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REBECCA WHITE


REBECCA WHITE

Images and text copyright Š 2013 Rebecca White All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission


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Bio Rebecca White

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Cross Programming Livery and Tenant Hall

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Pilgrimage Frame Layers of life

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Appropriation Springtecture H

CONTENTS 44

Urban Portrait The changing face of the facade

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Microarchitecture Svuotatasche

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Bodyprint Skin

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Research Thesis The films of Jacques Tati

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Dream Deception The Shop

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Synoptic Obscured landscapes


I have always had a creative flair and an eye for design. As a child I would spend my spare time making weird collages from things I had collected and I always wanted to paint and decorate my room in bright colours and wacky patterns. I grew up in a large beautiful cottage, contemporarily decorated but accessorised with antiques, something which I did not fully appreciate until recently. I believe it has unknowingly influenced and inspired my own style and career and I find myself wanting to design and live in a house similar to that one day.

BIO REBECCA WHITE

Studying art and maths at college lead me to a degree in interior architecture and design and this book attempts to capture my three years of study. Beginning with my most recent third year proposal, the book shifts between first to second year work, starting with interior and architectural projects and progressing into smaller scale experiments. It then moves into more conceptual ideas of my second year of study with concentration on other mediums, including film. I carried this interest into my research thesis, studying the films of Jacques Tati, an artist I hold in high regard and aspire to fulfil such a hard working and successful career as he did. This book is chapter one of my own career in design and will hopefully carry me to my next.

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CROSS PROGRAMMING LIVERY AND TENANT HALL

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Entrance through rotating bookcases White wall finish

Livery company structure reflected in banquet table

Tenant social structure

Chandelier

Space for personal carpet/rug

Ornaments and trophies expressing the Livery heritage

Exhibition space for photography & models

Projection space

Rotating facade to allow light in

Experimental images with light projected into ornaments

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Small meeting room

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Double faced pivoting wall

Chrome steel frames Curtain of lights Court meeting table In situ concrete elements Polished concrete floor

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Communities research Livery isometric Tenant and livery isometric Tenant isometric Dynamic plan Livery interior perspective Livery configuration Tenant and livery configuration

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Tenant configuration Stop frame animation Tenant interior perspective Section Panel build up Panel stages Tenant and livery interior perspective

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To gain an understanding of the historical and contextual location of the site, 36 Queen Street, I delved into the architectural surroundings as a source of information. Predominately offices in the finical district, Queen street is also within in few minutes’ walk from over six Livery Halls, home to the Livery Companies which have inhabited the City for hundreds of years. I instigated my project by mapping the one hundred and eight Livery Halls in the United Kingdom. I found forty in the City and made an appointment to visit one, The Worshipful Company of Skinners. Outside the Halls, the rich facades exhibit a majestic and royal presence, and within, the grandiosity is equivalent, if not, even greater. It was inspiring and insightful to visit such a place, but I also learnt a lot about how the companies are structured and function. The beadle was the source of these interesting facts, and explained that the Hall is also rented to other Livery Companies who do not have Halls, as well as other functions for private hire. This highlighted a potential spatial programme for the Livery Companies, my first community. Alongside this research I also took an interest in the small community within the City which is overlooked amongst the thousands of commuters, the residents. The Barbican Estate houses a large majority of the City’s residents in its high and low rise developments of brutalist architecture. This led me to explore other post war housing estates in the whole of London, identifying my second community. I chose Alexandra Road as a case study to allow for deeper research. I also made a visit there, which inspired awe in a different sense to the Skinners Hall. At Alexandra Road I felt like I had landed in a futuristic film set, the low rise had a monstrous but beautiful presence and the copious amounts of greenery grew all around the concrete, creating a lively green and white creature. Neave Brown, the architect, pulled in an architectural element to allow for a greater sense of community; he gave Alexandra Road a ‘Tenant Hall’. The Tenant Hall was designed for clubs, meetings, shows, to draw the estate together.

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I incidentally chose my communities through the architecture they inhabited which reflects a particular type of social structure. On one hand the traditional grand style of the Livery Halls mirrors a hierarchical pyramid constituting a Master, wardens, liverymen and freemen. The post war housing estates, which were built during a time of social change, project an egalitarian society. The two contrast in those respects, but are connected via a common hope; to preserve their heritage in the confines of a Hall. Livery Companies have lost their original role in the City, as trade unions. Some Companies continue this tradition through apprenticeships but primarily their focuses are charity, hospitality and education, which take place through dinners, court meetings and other events. They garnish their Halls with paintings, ornaments and sculptures to remind and accentuate their past to themselves and their guests. I found the tenants of Alexandra Road exhibit their heritage via a different, modern technique, through film. In the tenant made documentary, One Below the Queen (2010), the residents made a video to demonstrate their community within the estate and attempt to diminish any negative misconceptions others have about high density living. I also discovered a photographic exhibition, Cooks Camden (2010) including the work of many post war housing scheme architects and photos by Martin Charles. The housing estates have been ill maintained and are therefore dilapidated. It is important for the residents and for our architectural history to preserve the housing estates. In order to help with this, housing estate’s importance can be highlighted and shown through photography, film and models in an exhibition.

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Dobby Court

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Storage

Tenant Hall

Livery hall

Facade

Queen Street

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Circular steel plate

Steel Chrome Frame

Flush bolt into panel

White finish

MDF

My design attempts to reflect both communities sense of style in a transformable space which can be adapted to suit both communities’ needs. Utilising a simple design element, the double sided panel, the space changes aesthetically but also in arrangement. Stage one constitutes of Rio Rosewood book matched panels and a copper chandelier, a palette of richness for the Livery Hall. The panels can be easily lowered down into an E-shape table arrangement, present in most livery halls, for the large events that take place. The hierarchy of the table reflects that of the company­with the livery master sitting at the head of the table and the remaining pyramid following in ascending order.

Steel Chrome Frame MDF

Rio Rosewood Veneer

The double faced facades, which change the skin of the interiors to suit the inhabitants, are rotated to a clean white backdrop for the Tenants exhibition. The chandelier is pulled out to become a simple equal row of hanging lights and the heavy white curtain can also be pulled round to create an enclosure for projection. I have also allowed for a phase where the two communities cross over and can inhabit the space at the same time. The curtain then acts as a divide and the two may perform smaller programmes, like meetings, and coexist together. Flush bolt into floor Teflon wheels 13

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PILGRIMAGE FRAME LAYERS OF LIFE

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St Radigunds Car park is in a constant state of flux and is always changing due to the social and geographical context of it. Overtime, buildings come and go around it and due to the careless nature of humans, litter also comes and goes through the car park. However, one thing that stays permanent in Canterbury is the magnificent Cathedral, which is constantly maintained to keep it to its original state, whilst keeping it structurally sound. I began my investigation in the Car park and started by mapping the possible recyclable rubbish that littered the scenic river and St Radigunds Car park. I then begun collecting the litter and considered the ‘potential’ of the mass of rubbish. I asked people what they thought of certain objects and I received some very interesting results. I discovered that people could be very imaginative and it was a shame that not only were these ideas going to waste, but the ‘waste’ that was being dumped could be used to influence peoples artistic skills. This guesthouse will provide a living space for the profession of a sculptor, whilst providing a service to the public which with the aid of the sculptor, the public will use the house as a recycling facility. They then ‘shop’ within the mass of unwanted items and pick out objects to create a sculpture. This guesthouse is beneficial to the environment, as less people will leave their rubbish on the floor, the public who will receive interesting works of art and also the pilgrim who will be influenced by the view of the permanence of the Cathedral and the new materials that are brought to him. The house is designed in contrasting layers of private and public which intertwine, yet neither area ever conflicts with one another. The emphasis on layers reflects the endless life cycle a piece of litter would undergo, and how its layers are stripped back to reveal different utilities. The house consists of a vertical conveyer belt which carries the litter to the different workshops, providing the sculptor with new materials. The private space for the pilgrim is an adaptable area depending on the pilgrim preference. One may want his life on show and choose the glass facade as transparent or he may prefer to hide away and change the priva-lite glass to opaque. The option is open, and the building will reflect the visiting pilgrims’ character. 1

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Balsa wood model 1.50 Balsa wood model 1.50 Balsa wood model 1.50 Ground plan First floor plan Second floor plan Third floor plan

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South east section South west section Interior perspective

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APPROPRIATION SPRINGTECTURE H

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East elevation Sheet metal and balloon model 1.50 Sheet metal and balloon model 1.50

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Springtecture H is a public toilet situated in a park in Hyogo, Japan. Designed by Japanese architect Shuhei Endo, I was to familiarise myself with the architecture, learning as much about it as I could research. I then took the existing building and appropriated it by removing, improving and manipulating it. Endos’ distinct design process is what initially drew me towards his work; involving warping of corrugated steel skin in order to create a unique and organic from. Sprintecture H exhibits a nature of both inside and outside space due to the twisted geometry of the plane. However in conjunction with the beautiful form sit the unsightly white brick walls of the toilet. I modelled the existing building and cast the spaces to understand the negative spaces that are present in Springtecture H. Endo has designed a skin of luxury but covering an awkward arrangement of walls encasing a public amenity.

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I proposed to remove this painful contrast and implant a design that works in correspondence to the initial design of Endos’ curve. My approach to design an interior space was based on the original orientation and alignment of the existing walls but altering and increasing them, to become a series of small corridors like a maze. The walls of a flexible rubber are of slight transparency and colourfulness, which act as large taught drum skins. The building therefore acts as an architectural instrument, heightening the emotions of the enclosure. The building will be an experience of mixed emotions; the warped ceiling of changing heights will increase and decrease space vertically. The internal walls of colourful transparency will be an everchanging conflict of colours. The vibration of the rubber, also emphasized by the nature of corrugated steel, will be a collection of random sounds created by human intervention. Either creating an atmosphere of relaxation or an intense drum of hands; the experience is awakened by the user.

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URBAN PORTRAIT THE CHANGING FACE OF THE FACADE

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The urban landscape. How do we manoeuvre within such a complex environment of highly sensory signals? We edit. We filter out, refine, and eventually ignore a lot of what our senses can perceive. We don’t see all the people in the street, instead, merely the two or three directly in front of us that are to influence where we next place our feet. The city, therefore, is a constantly evolving division of the public space into that of smaller personal ones, each of us carving out individual paths within it driven by our own wants, needs and preoccupations. Our navigation through this landscape is enabled by this method but, so also, is our habitation within it. The urban dwelling manages to coexist in structures alongside that of retail space but yet, even pitted against the machinations of gaudy shop windows, remain unnoticed by the eye of the public. The facade is responsible for preserving the private space of the urban individual, within the highly public space of the city high street, in its effective demarcation of space. We, as the public, spend no time stopping to look and wonder what is encased in the simple brick structure above the brightly coloured shop window or pause to ponder where a plain door with a brass number in the high street might lead. These things are not the concern of the public. We instinctively know that these spaces are not open or accessible to us and so we pass by them or glance over them without even taking the time to realise that we have ever seen them at all. These plainer features of the facade get filtered out into the void of the superfluous just as the other excesses information.

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This project poses to juxtapose these two types of facade, as they exist in the streets of Canterbury, and graphically represent in the colour portraits the properties of each, providing an exploration of their cohabitation within the urban landscape. It displays the more vibrant nature of the retail faced alongside the plainer tendencies of the private as, when viewed through the medium of water, they are stripped back to mere abstract verticals of pure colour. In separating these images of the retail and domestic facade, the public and the private space, and displaying them side by side it allows for their comparison, therefore making their contrast evident. 47


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Exhibition stand

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Device Device Device Device Shop facade through device Drawing of shop facade

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MICROARCHITECTURE SVUOTATASCHE

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We each have our own routine we perform when we get home from work or school; we hang our coats, put our bags away and place our keys, wallet and phone on the side. This performance can take place in the compartmentalised and protective enclosure of this cardboard microarchitecture in Watling Street car park. Whilst surveying the car park I witnessed peoples struggle whilst buying a ticket, juggling their keys, bags, phones. Leaving these items on the floor or on top of the ticket machine, with their back to carpark these people were vulnerable to theft. In a group of three we designed a temporary structure in a highly strong framework of cardboard; a protective shelving which circles the machine and the customer, allowing for their routine to take place.

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Concept models Cardboard details Inside cardboard structure Cardboard device

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BODYPRINT SKIN

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Skin is a protective garment that we wear to fight off disease and to control our body temperature, it also acts as a canvas for individuals to chose how they paint themselves and tells a story to others of your age, gender and hereditary background. This fascinatingly huge organ, which many of us abuse and neglect, is our primary protection but also our identity.

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Utilising PVA glue as a form of casting, my work raises questions about the role skin plays in our daily lives but also highlights the rich textures and unique follicles which belong to each of us.

The following work involves the exploration of the understanding we have of something due to its external skin. We make assumptions about an object in order to approach and handle it. How interesting would it be if reality defied what we thought we saw? These ‘melted’ objects are simple household items but I have changed the nature of their skins to conflict with the predetermined ideas we have about these objects. Using a similar process to the PVA body casts, these replicated objects lie like limp shed membranes.

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Washing line

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PVA breast Condiment skins Budweiser skin Ketchup skin Washing liquid skin Milk skin

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RESEARCH THESIS THE FILMS OF JACQUES TATI

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The films of Jacques Tati as critiques of modern architecture During the nineteen fifties and sixties many changes occurred in France, modern technology was born and city skylines were being built of glass and concrete. The consumerist society was losing sight of a traditional french one and several artists highlighted these drastic changes in their work. Like Guy Debord and Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Tati’s art reflected Paris of the time, including the people, fashion and architecture. Analysing Tati’s two masterpieces Mon Oncle 1958 and Playtime 1967, comparisons can be made to architects and designers of the time. Le Corbusier was also toying with ideas featured in many of Jacques Tati’s films and Playtime can be broken down into Le Corbusier’s four functions for purpose of analysis and suggestion; Work, Leisure, Living and Transport. The modern Villa Arpel, lead architectural role of Mon Oncle, draws many influences and likenesses to the Villas of the nineteen thirties in France and again Tati and Le Corbuiser can be seen to be riding the same wave of modern design. Fifty years later and ideas Jacques Tati explored through film begin to resurface in French anthropologist Marc Augé’s interpretation of the modern world he describes as supermodernity. Non-places, the phrase Augé uses to describe buildings of transport, urbanism and consumerism resemble a likeness to the key featured architecture of Playtime. Tati’s grey monotone city of rigidity and grids controlling the inhabitants is a premature screening of the imagery described in Augé’s Non Places. Realistic observations reflected into comical satires, Tati’s films are meant to be extreme representations of a world he saw evolving, however he had unknowingly built his own category of architecture. The architects of now should learn from Tati’s fabricated worlds and realise architecture is about the experience one has which shapes its true form.

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Film still from Playtime 1967

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DREAM DECEPTION THE SHOP

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Inspired by my recorded dreams this short film can be divided into two halves. The first, explores the scene with slow, uneasy pans navigating the small confides of the shop. The second half starts to reveal the truth behind the space shown, revealing the illusion of a 2.5D space. Similarly we may remember or recall a dream as a distant memory that occurred until we realise the true nature of the strange events.

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Using only still images, this work was produced using computer programs and post editing. The people are the only shot footage.

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Layers of shop Film stills Timeline of opacity keyframing Timeline of time remapping

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SYNOPTIC OBSCURED LANDSCAPES

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To see the vast scenery around you, trapped up-side down within a single container, gently resting on a floating mist, is the exciting atmosphere I wanted to create for Wincheap and its visitors. I began my journey with experiments involving water and projection, and was intrigued with the successful images I received. During the project, the projections evolved into a camera obscura, and too, the water into mist, combining two delicate experiences into one.

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I studied the work of Anthony Gormley, Blind Light 2007, an entrapment of people and fog into one space. The work of Diller and Scofildio, Blur Building 2002, utilises a white haze also, but as an exterior attraction, in contrast to Gormley. Usham Haques’ use of water and light projection created a beautiful array of moving patterns, which hovered above the sandy beaches of California. This influenced my design thought and led me to my idea. The real time projection of the surroundings will reflect the weather and exterior environment, creating a new interior space. One will enter the transformed space from the main stairwell and will be able to glance up at the gently moving landscape dancing above them. A central core running through the entire Gas Holder is exposed for visitors to work their way up and circulate around the ever-changing experience, making their way toward the sky lavished cafe, sitting upon the mist. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the artwork of other talented artists, whose paintings will sit across the interior walls. The artwork will be themed to Kent and its green landscapes, the camera obscura will enhance these careful painted scenes.

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Visual of cafe Interior perspective Interior perspective Diagram of gas holder obscura Urban section

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Rebecca White monograph