THIS IS WHAT I DO DANIEL ILLUM-DAVIS
WHO I AM
Daniel Illum-Davis, Arkitekt [MAA] 14th December 1984 For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an Architect, even when those around me were pretending to be firefighters and astronauts, and for the last nine years that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Born in Copenhagen to a Danish Mother and an English Father, and later growing up in the UK, I’ve always been very aware and proud of my dual heritage and have used it many aspects of both my life and my work. Today I live and work in Copenhagen, after returning to Denmark to initially undertake an internship and ultimately go on to obtain my Masters Degree at the Aarhus School of Architecture. After returning to Denmark in 2007, I spent three years working as an intern at Henning Larsen Architects as part of my RIBA accreditation programme subsequent to receiving my Bachelor degree from Oxford Brookes University. My time at HLA gave me a real and valuable insight to the real world application of our profession and was a principal factor in my decision to remain in Denmark and my subsequent application to the Aarhus School of Architecture, where I later graduated in 2012. After graduation, I was awarded the Østbanegards Fund grant for Architecture, and my thesis has been published on a number of architectural review sites and blogs, as well as in issue #389 of l’architecture d’aujourd’hui. I have since gone on to work at Leth & Gori and PLH Architects, where I have relished working in energetic and creative environments, and have particular excelled and built upon my passion for working on architectural competitions. More recently, at PLH, I have been afforded the opportunity to expand upon my abilities through working on more project based architecture, working closely with clients and entrepreneurs alike. Architecturally I’ve always tried to use my background to influence and inspire my work, and I have always been interested in the juxtaposition of marrying existing with new, the brutal with organic, and expanding and pushing the experience of space, the boundaries between and blurring the perception of transition between them. Equally, I am passionate about drawing techniques and the use of mixed media and graphics to illustrate and promote projects in a unique and interesting manner. I have experience in a wide range of scales and project types, from entire city masterplans, competitions, details and small scale projects. I’ve always been very curious and pushing my own boundaries, and this is reflected in my work ethic and drive, always wishing to seek out new and exciting projects, and applying new techniques, materials and experiences to them. I hope you enjoy viewing this portfolio as much as I’ve enjoyed working on the projects contained within. I feel it’s a true and concise reflection of me as an Architect and as a person, as well as the scope of my abilities and future potential.
This is what I do.
WHERE I’VE BEEN
PLH Architects [DK] September 2012 - April 2013 Competition and Project Architect. Took part in a number of high profile competitions, including the new University Hospital in Køge, as well as a variety of projects for clients such as Novo Nordisk, DSV and Mærsk. Worked in different scales and architectural areas, from hospital masterplans to educational establishments and institutions, and office fittings and detailing.
Leth & Gori Architects [DK] May 2012 - June 2013 Post graduate internship (virksomhedspraktik) at a small, young, Copenhagen based firm, working on a selection of competitions alongside Erik Møller Architects. Primarily involved with the day to day design of the Forfatterhuset project; an invited competition for a new day care centre and kindergarten in de gamles by, Copenhagen.
Aarhus School of Architecture [DK] January 2010 - January 2012 Studied under the masters program at the School of Architecture, graduating with Master of Arts in Architecture (Kand. Ark) with a 12/A grade. My thesis project, Rough: Housing the Homeless in Westminster, was awarded a prize and a scholarship.
Henning Larsen Architects [DK] September 2007 - January 2010
Initial one year internship as part of my RIBA Part 1/2 accreditation, later extended by two years as a student employee. Worked on a large selection of projects and competitions, as well as masterplans and project detailing and finalisation. Worked both in larger competitions teams and smaller group based projects.
Oxford Brookes University [UK]
September 2003 - July 2007
Studied under the bachelor program at the School of the Build Environment, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA), obtaining a grade of 2:2 with honours.
KĂ¸ge University Hospital [DK] December 2012 - PLH Arkitekter - Invited competition
Glostrup Hospital Car Park [DK] November 2012 - PLH Arkitekter - Invited competition
Fremtidens BĂ¸rnehjem [DK] October 2012 - PLH Arkitekter - Invited competition
Forfatterhuset [DK] May 2012 - Leth & Gori Architects - Invited competition
Selected projects [WORLD] September 2007 - April 2013 - Competition work, project work and masterplans
Køge University Hospital [DK] December 2012 - Competition / Concept Development / Masterplan / Project Liaison Invited competition alongside HOK London, to tender a design for an expansion of the existing hospital in Køge, designed by CF Møller, becoming one of Denmark’s latest ‘super hospitals’. My role in the project centred around concept development and logistical planning of the various hospital functions and phasing, as well as acting as the English speaking liaison between PLH Architects and HOK London, and a number of other project partners.
Phasing diagrams showing the sequence of Køge University Hospital construction and renovation
Our proposal centred around integrating the centre of Køge and it’s pedestrian and cultural flow into the overall hospital masterplan, so that it may better relate to it’s surroundings and the community it serves. This integration also involved improving upon existing public transport links, cycle routes and car parking. The hospital and it’s grounds would also need to become an harmonious extension of the surrounding forested ring, as well introducing its own unique and varied landscape, serving to aid the health and recuperation of visiting patients by means of providing a peaceful and calming environment. As the existing hospital needed to continue operating under construction of the University Hospital, and relocating existing wards, operating theatres and emergency centres would prove costly, it was vital that the proposal paid careful attention to how the new Hospital would integrate seamlessly with the old. This involved extensive planning and flow studies, ensuring that new facilities such as the operating theatres and intensive care were located adjacent to the existing facilities in the older hospital, allowing them to become an extension of the current facilities, rather than entirely new ones.
Glostrup Hospital Car Park [DK] November 2012 - Competition / Concept Development / Illustrations An invited competition to design a new, green car park for Glostrup Hospital. The competition revolved around creating a fluid architectural statement, that presented itself as part of both the surrounding landscape and treeline, as well as being easily identifiable as architecturally in keeping with the existing hospital building. The car park was also required to have a living, green facade, that would be self sustaining and able to survive and adapt with the changing seasons and weather conditions in Denmark. My primary role on the project was concept development and illustrations and graphics.
Taking inspiration from the water tower
Extension of the tree line as part of the living facade
Defining an intuitive logistical infrastructure
Our concept took inspiration from the prominent nearby water tower, as well as the curving main facade of Glostrup Hospital, and the tree line that arcs around from the south and envelops the site, giving rise to the circular form used for the car park. The facade fluctuates along its entire perimeter, shadowing the billowing nature of the tree line that the living facade seemingly grows from and around the structure. The circular structure also provides a strong logistical solution to the internal flow of the car park, with all parking bays essentially located on one continuous plane, making for a highly intuitive floor plan and route finding throughout the structure. Bold colours along the inner facade help users orientate themselves and find their car.
Ground floor plan, including entrance
Typical plan, floors 1-5
Fremtidens Børnehjem [DK] October 2012 - Competition / Concept Development / Illustrations In October 2012, Kerteminde Kommune launched an invited competition for a proposal for the Children’s Home of the future. Kerteminde wished to build a home that broke the constraints of a typical institution, whilst remaining faithful and respectful of the exiting local architecture, with its characteristic terracotta tiles and painted walls. They wished for the children to be proud of their new home, to invite their friends and family home, whilst having enough space for each child to find his or her own little sanctuary. During project I took a firm lead of the design process, having come on board quite late into the competition, and swung the project back towards a more unified and assertive bid, which retained a playful and open character throughout the architecture
Preliminary concept sketches
Our take on the project centered around the our wish to create an intuitive and multifaceted interior layout, one with a ‘fractured nature’ which could both open up for large congregations, parties and get-togethers; inviting friends and family into the heart of the home, as well as closing right down into small niche areas where the children could stake a claim for their own part of the home, both interspersed with openings to the outdoor areas. The interior is laid out in such a way that each unit of the children’s home lies in its own space, in its own garden, with its own identity, yet easily interconnected with other units and the main communal hall towards the center of the home. The units themselves are a fluctuating and pulsating mix of open and closed spaces, interspersed with bedrooms, kitchens,TV areas and niches for the children to sit in.The small details were equally important, from bedroom windows that could be used to sit in and read, to bike storage and depots that were combined with a skateboard ramp. This multi function approach spread throughout the home, with windows and door openings being used for a variety of functions, and bookshelves and room dividers doubling up as sitting and play niches.
Traditional Kerteminde tile roof
Double height communal areas
Fractured internal structure
Forfatterhuset [DK] May 2012 - Second place in an invited competition / Sketching / Concept Development Forfatterhuset was an invited competition, in partnership with Erik Møller Architects, to design and produce a bid for a new children’s day centre and kindergarten in the ‘De Gamles By’ complex, in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen. The competition brief stipulated that the centre should be able to cater for upwards of 150 children and staff, have a logical and intuitive layout that promoted the inquisitive and active nature of its user, providing a comfortable, secure and exciting/explorative environment for the children.
Trees as a gathering place
Classrooms as individual, self sufficient villages
One, communal, gable roof
Central courtyard preserves trees and provdides a focal point for the building
Our bid took precedence in creating a recognisable addition to the existing city structure, as well as drawing inspiration from the adjacent materials and architectural styles. Throughout the design process we wished to preserve two existing mature trees on the site, and opted to construct the layout around these trees, allowing them to become a gathering and focal point for the centre. The layout was also constructed around the pairing of classrooms and related services in a type of ‘village’ concept, where each classroom pair acts as a self sustaining module within the building itself.These modules were grouped so that these conceptually individual elements became part of a single community under one roof. The deformed gable roof design was chosen so to allow the building to better blend in within the historic quarter, yet by introducing breaks and angles into the exterior structure, and carving away the interior to make room for the trees, we were able to produce a charachterful and dynamic architectural statement, that was still considerate to the overall feel and history of the area.
The final design is a carefully balanced structure, that offers a strong and encompassing, perforated masonry facade, that in turn opens up and invites the user into its lighter and open interior courtyard. The project came a close second in the jury’s final verdict, who commented that the project showed ‘a well integrated solution to the local area, with its particular character and tactility. The facades are well considered and proportioned, and the use of recycled masonry falls beautifully in sync with the adjacent buildings. Despite the buildings many unconventional styles and qualities, the choice of materials and green roof help it blend in with its surroundings and feel at home in ‘de gamles by’. Overall the project delivers a complete, well formulated and proportioned project, that is as functional as it is educational....’
Novo Nordisk NSK [DK] March 2013 - PLH Arkitekter - Project Proposal / Time Critical Concept Development / Design and Illustrations
The NSK project was initially planned as a refurbishment of three existing buildings at the Novo Nordisk campus in Gentofte. On joining the project team, it quickly became apparent that the three buildings were unable to comfortably accommodate the facilities required as well as be a viable long term solution. Along with a colleague, we submitted a two week proposal to Novo Nordisk that the same renovation budget may better be served on demolishing the three exiting buildings, and constructing a purpose built, long term solution to their requirements.
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Building is ‘lifted’ by glass plinth, allowing the terrain to flow ‘through’ the ground floor
Lecture theatre gains adjoining break, meeting and conference facilities
Building opens out to and invites its green surroundings into the central atrium space
The proposal centred around construction a new three floor office and conference building, adjacent to an existing, conservation worthy, lecture theatre.The building was to work with and draw attention to, rather than from, the lecture theatre, as well as provide much needed communal facilities such as conference spaces and toilets on the ground floor. The upper two floors were to be office spaces for 140 employees, with associated facilities. The geometrically simple design places the prominent, masonry office floors on top of a glass plinth, creating an impression of ‘lightness’, lifting the private office spaces above the more public conference spaces. The glass plinth also allows the terrain to seemingly ‘flow’ through the ground floor, creating a greater connection with the landscaped surroundings immediately around the site. The proposal ultimately provided Novo Nordisk with a modern, efficient and sustainable office solution, for the same cost as renovating the three existing, inadequate, buildings.
Childrens Discovery Centre [SY] October 2007 - Henning Larsen Architects - Project Work / Facade Design / 3D / Full Scale Mock Ups In 2005, Henning Larsen Architects won an international competition for a cultural and learning centre in the heart of Damascus. Based off the Damascus Rose, the Children’s Discovery Centre is a series of layered ‘petals’, housing a series of free flowing, inter-connected exhibition spaces and administrative functions. I joined the Massar team in 2007 and was quickly put to work alongside another architect working on the outer shells of the building, working with Microstation 3D to design a window and facade layout in response to sunlight and interior spaces as
Facade layout diagram: Windows - Natural - Polished
Final Facade Layout
well as an aesthetic and appealing facade that would use a fluctuating surface of different tile sizes, lengths and surface treatments to create a gleaming surface. In approaching the facade detailing, I set about creating a dynamic and flowing representation of the interior spaces across the shell itself, allowing those viewing the building from outside to appreciate the movement throughout the building, and to accentuate its final form. Liaising back and forth with out lighting engineers and our workshop, I had a series of mock-ups created, as well as producing a few of my own, so we could better get and appreciation of how the flow across the shell translated into a physical manifestation. Once we settled on a tile system we were certain fulfilled the criteria we had laid down, the final models and diagrams were presented to the client, and a series of full scale mock-ups were commissioned on site.
Rough: Housing the Homeless in Westminster [UK] September 2011 - January 2012 - Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
Rough: Housing the Homeless in Westminster [UK] September 2011 - January 2012 - Masters Thesis Project For my thesis project, I wanted to approach a subject that raises social, political and personal sensitivities, a subject that exists across the entire globe, yet is carefully swept away and â€˜dealt withâ€™, a subject where with a sensitive and relevant application of architecture, carefully researched and analysed, a potential future could be realised. The subject I chose, was rough sleeping in London. Homelessness in its nature is a far reaching and compounded issue, prevelant in all aspects of British society. It is, in fact, so prevelant that attempting to tackle homelessness alone would beyond the scope of any project, where a more tailored approach to specific avenues of homelessness would be a far more prudent choice. Rough sleepers present the project with a very niche yet relevant line of investigation, especially in light of their continued habitation on the streets of London, when there are avenues of help and accomodation design for and open to them. This reluctance to seek and enter care was the main focus of my initial investigations, aiming to seek out why so many people found it difficult to leave the streets. What followed was a series of interviews and research that led me to understand that many found the transition from street to a new and stable life hard to adapt to. Many had been in institutions at some point in their lives, and the shelters available to them, cramped, claustraphobic and insecure in their nature (no guaranteed bed and inflexible opening/closing times) reminded them of these places, and in doing so created an ingrained reluctance and almost downright fear of entering the shelters. What the rough sleepers were in need for was a shelter that could offer them as safe and secure home, a transitional space from the street to a new life, and one that offered a very real future, rather than a brief respite.
This need to provide a building that could fulfil the needs of rough sleepers, without presenting them with a daunting or frightening experience, led me to the concept of ‘recognisable architecture’. Whilst this doesn’t entail designing a large cardboard box for the homeless, what it does mean is that the project would take inspiration from the temporary structures and living conditions that rough sleepers find themselves in, and attempt to mesh these into a transitional building that slowly evolves from an open and flexible street situation into a structured home. Spending time in London, and research similar structures in cities such as New York and Paris, I catalogues a series of temporary homeless structures and situations that I felt broadly represented and defined those who lived within them. I then set about analysing these structures, creating a series of abstract models in order to highly specific traits identified in each one, and then illustrating these traits further with a set of key diagrams and texts which outlined how these traits could be individually used to help create a shelter. With these individual qualities explored and catalogued, I began to combine the models and therefore the traits in a series of ‘final’ sketch models, aiming to find a form that would both be able to fulfil the spatial requirements of a homeless shelter, be able to be architecturally and spatially recognisable for those who would live within it, and also be a visual and prolific illustration of the homeless plight, but equally an illustration about the transition from street to home, and the potential within all people.
Preliminary sketch exploring the interaction and transition of space
Eventually I set my design on a combination of a rigid and structured core based on a self contained temporary structure I modeled, and re-designed based on the spatial requirements set out by the functions that would need to be located within. This rigid and structured core was joined by an unfolding and dynamic wall that allowed for a visual and identifiable transition of space, and with which one could define, yet not fully enclose space (to do so would go against the concept of providing an open and flexible structure) within which I placed the final segment, a layered and overlapping structure that loosely envelops the interior space, using a skeleton of elements that allows for various functions to exist in the same space, yet providing enough variety between private and public, protected and open so that the rough sleepers can find and create their own sanctuary within.
Personal Store WC
Kitchen Communal Area
Clinic Classroom/Workshop Bathrooms
The final structure was sited next to an old school, originally built with the intention of educating the poor and homeless of Westminster. My project would utilise this building, not merely as a host, but as an extension, and in doing so rejuvenate the building and return it to its original use as a place of learning for the homeless. The interior space is dominated by the skeletal lattice of the accommodation and communal areas, which help to loosely define but not enclose or encapsulate living spaces, so that the homeless may find their own space within the structure and create a home they may feel comfortable within, be it very private or very public, be it structured or in a corner of the room.
Where the folded wall transitions towards the structured core, the kitchen and bathrooms meet with the accommodation block, and in doing so create the trinity of functions that provide the essential backbone for the shelter, as many rough sleepers explain how important a warm bed, shower and food is in keeping them alive on the streets. The core itself is layered in such a way that those functions that make up the core of the facilities and are themselves more adapted to the residents, are located towards the centre and the accommodation block, whereas the medical clinic is located on the outer edges, so that it has a dialogue with the community it serves. The folded wall rises up from the plaza and envelops the core, illustrating the protective and transitional nature of the building and those who dwell within it.
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Diagrams illustrating the ‘suggestion’ of accommodation spaces and their arrangement and uses.
As part of the end of year exhibition, my project was among twenty chosen to be shown at the Aarhus Concert Hall and Town Hall, as part of the build up to our graduation. My poster boards and presentaion context model were shown in the Concert Hall between the 31st of January and the 14th of February. Our graduation took place on the 31st of January 2012, where I received my Master of Arts in Architecture, with a grade of 12/A. I was also awarded the ‘Østbanegard Fonden’ prize with the judges citing the project’s ‘Systematic exploration of these temporary structure’s architectural potential and creating a pernament shelter that creates a relevant and sensitive project that respects the end user’
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