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Digital Portfolio

WSA Year 2 Autumn Work Elin Davies


House Scapes Proposal for a self-sufficient residential neighbourhood block mixed with some shopping and public space. This project took lessons from natural systems relating to water including geological processes such as fluvial erosion and considering how this system might be relevant in generating form, material and structure for the housing complex design.

Eroded shale located on a river bed

Digital image representing an eroded rock

Fluvial Erosion Experimentation The first concept I had was water shapes its surrounding landscape and in turn the landscape influences the direction of water flow. I began by investigating this natural system through creating plaster casts of moulds of eroded river beds. Theses casts were then experimented by pouring a liquid concoction over them and observing the flow of the liquid. The outcome that water takes the most direct path and therefore quickest route, very similar to how people behave, and it was thought that we could create an environment that will imply the flow of people through the a site.

Precedents Erosion Inspired Buildings


After exploring fluvial erosion, I then looked at how I could apply this system to a building. I looked at precedents that took inspiration from fluvial erosion to inspire form and shape. Zaha Hadid’s King Abdullah II House of Culture and Art took inspiration from the fluvial eroded walls of the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. The concept that the entrance in eroded away to create a public open space, with the theatre located in the massing of the building. The other precedent was Richard Chi’s store, which is a temporary installation inspired by the erosion of water in a glacial cavern excavated from a single material. Zaha Hadid’s King Abdullah II (1. 5. (6. tiST05) Richard Chi’s Store ( 2. 3. 4. 2. 3.





Our site was located in the heart of Cardiff City Centre, adjacent to the railway centre and in close proximity to the Millennium Stadium and the retail district. The site analysis helped with the subsequently stage of the design process aiming to designing a building that fitted into its surrounding vicinity.

Photograph of the street running parallel to the north of the site

Long Section of Site

Photograph orientated to the east of the site


Main massing on site

Diagram showing access ways around and through the site, anticipating the passage of people. Massing splits site into two open public green areas

Master plan concept

Phase Four DESIGN

Eroded Landscape To bring fluvial erosion into the design, I created the landscape through overlapping the image of the eroded shale bed over the site and using eroded pattern to contour the landscape, and eventually erode the building away too so that it looks like its growing out of the landscape. The image on the opposing page is a conceptual piece of work demonstrating the above idea, through overlapping several images and paterns of erosion under the main massing from the master plan design.

Massing and Circulation Through the use of laser cutting I created a conceptual massing model that showed the circulation through my programme. Each hole represents a unit with the massing being the flat planes surrounding them.

Floor Plans

Ground Floor

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Fourth Floor

Fifth Floor

Long SectionFacing South

Tectonic Drawing . . . showing the layer from floor to ceiling of a unit, with an elevation of the same section showing the materials of glass and coloured concrete.

Unit Plans





One Bed Unit



Kitchen Bedroom Bedroom


Family Unit

Living Room Bedroom

Kitchen Bedroom


Two Bed Unit

Model of Two Bed Unit




Semi Public




Semi Private



Unit Model

Front Elevation

Back Elevation

Side Elevation

Plug In Final Model

Plug In model with surrounding context

Elin Davies WSA2 Digital Portfolio  

A portfolio of work of a collection of my first term of my second year at the WSA.