in which I was able to gain experience in how the Building Consultancy department worked. I attended meetings with potential and existing clients and saw how a large property development firm deals with architects and other design professionals. Although short, I learnt a lot about how other construction professionals view architects and how best to bring together the various disciplines to meet different challenges.

At the outset, I helped to design and bump-in a streetscape for an Aboriginal music festival in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. I was then asked to undertake several other projects that required me to manage groups of volunteers and other design professionals in order to complete each project on time and to the highest possible standard. However, the most enjoyable and exciting project I undertook was slightly different: the project, “Baadlands”, involved identifying a prime-location site in Melbourne’s inner city and proposing how it could be adapted and improved. I was part of a 3-man team and was given the personal responsibility of making a 1:250 model of a section of Melbourne’s CBD, which we could then use as a backdrop for a stop-motion film showing how under utilised the site current was. Our proposal identified a site directly opposite the main meeting place in Melbourne (Federation Square), which is currently being used as a car park for St Paul’s Cathedral, despite the fact that demand for car parking there was low. Images of selected projects I undertook at Here Studio are shown in the first section of this folio.

John McAslan + Partners, Manchester office: August - September 2011

Selected Other Experience 1st Crew Rowing Coach, Firbank Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia: October 2012 March 2013

In order to fund my initial time in Melbourne and meet new people, I undertook a role as a rowing coach at a local girls’ school. Initially, I was coach of the bottom crew at the school, but through positive results and warm feedback I was able to work my way up to coach of the senior girls’ 1st crew within 2 months. Although unexpected, the 4 months I spent coaching the girls were some of the most enjoyable of my time in Australia. I found the role challenging and massively rewarding and was able to get real satisfaction from seeing young people fulfill their potential and find great pride in their achievements.

The skills I developed in terms of motivating groups of people have given me confidence to For the majority of my 8 week internship here, I worked closely with the project manager on a manage and delegate to people in design scenarios; skills which I was able to employ student housing redevelopment for Leeds Metropolitan University. I was asked to produce effectively at Here Studio Architects. several design ideas for the kitchen and study-bedroom areas. This required me to show initiative and flair in producing images and models that I was then able to present to one of the G4S Security Steward – Wimbledon Championships: June-July 2010 Directors. I was also asked to assist with the site analysis of a potential commercial project the practice was bidding for in Manchester City Centre. This allowed me to use my analytical and Photoshop skills in identifying and presenting the various aspects of the site and its surroundings.

This involved client care, providing customer service to the general public and dealing with difficult situations in a sensitive and conclusive way. This was a very busy yet ultimately rewarding job that holds only good memories for me.

Wilson Mason Architects, Preston Office: July - August 2011

Sports Development Department, Bedford Borough Council – “Street Scheme”:

I was part of a four-man team asked to design a scheme from scratch for a competition to provide a new administration centre for Liverpool University’s Marine Biology School. This presented numerous challenges as we only had two weeks to produce the designs, but I feel that I learnt a lot about myself and how I work under pressure; especially as this was the first time that I had taken an active role in helping to design for a real client.

This was a voluntary role that provided sports coaching opportunities to underprivileged children in the Bedfordshire area. My role was to lead and motivate groups of children with the goal of helping them to recognise previously unidentified skills and to build up self esteem.

Summer 2007, 08 + 09

Richards Basmajian, Hong Kong Office: August 2010

Other Interests

Richards Basmajian specialise in interior design and architecture working as consultants to both these fields. Working for them gave me a greater understanding of the processes that professional designers must undertake to produce successful designs. When working here I was able to explore my freehand sketching skills and ultimately helped to produce sketches of the interior reception spaces in a project focusing on the redevelopment of the Peak Tram Central Station in Hong Kong.

I am passionate about sport. At school, I was captain of the 1st VIII rowing crew and represented Great Britain at schoolboy level. Rowing at this level requires great commitment and determination and a drive to win. Above all, however, I feel that playing sport to a high level at both school and university has taught me how to perform under pressure and to manage my time in order to get the most out of each day and enjoy the free time when it comes.




Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Aboriginal Music Festival

Here Studio Architects

This was a project that involved designing and constructing a streetscape for an Aboriginal music festival in Collingwood, Melbourne. We were keen to use only recycled materials and used discarded timber palettes to form the basis of our designs. With the site already confirmed, I then sketched out a basic layout for the streetscape with the idea of channelling the flow of people towards the main stage, but also shaping the palettes in such a way as to allow them to act as

seating, sculptures and furniture. I also decided to paint the edges of the palettes in the Aboriginal colours of reds, browns and yellows and created stencils to evoke the sense that, despite the weather, users could feel some form of connection with Aboriginal feel of the streetscape and the sound of the music.

culture through the look and

The feedback from the public was extremely positive, but the most satisfying element for us was seeing the positive interactions between the local Aboriginal people and the general public.




1:250 Site Model July 2013

Baadland Competition

Here Studio Architects

The photographs above show the 1:250 model (not shown to scale) I created of a section of Melbourne’s CBD for the ‘Baadlands’ competition. They also depict the process which we undertook when creating the stop-motion film that would be displayed behind the model during the show. The film that we displayed during the exhibit can be seen here: 7



The Finnish Institute, Newcastle January - May 2012

Architectural Design

Project 2

The final design project of the year sought to provide a new base for the Finnish Institute, currently based in London, in the North East. The building was to act as a link between British and Finnish culture and to improve the spirit of the cultural regeneration of the Newcastle Quayside. My research revealed that Finnish and, indeed, Nordic culture is rooted in

values of equality and open society. In Finnish visual culture

the presence of new and old is clear and natural materials are paired with highly manufactured ones: timber with steel and glass, the sauna with Nokia. The institute was not supposed to be like an embassy with a specific representative role, but rather an operational hub to enable the emergence of

social and cultural interaction. The mission of the Finnish Institute of

London is to identify emerging issues relevent to contemporary society and to act as a catalyst for positive social change through partnerships.



Concept Models

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

Studying Finnish culture helped me to understand that tactility and the use of natural materials is fundamental to Finnish architecture and design. With this and the Institute’s mission in mind, I chose to move forward with the idea of providing workshop and woodwork spaces within my designs, using the institute as a

catalyst for craft and learning in the local area and helping to forge links

between Newcastle and Finnish culture - which is also fascinated with design and tactility. Having decided to incorporate workshop spaces into my design, I then moved on to their potential locations within the layout. These concept models were built to show how the workshops (acrylic) should occupy the central spaces and how all other spaces (black wood) should provide views into them. From this I was able to form the idea of ‘visible workshop spaces’and moved forward with the philosophy of providing a building within which people could ‘learn by seeing and doing’.


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Concept Models

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

Aalto Chair 1:5 Mode

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

I used local designers’ work as inspiration to provide visible workshop spaces within my design and began to research other famous furniture designers, focusing mainly on Nordic design. The major example I came across was the famous and multi-talented Finn Alvar Aalto. The detail and cratsmanship shown in his designs was remarkable and the flowing something I was particularly inspired by.

forms of the chair legs were

This 1:5 study model uses Douglas Fir wood for the seat and heat-formed acrylic strips for the legs. The contrast of natural and man-made materials working as one was something that I drew directly from Finnish culture and was also something that I was keen to use in subsequent design phases.


Aalto Strips

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

After making the Aalto chair model I created some more acrylic chair legs based on the forms of Aalto’s furniture. I then started to arrange these strips in various layouts to create different spaces, always keeping in mind the notion of visible workshop spaces.



3 Dimensional Aalto Strips

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

After experimenting with the spaces that the strips could create 2 dimensionally, I moved on to experimenting with the strips in a more 3 by laying then on top of one another.

dimensional manner

This created some interesting voids and double heights and was something I felt offered a great deal of scope moving forward.


Concept Drawing

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

1. Outlined Site Boundary.

2. Placed 3 fixed foundation points on edge of site.

3. Placed Aaltoistic walls between 3 foundation points to create space.

4. Stretched floor back from walls to create voids and atrium spaces.

At this point I chose to take time to reflect and collate all key concepts and ideas up to this point. I also established clouded or confused: • • •


some rules to ensure that the design did not become too

Ensure the workshop and craft spaces remain visible throughout the building. Use 3 ‘Foundation’ or ‘Node’ points at each end of the site. These will be solid structures (perhaps hiding services & circulation etc) which the more free-flowing internal walls tie into. Only use 2-3 ‘Strips’ per floor to ensure spaces don’t become too crowded. Larger, open plan spaces allow for more visibility in the design and ensure that the Aaltoistic curves are more of a feature that can be read easily in the plans.


1:100 Concept Model

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

I used these rules to create a 1:100 concept model (not shown to scale). The model consisted of the site outline (shown black) and three foundation nodes within which I could place the curved ‘walls’. These walls could be moved around and placed on top of each other to create quite literally if I wished.

spaces and voids which could be viewed

These images show the sequential build up of the model with walls forming 3 conceptual ‘floors’.


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Final Proposal 1:300 Ground Floor Plan

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle


Final Proposal 1:300 1st Floor Plan

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

Final Proposal 1:300 2nd Floor Plan

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle 19

When viewed in plan, the philosophies I used in the design process are quite clear. The Aaltoistic walls flow between 3 more regular, weighty structures within which the private areas are placed. The voids are dictated by the walls and stretch away from them, allowing the user to see where the walls are flush, forming one continuous timber flow, and where they contrast and pass over and across one another. These

voids also allow users to see into the workshop and exhibition spaces, creating a learning atmosphere within the building. The Institute’s offices are segregated within the building, giving privacy to the staff should they require. I have positioned a small balcony in these offices, however; allowing the staff the opportunity to interact with the learning and craft spaces at their leisure. The sauna is positioned on the top floor of the building in the front ‘node’, providing privacy and encouraging users to experience the whole building before reaching the sauna and being treated to a panoramic view of the Quayside. Directly next to the sauna is a small, sunken plunge pool which also looks out over the Quayside and satisfies the Finnish desire to have direct access to water.



Final Proposal 1:150 AA Section

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle




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Final Proposal 1:50 Detail Model

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

Final Proposal 1:50 Detail Model

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

The images above show the sequential build up of floors on my 1:50 detail model of the front facade. I felt this model was particularly neccessary to display the 2nd floor sauna and sunken pool as well as the glazing


The pattern on the glass is created using a relatively new technology called Ipachrome Glazing, where each panel is embossed with chrome patterns which can then be offset from one another. This results in reduced solar gain on the South facing facade and enables the glass to take on a striking, 3 dimensional appearance when backlit at night. The pattern on the glazing is taken from the Aaltoistic walls that make up the central interior spaces of the design


Final Proposal Structural Build Up

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle


+ Secondary

+ Glazing panels

+ Floor plates and walls

+ Roof

These images display the structural approach for the design. The structure will consist of a steel frame with primary columns at regular 3.4m intervals. The secondary structure, the interior Aaltoistic Walls, will be created used a smaller steel frame that is connected to the primary structure. Finally, the exterior glazing will hang off the primary frame via a curtain wall.




Final Proposal 1:100 Site Model

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle




1st Floor Workshop Render

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

1st Floor Workshop

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2nd Floor Workshop Render

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle


1st Floor Library Workspace Render

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle

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Sauna + Roof Terrace Render

The Finnish Institute, Newcastle


Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

The Here FinnishStudio Institute,Architects Newcastle Render AboriginalFacade Music Festival



‘The Extent to Which Architects Can Affect People’s Wellbeing’ June 2011 - January 2012


In the developed World, we spend an average of 20 hours a day inside buildings. The concept of human wellbeing risks being somewhat intangible and ephemeral, but I believe that architects must strive to define it in order that it can factor more largely in our evaluation of successful architecture. Who would argue that wellbeing is a worthy ambition? The challenge that I perceived as I embarked on this investigation was that wellbeing is extremely hard to measure and, therefore, impossible to capture as a tangible goal. What I discovered through this work was that there is a nascent science of wellbeing which, when referenced by ambitious and creative architects, can produce a built environment which works from both a functional and an aesthetic point of view. The purpose of my undergraduate dissertation was, therefore, to explore the extent to which architects can affect people’s wellbeing.



‘The Extent to Which Architects Can Affect People’s Wellbeing’

The study that I have undertaken into the question of how far architects can affect our wellbeing has taken a different course to that which I may have predicted when I began. Whilst it was always clear to me that wellbeing would be a worthy goal for architects to aim for, my research has demonstrated that wellbeing is actually a measurable science where specific aspects of the built environment have been demonstrated to have tangible and quantifiable impacts on the occupants. At its extreme, it is possible for architects to severely impair lives or to significantly enhance them. As my literature research progressed, I discovered that my home town university (Lancaster) has two professors who are expert in highly relevant aspects of this field. Professor Cary Cooper and Professor Rachel Cooper have recently undertaken research which provides groundbreaking insight into the links between the science of wellbeing and the built environment. As a result I sought interviews with each, which allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. This led me to undertake a site visit to the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, where I was able to interview some of the building’s users to test the extent to which the wellbeing ambitions of the design team had been realised. It was clear from this exercise that having a wellbeing goal as part of the initial design philosophy has brought many tangible benefits for those who work there. It was neither my belief at the outset, nor my intention through this research, to suggest that architects have never taken wellbeing into account. The challenge for me was to provide clear indicators of why it should be more than a moral and instinctive goal. In fact, what I discovered was that there are economic benefits to designing buildings which make users’ wellbeing a primary objective: they can cost less to construct and run, yet improve productivity and happiness for the occupants. I also identified that it is not always the architect’s ‘fault’ that buildings do not take people’s wellbeing into account. The communications gap between users and both clients and architects is a barrier to complete understanding of requirements. My recommendations are that we, as architects, seek to build far greater awareness of the benefits to be gained from placing a focus on wellbeing in design; also that we place more emphasis on direct communication with the users as well as with the specifiers of our buildings. If I had the opportunity to take this research further, I would conduct an evaluation of a wider range of buildings where wellbeing had been a design ambition and gather user opinions, in order to correlate ambition with outcome and to attach quantifiable measures of success. This work could valuably be done in collaboration with a wellbeing scientist. For the reasons outlined above, I concluded that wellbeing is quite clearly a worthy goal for architects and that it can be factored into their quantifiable measures of success. In the last two years, the science of wellbeing has provided an objective business case to justify this approach. However, personally, I believe that nobody says it better than Frank Lloyd Wright who, in 1954, stated “What is needed most in architecture today is the very thing that is most needed in life – Integrity. Just as it is in a human being, so integrity is the deepest quality in a building …Stand up for integrity in your building and you stand up for integrity not only in the life of those who did the building but socially a reciprocal relationship is inevitable.” I was nervous when I submitted this dissertation, as I recognised that it was treading new ground and was risky: I was relieved and very happy to learn that it was awarded a First.



Middlesbrough Film Archive October - November 2011

Project 1

Architectural Design

This project sought to provide an engaging and inspiring ‘shop window’ for the Northern Region Film and Television Archive (NRFTA) in Middlesbrough: one that should both showcase existing collections and provide a repository for the ever-growing number of unofficial histories. The project asked how architecture might engage with the public and also questioned how personal histories might be collected and displayed. The site provided an ideal opportunity to create

an engaging

front for the NRFTA as it was directly next to the train station and spilled out on to the pedestrian-friendly Exchange Square.

I wanted my design to cause users to stop and think about where they were going and where they had been. As the building would house many local histories and stories, I felt that it should not only help to convey these, but also to tell its own story. I wanted the building to be a beacon

of education and

learning for Middlesbrough and encourage users to engage with its past in order to help to reinvigorate its present.


“A beacon of light helping to mend broken connections”

Conceptual Thinking

Middlesbrough Film Archive

Flowing circulation routes providing intrigue - users can forget their other burdens


users experience a story on their journey through the building

Regular structure with noteable exceptions. Play with shapes within this regular structure

Frame views, providing glimpses of images + views.


Conceptual Thinking

Middlesbrough Film Archive

The original concept sketches shown on the previous page were of great help when moving forward through the design process. At this point in the project, I delved deeper into the meanings behind film as a material and looked at how a two dimensional strip

of film can be transformed into a 3 dimensional image with infinite scope for story telling.

This idea of 3 dimensionality was something I wanted to incorporate into my designs. The sketches shown here, combined with the construction of a small 1:200 concept model in context (top right), gave me a better understanding for how the spaces could look and feel.


Final Proposal Axonometric Plans

Middlesbrough Film Archive




The final proposal is directly inspired from the concept

of 3 dimensionality. I drew inspiration for the layout and shapes of the spaces from the 1:200 concept model. This created a much more irregular interior layout made up of rises and falls, voids and atriums; constantly forcing the user to stop and think about where they were going and where they had been. I wanted the building to tell a story in its own right, complementing its use as a film archive.



Another key feature of the design is the auditorium, which is positioned at the base of the main atrium space. By removing the floor plate above the auditorium it can be viewed from all the spaces and walkways above it. I was keen to incorporate the sense


community and togetherness one feels when watching a film and, by opening up the auditorium, I feel that this is achieved.

The design also features several individual viewing booths which are located in the external courtyard, entrance passage and second floor gallery space. These booths are designed to display short films showing the history of the archive’s location and of local film production. Again, I wanted the sense of history to be evident throughout the building.



Structural Approach

Middlesbrough Film Archive

I wanted the structural approach to reflect the concepts I had held throughout the design process. I was keen for the irregular, 3 dimensional interior layout to be contrasted

by a much more regular

skin and structural frame; with small external cantelevers giving users outside a glimpse of the internal spaces.

One element I feel was not in line with this approach was the roof structure. For the final presentation I designed a roof which was made of small rectangular openings placed at random within the regular grid dictated by the steel frame. This did not complement the idea of 3 dimensionality I had used when approaching the interior design. If I had had more time to develop the design this would have been the main area of change and improvement.


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Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Here Studio Architects Middlesbrough Film Archive Render AboriginalFacade Music Festival


Main Entrance Hall + Cafe Render

Middlesbrough Film Archive

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1st Floor Reception + Auditorium

Middlesbrough Film Archive


Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Here Studio Architects Middlesbrough Film Archive Perspective Section Aboriginal Music Festival

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Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Aboriginal Music Festival

Here Studio Architects


Smith Street Dreaming May-June 2013

Aboriginal Music Festival

Here Studio Architects

Part One Architecture Portfolio  
Part One Architecture Portfolio  

An example of my Part I design work and some work I've undertaken at Here Studio Architects in Melbourne.