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URBAN AGRONOMY

Integrated Design Report

Jason Yeung c3188813


Contents

Report 1 A Personal Proposition The Design Studio Context The Design Thesis Technical & Technological Questions Further Development

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Report 2 Preface Planning Issues Development Appraisal Scenario Procurement & Risk Architectural Practice Reflectice Conclusion Professional Reflection

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Personal CV


Report 1


A Personal Proposition

My personal position on architecture involves the influence that we as architects can have upon the social, economic and political affairs of the postindustrial city. Throughout my time on the architectural discourse, I have investigated global climate change and population growth and the necessity to intervene in issues relating to food resilience, water scarcity and resource depletion. With recent urbanisation trends, the post-industrial city must react to tackling such global imperatives by intervening at different scales from the city wide scale, to the community scale and right down to the individual consumer scale. A personal interest was taken into the agricultural resilience of cities during the course of my thesis proposition with a particular focus on the strategic possibilities of implementing sustainable food systems within derelict spaces of the city. By exploring the strategic intervention of urban agriculture within urban planning frameworks, my approach to architecture has somewhat expanded from being holistically about spatial intervention to being about creating relationships and breaking down boundaries between the classes of the globalised economy to enforce city productivity. I believe the role of the architect should not only be about physical solutions but the implication and surge of influence that each design will have upon the socio-economic factors of the city at various scales. I believe that people are more important than physical form and that the intelligent design of space can be used as a catalyst for social, economic and political productivity. During my time working in a practice specialising in luxury residential homes, I experienced limitations in my thinking as a designer due to the specific briefs which had to be adhered to. Following enrolment onto the Master of Architecture course, I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring new opportunities and fields of design which have broadened my personal intentions as an architect. I intend to approach the future with a rigorous approach to creating positive change to people and place at the consumer, community and city scale to influence fundamental global transitions.


The Design Studio Context

Cityzen Agency situates its explorations within the neglected spaces of the post-industrial city. Looking at an amalgamation of local and global issues, the studio pays particular attention to the connection between the two scales, studying the consequence that one has on the other in various situations. Part of the studio ethos is about zooming in and out of the city looking at people and place which is reflected in my thesis proposition which looks at regenerating the derelict fringe of Liverpool through designing at room, building, site, neighbourhood and city scales. Another part of the studio ethos is the focus on the ever-changing role of the architect within the community. Live projects and community engagements have become a distinct factor of the studio and have enabled students to experience real-life situations whilst sparking discussions, involvement and interactions within local communities strengthening relationships in deprived areas. The studio acknowledges and stresses the social responsibilities of the architect in modern day society which has influenced my interest in the relationships between architect, inhabitant and local governance.


The Design Thesis Urban Agronomy Having reached peak oil in recent years, it is becoming increasingly alarming that the resilience of cities is of the utmost importance in terms of feeding a global population that is growing at an exponential rate. The fact that peak oil has been reached; without drastic change in the way food is produced and distributed, a catastrophic event is inevitable. The reinvention of Stanley Dock is part of a wider masterplan driven by urban agriculture for the derelict fringe of Liverpool which seeks to reignite the productivity which once gave the city global recognition and importance. The proposition takes a pragmatic approach as acting as a central facility for the regeneration and sustenance of the city by utilising food production and research and local governance as catalysts which intertwine with each other throughout the site. The overarching concept driving the scheme relates to reinventing Stanley Dock which was once a machine of trade into a machine of productivity and resilience with emphasis on the relevant processes within. The derelict docks and warehouses are reignited into spaces of production, experimentation, consumption, decision making, strategic planning and public interaction to create a landmark destination which celebrates the historical value of both form and function whilst taking the opportunity to tackle a global imperative and give empowerment and organisation to the newly formed “community tier� of planning created by the recent Localism Act. The regeneration of Stanley Dock is portrayed as a necessity to the city both in terms of feeding the population and by reinforcing governance in order that resilience can be achieved. The scheme brings up several issues relating to the historical and tectonic value of the existing site. With the warehouses being Grade 2 listed, a conscious approach must be taken in retaining the character of the site. The main warehouse for refurbishment is the large brick Tobacco Warehouse fronting the dock. The design thesis seeks to oppose rational approaches of retaining facades and plastering internal walls by creating a response based around reinvention rather than preservation. What was once a dynamic, mechanical building of trade is to be reinvented into a machine of production. The building character is retained by celebrating the historical concept of hoisting material vertically through the building in a new way relevant to modern day society.

By analysing the existing building and physically modelling the structure, a set of rules and guidelines was applied to the design process in order to reignite the character of the site with minimal demolition. Existing pulley systems form the centrepiece of the building as visually striking components showing the process from farm to fork. The tectonic response relates to the transfer of existing materials around the site resulting in a zero waste strategy. Brickwork is extracted from the façade to breathe new life into the building and to allow for direct sunlight to fill the production areas. This extracted brick is then transferred around the site and to the rooftop of the building to erect new structures creating a visual and physical language of remoulding. Strategically, the scheme comprises of local governance spaces intertwined with a series of urban farms which cycle produce and waste from one to the other in a variety of systems ranging from hydroponic to aquaponic to conventional crop rotation systems. The series of farms enables communities to take control and have a sense of ownership over specific systems. The systematic relationships of food and waste which connect the farms will enable social relationships between various classes and communities of society which has been a key interest throughout the architectural discourse. A key design driver relates to the adaptability of space. The unpredictable future of food production and consumption means that we must design in a way in which systems must be easily dismantled to suit future needs and technological advances. Aesthetically, the visual concept of remoulding is coupled with lightweight insertions within the existing structure. Eye-catching finishes inspired by the colour and texture of the food produced by the building will distinguish new from old and reflect the bold, irrational approach of the scheme to bring awareness to the imperative yet playful nature of the proposition. The toolkit of design used for the scheme is to be replicated in the regeneration of the derelict fringe, a colourful agricultural band of productive space, boldly distinguishing the future of Liverpool.


Technical & Technological Questions

To fully understand the existing technical composition of the existing building, the design process began by modelling the existing structure both physically and digitally. The physical model was a key basis in one of the design rules of retaining the primary structure consisting of cast-iron columns and one-way spanning I beams. The sheer volume of material cut out to create a series of voids led me to explore design options with the retention of primary structure. By retaining all the cast iron columns and steel beams, I undertook a process of digitally investigating various ways of creating new spaces which wrapped around the existing structure and were inserted as a kit of parts assembled within the building. The extraction of secondary structure allowed for direct sunlight to penetrate further distances horizontally from the south faรงade which was explored using a digital shadow study as a series of iterations forming the final design. The technical implementation of the design formed from the explorations incurred several issues regarding movement of material to and from internal spaces. The extraction of brick, concrete and intermediate steel joists form the beginning of the construction process and the decision to retain the existing roof structure provided limitations on the method of extraction. The chosen extraction method was to initially create openings in the faรงade and collect bricks on the existing concrete floors which would then be chipped of any mortar and craned out using truck cranes directly from the building and transported to the adjacent site for reuse. In double height space areas, brickwork would be extracted down to floor level on the upper floors and the concrete would then be cut out in sections no larger than the openings created. The floor sections and steel joists would then be craned out of the openings made and the process is repeated where necessary whilst new glass is inserted to form the double height spaces. Following the extraction process comes the insertion of new lightweight materials. The strategy involves bringing in the materials as a kit of parts which fit between the 5x5m grid of the existing structure. The parts will be hoisted vertically through the building using the existing pulley systems and voids which will form not only part of the building operation but the building construction. Once the construction process is complete, the building will operate in a system of food waste cycles which will act as an example to the future regeneration of the fringe. Surplus waste is taken over to the adjacent warehouse via the existing flying bridges and used to generate energy for the building and site using an anaerobic digestion method. The technical and environmental goals of the scheme are to generate zero waste from construction and operation.


Further Development

The refurbishment of the Tobacco Warehouse forms the start point, catalyst and centre of the regeneration of the derelict fringe. The design aspects implemented on Stanley Dock take an agnostic approach in food production which set out a menu of design strategies which are to be replicated around the fringe and controlled and maintained by local communities. The strategic planning of the fringe stem from the governance spaces of Stanley Dock centred around the public forum which gives infrastructure and organisation to the community tier of planning. Production hubs are formed around the derelict fringe which maintain the agricultural spaces of each community providing education and employment to the people of Liverpool. Liverpool becomes an example for the resilient design of the postindustrial city. The systems may be replicated on a global scale, each suited to the fabric of place and people but each following the same cause of feeding the global population sustainably and productively.


Report 2


Preface

Having reached peak oil in recent years, it is becoming increasingly alarming that the resilience of cities is of the utmost importance in terms of feeding a global population that is growing at an exponential rate. The fact that peak oil has been reached; without drastic change in the way food is produced and distributed, a catastrophic event is inevitable. The reinvention of Stanley Dock is part of a wider masterplan driven by urban agriculture for the derelict fringe of Liverpool which seeks to reignite the productivity which once gave the city global recognition and importance. The proposition takes a pragmatic approach as acting as a central facility for the regeneration and sustenance of the city by utilising food production and research and local governance as catalysts which intertwine with each other throughout the site. The overarching concept driving the scheme relates to reinventing Stanley Dock which was once a machine of trade into a machine of productivity and resilience with emphasis on the relevant processes within. The derelict docks and warehouses are reignited into spaces of production, experimentation, consumption, decision making, strategic planning and public interaction to create a landmark destination which celebrates the historical value of both form and function whilst taking the opportunity to tackle a global imperative and give empowerment and organisation to the newly formed “community tier� of planning created by the recent Localism Act. The regeneration of Stanley Dock is portrayed as a necessity to the city both in terms of feeding the population and by reinforcing governance in order that resilience can be achieved.


Planning Issues

The regeneration of the Grade 2 listed warehouse results in obvious challenges within city planning legislations. The scheme does not seek to hide behind the historic facades of the warehouses but to critique the way not only the city limits creativity through preservation orders but the whole global community. If we consider the fact that 12 percent of the world’s surface is now under some form of preservation, we can begin to question whether we are imprisoned in the future form of our cities. There is a certain fear that our architectural past will drive out our architectural present and the bold, irrational approach to the proposition comprises of the remoulding of the facades of the warehouse in an avantgarde approach in favour of reinventing derelict structures into productive “machines”. The reinvention of Stanley Dock is not about “preservation” nor “demolition”, but about “reinvention” into a substance which is creative and free yet pays homage to its past. The thesis proposal can be compared to a previous planning application of the Tobacco Warehouse which was approved by the council in 2011. The retention of character of the approved proposal solely related to the preservation of the external facades. Over half of the primary structure was proposed to be extracted as was the entire roof structure to make place for a large central atrium. The building program comprised of livework units with several floors dedicated to car parking. Tectonically, the approved proposal significantly destroyed the value of the site. If compared with the thesis proposal which reuses the extracted material, we can begin to challenge the definition of preservation and the way we reuse industrial buildings which were once at the heart of city productivity.


Development Appraisal Scenario

The government and local authority acquire ownership over Stanley Dock as well as the majority of the derelict city fringe. The scheme is driven by a collaboration between the architect, the local authority and the local people of Liverpool and acts as a catalyst for the regeneration of the city fringe. By merging governance and local people, the city can begin to work together towards a future desired by “Liverpool�. The implementation of the proposed agricultural fringe has positive potential in that the local authority are already realising the situation at hand and are currently regenerating a 3 acre site into urban allotments. We as designers, have the ability to act as catalysts to fuel further regeneration by exposing the potential of the fringe through strategic planning and creative proposals with the start of this being the reinvention of Stanley Dock. The funding for the scheme has the potential to come from a variety of government grants similar to the urban agriculture schemes we see running through London. However, the scale of the proposal is unprecedented within the UK which challenges the operation as a whole which is why urban agriculture within the scheme must be treated not only as a hobby but as a self sustaining project which can repay capital injected into scheme. By drawing up business strategies of how capital will be used and repaid, the proposition may have the potential to be viable under government loans. The ultimate goal of the whole scheme involves the transition between consumer expenditure from the supermarket to the derelict fringe. By exposing the truths about the current food system and educating the city about sustainable alternatives and possibilities of involvement, the transition will provide benefits both to individuals, communities and the city as a whole in terms of socioeconomic values.


Procurement & Risk

The maintenance and operation of the scheme is formed by creating new employment for local people and merging them with educated users such as architects, activists and the local authority to create a classless society which promises joy and economic benefit to local people which may be involved in the construction process of certain modules, operate agricultural and leisure modules or simply be involved by engaging with the site and the events which take place. The involvement of unskilled users in the construction process causes health and safety issues on site. A briefing session as well as introductory workshops must be introduced before unskilled users enter the construction site and full health and safety measures must be taken in the support and retention of the existing structure. The extraction and remoulding of existing site materials must be undertaken before the community labourers enter to insert lightweight interventions. One of the key issues in the extraction of concrete floors is the danger of lateral movement and cracking of cast-iron columns. A sensitive approach must be taken in particular where the concrete slabs meet the columns due to the brittle nature of the material. Further support may be required to the facades when extracting material out of the proposed openings to ensure severe damage is not done by accidental construction faults. Dead and live loads that the building will take will also require assessment. However, the design of the existing Tobacco Warehouse was engineered in such a way which handled extremely large loads. The existing pulley systems that are to be reused were predominantly used to hoist tobacco hogsheads vertically through the building which could weigh in excess of 1000lbs. Compressive loads should not cause an issue in the construction process and operation of the program in relation to the existing structure.


Architectural Practice

The architectural services involves the collaboration of the architect, inhabitant and local authority. By involving all parties at the strategic definition stage of the RIBA 2013 Plan of Work, the scheme will create relationships between the various sectors of society which is a key interest and part of the thesis project. Additional contractors should also be included at this stage such as engineers and surveyors to spark discussions and strategic solutions from the outset. The strategic design stage will be a key aspect in introducing and educating the local people about the fundamentals of the design and the importance of the building program to the future of the city. Discussions and workshops involving all parties are to be undertaken during stages one to three from preparation and brief to developed design. These stages will allow the local people to have a sense of ownership over the scheme by involving them in the design process and allowing them to make controlled decisions on elements such as internal finishes and furnishings. The technical design stage will be predominantly led by architects and engineers but again with all parties being informed and educated about the technical strategies involved. This allows the future construction workers (local communities) to gain knowledge of future employment and involvement and for them to gain a full understanding of the design process from definition to close out.

Reflective Conclusion The deliverability of the proposed thesis project may be portrayed as a speculative project due to the size and scale of the proposed development but it has the potential to become reality if local authorities begin to realise the importance of food resilience. The project and the potential to regenerate the derelict fringe into a colourful band of agricultural activity is a polemical statement against the lack of resilient design and productivity within city boundaries. With suburbanisation and the decline of industry forming a series of derelict spaces, the scheme urges to bring awareness to local authorities on the importance of food resilience before we experience a catastrophe like we almost saw in the year 2000 with the fuel strike. If the strike continued, the food on our supermarket shelves would have disappeared causing chaos, riots and hunger throughout the city. The potential for the scheme to become realistic would involve essentially selling the idea to the local authority to gain access to the land they own. By drawing up strategies and economic predictions and overviews of revenue and social benefits, test scenarios may be put in place to evaluate the performance of urban agriculture.


Professional Reflection

Following my time at university, I intend to work in a small practice within the heart of a post-industrial city. Having thoroughly enjoyed working as a small team in practice for 18 months, I hope to gain further experience within a wider range of projects. During my time working in practice, I particularly enjoyed the high level of involvement and responsibility the job offered. I believe that working in a small practice will enhance my learning experience by further gaining hands-on involvement in all areas of design from concept to completion. The practice I worked for specialised in luxury residential homes largely based within the outskirts of Manchester. I hope to find the opportunity to work within a team developing spaces at the heart of the city, where my thesis proposition has led me to engage with. I believe the skills I have acquired throughout the architectural discourse along with my interests and personal lifestyle, would place my immediate future within the city. My interest in the global community encouraged and inspired by the studio group has led me to want to work abroad in the future following several years working within the UK. I personally enjoy facing new challenges and scenarios and the decision to work abroad would be a great learning curve not only in architecture but in personal experiences. As a summary, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leeds Metropolitan University. At times it has been difficult but all experiences of the course have provided me with the skill set I have today. I will enter the future with a confident, excited manner looking for the right opportunity to take my architectural career forward.


Jason Yeung

cv

Education Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School Blackburn GCSE’s 8 A’s 2 B’s 2 C’s AS levels: Economics (B) Physics (C) A levels: Mathematics (C) ICT (B) Art (C) Leeds School of Architecture: BA(hons) Architecture Upper Second Class Employment Shaw Hill Golf and Country Club: 2008-2010 Role: Bar Staff Jason Yeung 24.03.1989 62 Hawkshead Avenue Euxton Chorley Lancashire PR7 6NZ 07870408954 01257 241383

I am currently a student at Leeds School of Architecture currently working towards becoming a fully qualified architect. My passion in design relates to the intervention by the architect at various scales of the post-industrial city from neighbourhood to city-wide scale to influence imperative global transitions. My interest in tackling global issues stemmed from the research of my post-graduate course in which I studied the potential of urban agriculture when applied to derelict spaces of the city. I believe the role of the architect should not only be about physical solutions but the implication and surge of influence that each design will have upon the socio-economic factors of the city at various scales. I believe that people are more important than physical form and that the intelligent design of space can be used as a catalyst for social, economic and political productivity. I am excited to once again work in practice to explore and implement my current stance on the architecture profession.

Skills Graphic Design – Photoshop 8 years experience Computer Drawing – autocad 6 years experience 3-d modelling – sketchup/podium 6 years experience model making – 6 years experience

Travels 2009: Amsterdam – study trip 2010: Rome – study trip 2013: Dusseldorf – study trip

Twenty10 Design: 2008-2010 Twenty10 Design is a small practice specialising in residential developments for national house building associations. Although limited in design flexibility and brief, my experience working here was an introduction to the on-goings in architectural practice. I gained a full understanding of the UK planning system and all the processes within it which gave me greater confidence in working with clients and contractors. The design team predominantly concentrated on the sketch scheme and planning permission areas of design and full responsibility was given to me in a series of schemes which involved collaborations and meetings with the local authority and national house building associations FGP Architects: 2010-2012 During my time working for FGP Architects I was involved in a wide range of luxury residential developments. My role within the firm changed somewhat with experience gained by initially partaking in visual concept options using digital media to developing relationships with clients and eventually undertaking full responsibility upon planning design and applications. I gained valuable experience particularly in the design stages of residential development and acquired valuable skills in not only the design aspect of the profession but the professional relationships between architect and client. Working on a variety of projects based within the green belt area, I learned about the processes and aspects of designing new homes within areas of specific heritage interest. By producing documents such as visual impact assessments and heritage reports, my understanding of the planning system has given me confidence in the design and running of individual jobs. I was also involved in the technical aspect of design by working in collaboration with architectural technicians to resolve construction details both on paper and on-site. A particular interest of the experience was working alongside other professions such as engineers, surveyors and even the local authority. The broad range of knowledge raised during meetings and discussions has been taken on board and has influenced the skill set I acquire today.


MArch Integrated Design Report