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Personal development portfolio

Jennifer Falowo

Table of Contents


Feildon Clegg Bradley Studios : The Observatory


Tadao Ando: Conference Pavilion


Frank O. Gehry: Vitra Design Museum


Tony Fretton: Artsways Studio


Tony Fretton: Tower Wharf Resturant

FELDON CLEGG BRADLEY STUDIOS: the observatory The Observatory was designed by architects Feldon Clegg Bradley Studios who won The Observatory winners competition in 2014. The brief was to design a space for both artist and audience. The Observatory has now been nominated for the South Regional RIBA Awards 2016 and is one of 32 shortlisted projects out of a total of 64 buildings entered in the region. The Observatory intended to act as a mobile artist studio and workshop designed to encourage interaction between both the artist and their audience, with a blurred seperation of both private and public space, with also and inside and outside space. The design occupies as a form of study, a private and weather-tight artist’s studio. The workshop, space for the artist to present their work to the public. The form of the design was inspired and influenced by the geometric forms of artist Soli de Wit who pays attention to abstract expressionism, who uses paint as his main medium to create geometric forms that act as a small space. Secondly, the study space was influenced by a 15th-century painting ‘Saint Jerome in His study’, in which the viewer looks into the framed space of the artist, with a landscape framed beyond. The observatory frames the artist’s space inside and its surrounding landscapes outside. What’s enthralling about this structure is that artist’s and the audience is able to rotate its structure of the building, obtaining similar qualities of a telescope, which can proximately face new points of interest. However, what makes this rotation even more interesting is when the sun hits inside of the light timber cladding, which is noticeable on the photographs shown on the left, this helps to bring The Observatory to experience, essentially a good quality needed for intended artist wanting to use this space. The materials used for this project was dark charred timber panels, which was created using Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban form the external cladding, producing these rigid rough texture that also resembles the green staggered layered grass that sits benefit it. This richly textured, outer layer immensely contrasts with the smooth lighter woods used for the internal parts, which also shows the flexibility of timber, which the timber used in the internal space integrates as a shelving and some seating areas. The future plan for The Observatory is to reach four locations in total starting from Lymington in Dorset, across the South of England over a two-year period, giving twelve artist the opportunity of a two year period, giving twelve artist the opportunity of a two-month residency each, which The Observatory provides a wood-burning stove which produces heat, a solar panel located on the roof which is essentially enough to power a light bulb and a laptop, and rainwater harvesting supplies the artist’s sink with water. The Observatory, Lymington 2016. Engaging with the Structure Author’s Own Bibliography Feldon Clegg Bradley Studios (n.d.). The Observatory. [online] Available from: [Accessed 10 March 2016]





TADAO ANDO: CONFERENCE PAVILION The Conference Pavilion was designed by Tadao Ando, the Conference Pavilion is Ando first work to be completed outside of Japan. The centrepiece of the building consists of a sunken courtyard that seems to conceal the surrounding environment and lends the building an almost monastic tranquillity and intimacy. The building consist of a series of narrow, carefully proportioned corridors and ramps lead to an assortment of conference rooms. The meticulously finished exposed concrete and wood surfaces reinforced the atmosphere of calm and concentration exuded by the building. This work has clear resemblence to well known architects such as, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, but still managing to embed parts of his routes of traditional Japanese architecture that Tadoao strives for in his buldings is manifested in the distribution of light and the embedding of the building in the surrounding landscape, which recalls the austerity of Japanese Zen gardens. ‘What I have sought to achieve is a spatiality that stimulates the human spitit, awakens the sensitivity and communicates with the deeper soul.’ Light is the origin of all being. Light gives with each moment new form to being and new interrelationship to things and architecture condenses light to its most concise being. The creation of space in architecture is simply the condensation and prification of the power of light. This method has also been considered for CDM Hybrid project, using light to create initimate moments of reflections throughout the space. For Ando, light is an architecture of duality, the dual nature of co-existence, solid/void, light/dark, stark/serene. The coexisiting differences creating a pure and unadorned space. The intersection of light and solid raises the occupants awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves. ‘I do not believe architecture should speak too much. It should remain silent and let nature in the guise of sunlight and wind speak.’ Creates spaces that respond to human needs and spirit juxtaposing powerful concrete walls with light and nature, deep sense of peace, simple materials and geometry. This statement is very powerful, almost relates back to James Turrell’s work, where his work encourages a time to meditate in a communal viewing space, causing some short and long pauses without thought, it almost enables you to feel, touch and connect with the physicality of the light.


Conference Pavilion, Germany 2016. Author’s Own


Conference Pavilion, Germany 2016. Author’s Own


FRANK O. GEHRY: VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM The Vitra Design Museum is easily recognisible as a Frank Gehry building. Vitra Design Museum is Gehry’s first project in Europe to be completed. Vitra Design Museum serves as a public gallery which exhibit chairs, design, and educational programs. Vitra Design Museum was firstly built in 1989. The museum is covered with white plaster facade, zinc roof and a cubic volume comprised of a simple geometric forms. Out of these almost classical-seeming elements, he created a dynamic sculpture in which the individual structures appear to break up into fragments and begin to move. The aethetic of the Vitra Design Museum was instrumental in the emergence of the stylistic concept of ‘Deconstructivism’ and marked a phase in Gehry’s oeuvre that he continued to develop in major projects over the following years. The main source of light is a central window in the roof whose cruciform shape is visble from the outside as the focal point of the building’s composition. The white plastered walls successfully manages to collect light into the space effectively. Also prominent on the exterior are the diagonal structures housing the stairways. The expressive exterior forms of the building are thus very much determined by their function and reflect the requirements of a complex museum building. The Vitra Design Museum is a classic demonstration of how cubism and expressionism is so obviously connected to ‘modernism’, with its geometric forms forming an expressive stance to glorify this design in such a modernist manner. The form also comes across very juxtapose with its multiple forms all congregated in one. This automatically makes one to refer back Gehry’s previous works ‘The Walt Disney Concert Hall’, again Gehry has the same design methodology, designing with such expressionism, but very much producing these steel structures that create composition of undulating and angled forms, symbolising the musical movement and the motion of its local context, which again formulates these juxtapose small elements.




Tony Fretton: Artways Studios, Hampshire Tony Fretton gave a lecture on 2nd October 2015 at Arts University Bournemouth. He had gone into speaking about his previous projects in his practice. Fretton designed the studios in Artsway situated in Sway, Hampshire, which was orginally just an existing brick shed, which was then converted into four artists’ studios. Fretton had spoken about his intentions whilst designing this studio space/ gallery. Artsway is centred with art work wanting to be exposed with a fair amount of natural light. Rooflights have been incorporated in nearly every roof in the building, this gives a static coherence whilst merging in and out of rooms, as natural light is coming from different angles of each room, Fretton expresses, ‘lets you emerge with the art’. Fretton explores light in a very intricate way, and not by only placing natural light to hit certain areas of the room, but to allow viewers to merge around the rooms sensing the space and the clarity.

Fig. 8

Tony Fretton: Artways Studios, Hampshire

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Fig. 9

Artsway Studios. (n.d.). [online image] Avaliable from: http://www. [Accessed 2 October 215]

Artsway Studios. (n.d.). [online image] Avaliable from: http://www. [Accessed 2 October 215] Fretton, T. (2015). BA Architecture: Tony Fretton Architects. Arts University Bournemouth. 2 October 2015.


Fig. 9


Tower Wharf Resturant Fretton’s aim with this project was to compile a building that was attached with the Tower of London, using timber as the main construction material. Fretton made reference to the fine artist ‘Picasso’ in his designs, through its upside down shapes that the building helps create. The building almost becomes playful to the Tower’s outer wall, the possible reference to Picasso may be through the assembly of towers and curtain walls of differing height and form. Two of the cladding is made of a rough sawn English Sweet Chestnut timber in a vertical formation, which is made up of four linked volumes, housed in two discrete forms: one is like the castellated wall turned upside down with the space between the battlements becoming glazed recesses. The other is a long low-rise form joining the arch under Tower Bridge.

Fig. 10


Tony Fretton: Tower Wharf Resturant Fig. 10 Tower Wharf Resturant. (n.d.). [online image] Avaliable from: http://www. html [Accessed 2 October 215] Fig. 11 Tower Wharf Resturant. (n.d.). [online image] Avaliable from: http://www. html [Accessed 2 October 215] Fig. 12 Tower Wharf Resturant. (n.d.). [online image] Avaliable from: http://www. html [Accessed 2 October 215] Fretton, T. (2015). BA Architecture: Tony Fretton Architects. Arts University Bournemouth. 2 October 2015.

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Fig. 11



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