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Academic Portfolio

Kristina Kupstaite B.A. Architectural Studies Stage 3 Session 2012/2013

Table of Content Pages

Year Design Report 1

Architectural Design. Can Ricart, Barcelona 19 Group work 20-21 Site plan- Proposal 22 Site plan- Concept 23 Models 24-25 Visualisations 26-29 Pod 30-32 Architectural Technology 33-45 Architectural Studies. Ecologies 46 Original submission 47 Plan and section 48-49 Visualisation 50 Technical Study 51 Development 52 Final Model 53 Architectural Studies.Charette Principles and Theories of Architecture

54-56 57-60

Sage 3 Session 2012-2013

Graduation Project. Concrete Ideagora 2 Touchstone 3 Modeling Process 4-6 Newcastle Winter Garden 7-11 Technical Study 12 Visualisations 13-17 Final Model 18

One major obstacle in developing my computer skills has been the pace at which deadlines have arrived. Using platforms I had not become fully confident with has necessitated strong time management skills, to ensure sufficient attention was paid to both the design process and my growing comprehension of computer programs. As the gaps between deadlines became shorter I at times felt under severe pressure. However with additional application I have produced presentation elements and designs that I feel very positively about. With my growing confidence of software packages, a new means with which to present my work more effectively has become open to me and consequently I feel that my communication skills have improved. My ability to manipulate these tools is improving, and I intend to take steps to further improve these skills as my career progresses, as it is important to remain in touch with all technological advances. A further area I have lacked confidence in has been my verbal communication skills, having not made presentations in front of large groups of people before this was perhaps to be anticipated. Throughout the course, these skills have been regularly tested resulting in an incremental increase in confidence and how effectively I am able to describe my designs and concepts. The arduous final months of stage 3 resulted in an unsatisfactory final crit however, as I felt too drained to verbally present to the standards I expect of myself. Broadly reflecting on the project feedback received over the year, a recurring issue has been my visual presentation, I have endeavoured to strengthen this by focussing on improving my computer literacy and ensuring my presentations are laid out as legibly as possible. I feel confident in the strength of my designs and have felt a particularly strong connection with the graduation project. Continuing to make improvements and understanding how to better present my work shall remain an ongoing priority for me. My ability to produce longer, coherent work has been proven consistently throughout my studies, my portfolios from Stages 1 & 2 were well received and I have been awarded a strong dissertation grade. The research conducted for my dissertation also had the knock-on benefit of informing the design of my Graduation project: Concrete Ideagora. The Dissertation investigated the effect the built environment has on people – whether it can make us happy. This lead to a design/program solution based on my reflection of how architecture can positively affect individuals. Focussing on individual projects during the final stage has shown one further area which, whilst not focussed on very strongly by Newcastle University’s syllabus, nevertheless remains an important skill to develop. The group work projects (during stage 3, the Ecologies project) present a challenge as they exist in isolation, bordered by largely self-led, individual project/studio work. I feel the response to the design by my group was strong and coherent, however, the project was let down by poor communication within the group and a final presentation which would have benefitted from clearer visualisations/ verbal presentation.

The Can Ricart project presented a greater challenge for me than at any other stage of my studies. Pamphlet architecture feels sharply removed from the pragmatic side of architecture that had been taught until this point. This shift felt at the time, because of the challenge it presented, to be badly timed considering the weighting of Stage 3 to the overall course grading. At an early stage of the project, elements of design were forced upon me, whose concepts I did not understand or agree with, which would lead towards a design that could not have been realistically constructible. This has taught me that there are certain limits to what I am interested and have an understanding of within architecture. Working with a more practical concept I have produced work that is more understandable to me. My interest and focus in architecture is to understand how to produce realisable projects where engineering considerations are not an impossibility. My first choice graduation project was the Concrete Ideagora. Overall, my impressions of concrete had been; of a cheap easy to produce material favoured by the Brutalist architectural style and used for social housing in deprived areas worldwide, I wanted to challenge this perception. Another element of the project that attracted me was the initial weeks of the project, where we would have the opportunity create a sculpture using cement. It appeared to me to be a hands on project where I could get to know the material in a real way unlike any previous project where all design and development work had been carried out using paper or cardboard models. Throughout the experience I intended to explore the qualities and limitations of the concrete/cement. For the primer object I chose to create a number of ambitious long hollow/tubular shapes for which at first I had to produce jigs, before filling them with concrete. This proved a challenge and required initial experiments on ratios of the concrete mixture and construction of the jig. The outcome was unexpected, and initially disappointing, as sections of the cast fel away, later this fractured organic look would influence my design and particularly the program of the project. Developing a program for the design was a new challenge but proved to be a relatively easy initial step. The winter garden program came as a response to the site itself – a rather severe and somewhat neglected part of Newcastle City Centre. Once the program had been set in place the next challenge was using the project’s chosen material, concrete, to construct a winter garden. Conventionally, winter gardens are a steel or timber, and glass construction. The proposal would replace the steel and timber with large sections of portal concrete frame structure – more usually used in hangar type buildings construction. Overall I was pleased with the project outcome, I feel I have developed a strong concept and produced a thorough response to the project’s original brief. Applying the attributes I have worked hard to improve contributed well to the project’s final presentation. Reflecting on the feedback received throughout the course and my responses to it has underlined the level of self reliance required to successfully complete architectural studies. I have focussed on largely on my weaker attributes throughout this statement as this has been the focus of my learning experience – a strength can be to recognise your own shortcomings and be determined enough to improve hem. I feel I have successfully responded to the suggestions and the feedback provided by the teaching staff. I also feel that I have largely produced coherent, positive responses to the project briefs. This has been as a direct result of my hard work and determination to be better.

Year Design Report

During the last two years I have been consciously pushing myself to improve my understanding of the major design and presentation software packages such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, InDesign and Photoshop. My initial acceptance to study at this university was based on a largely hand drawn portfolio, a medium that formed the bulk of my first year work and something I remain confident with. My earlier preference for hand drawing has meant raising my computer literacy has proven to be a significant challenge.

The project responded well to the sustainability brief, consisting largely of timber with a polycarbonate roof, providing shelter when required but allowing uninterrupted views of the surroundings and meaning the structure receives more than adequate natural light.


Personal Statement


Graduation Project. Concrete Ideagora



Concrete Ideagora

Initial reaction to the site was that it appeared fragmented, isolated, was overwhelmed by traffic and the Swan House. When creating a primer object first thoughts were something that reflected the present feeling of the site. 3 tubular shapes were created to represent the subways and overlapping sections of road on the site. The encasements were made out of salvaged timber; reinforcement was made out of wire and mdf rings, a replica of the concrete reinforcement spaces that are used in real construction. Filling the jigs proved to be a tricky experience, as the space for the cement mixture was only 20mm and the depth varied from 600mm to 1000mm.

Modeling process


Concrete Ideagora

tCasting concrete for the first time proved to be a challenging experience; ensuring the correct ratios between cement and aggregates, building a jig that would remain intact whilst the casted concrete set and yet be simple to remove. The first experiments were trial and error, each lesson contributed to the final piece.


Concrete Ideagora



Concrete Ideagora Models

Newcastle Winter Garden


Concrete Ideagora

The main brief provided at the start of this project invited me to redevelop a Newcastle city centre site, the site of the former Bank of England. This redevelopment would not only reinvigorate a neglected part of the city but also seek to supplant the original function of the site to become a focal point for social change within the city.

Project Program

Early in the project, I created the program to design a free public winter garden and complex with resources for supporting gardening in the City. Over the course of the evolution of the project, other concepts have become incorporated into the design. The site sits at the epicentre of an urban greyery, which led to the winter garden concept, it also sits at a point in the geography of Newcastle which connects northbound travellers to Northumbria, and residents of the west of the city with the City centre. This crossroads was incorporated into the complex, meaning this administrative and horticultural centre provides a richly textured thoroughfare for visitors and residents of the city.

The complex will house a resource centre providing courses and information on gardening – the on-site allotments provide a focus for hands-on tuition and a valuable resource for local schools. The winter garden houses a café, garden shop, auditorium, teaching and resources centre and spaces available for private hire. These units can be independently secured, allowing the thoroughfare to remain open 24 hours a day.

The basements; vaults from the site’s former incarnation as the bank of England, will be split between: • A grotto displaying the specimens which exist in subterranean and dark environments. • An interactive laboratory and gallery spaces detailing conservation work, displaying rare specimens etc. • Support facilities and storage space for the winter gardens above.

Sheffield Winter Garden 2003


Concrete Ideagora

Winter Garden Newcastle 2013

Eden Project Cornwall 2001

Tempered Palm House Edinburgh 1858

Sheffield Botanical Gardens 1834

Lack of interest in maintenance/development in winter gardens in the UK

17th Century

Concrete Ideagora

Palm House Kew Gardens 1848


Peoples Palace Glasgow Green 1898

Design Plans

Due to the site’s irregular layout, the decision was taken to split the overarching structure into two distinct structures. The split removed any potential complications with the shape of the façade, avoided using a space almost perpetually in the shade of the 55* building, and allowed the complex to be split into to two distinct zones each with their own thematic winter garden reflecting the diversity of the different tropical zones. This project seeks to provide a valuable and versatile space, visually and culturally enriching a neglected part of the city centre and also granting easy access to all to uplifting garden spaces.



Teaching Centre

Auditorium Rentable Spaces




Info Centre





Concrete Ideagora





Ground Floor Plan 1:500

Complex Assembly

Plans 1:1000

Teaching Centre


Reantable Spaces

Info Centre

Light Study


Shop Cafe


First Floor Structures


Plant room Storage

Cinema Room




Concrete Ideagora


Lab Entrance Gallery Spaces Grotto

Lower Basement

Existing Basements



Upper Basement

Technical study 1:200

The winter garden façade will incorporate window systems which allow the building to self-regulate temperature and air circulation. Another feature on the façade of the building is the syphonic drainage system, a system that will utilise rainfall in irrigating the winter garden. Due to the disparate demands of the Winter Gardens and the smaller internal structures – particularly the sharp differences in temperatures and humidity, the internal buildings will utilise mechanical air conditioning.

Syphonic drainage system, utilising rainwater in irrigating the winter garden.

Automatically opening glazing system for natural ventilation


Concrete Ideagora

Concrete Portal Frame structure

Slab and column building system with silicon glazing, separate mechanical ventilation system for individual building, due to different demands in temperature and humidity.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) under the layer of soil.

Section AA

Route Timber Ends

Concrete Ideagora

Structures Smooth Concrete


Shed Rought Textured Conrete


Concrete Ideagora Section BB


Concrete Ideagora

Concrete Ideagora 16

From Pilgrim Street

Along the Route

Looking Down

At the Cafe


Concrete Ideagora

At the Allotments


Concrete Ideagora Model 1:200


Can Ricart, Barcelona

Initial response to the Site (group work) An intriguing feature of Barcelona is its strict rectilinear grid that results in the formation of large interconnected public spaces that lie in the end of each street. We attempted to translate this relation in our intervention, where we envisioned Can Ricart as becoming a city within the city of Barcelona. To achieve this we want to define the external public areas of our site according to their function, whilst simultaneously, allowing for the connection of the various functions and the free navigation through the defined areas.

Routes diagram

Hard surfaces

Exploring Barcelona through a sociocultural perspective, we have identified and tried to address the immense water problem that torments the area. The economic historian Enric Tello states that the only way to preserve the water levels is by “reorganising the supply�. Therefore, our intervention suggests that the pipes transferring the water throughout the site will be placed above ground in order to alarm people and make them realise the vast amount of water that is being used. Exposing the pipes, which are conventionally hidden, aims to raise the awareness of the people on the severity of the matter.

Soft surfaces

Map of imediat surroundings

Collage of the city

Series of diagrams and maps were produced in order to analyse the site and its surroundings

Arrangment of Intervention

Visual connections which determined the interventio

Zoning of functions

Access routes diagram


Can Ricart

Satellite image of imediat surroundings

The scheme offers incorporates water pipes running along the entire site in an ortder them to be visible and not only supply water ( other facilities for the site buildings), but also act as a cooling system for the exterior spaces in the site) , in addition they would define the various spaces and interlink the entire Can Ricart transforming it into a microcosm that accommodates a variety of activities.


Can Ricart

Collage of the proposed sheme

Section for the proposed sheme

( not in scale)

Can Ricart, Barcelona

Secondary entrance into the site, Hangar Extention outdoor space

Hangar extention

Tertiary Entrance to the site

Artists’ outdoor space

Workshops Secondary square, Outdoor cinema


Hangar Market

Co-op Cafe

Market place, Event space, Main square

Cook school Restaurant

Info/Shop Bakery

Acrobat outdoor space, open to the public

Main entrance to the site Gardens


Site within its context 1:10000

Can Ricart

Park Le Pablenou

Site Plan 1:1250


Can Ricart is the site of a former textile factory, which later became a steel factory. It is has stood neglected for some years, the project invites the redevelopment of this site which would in turn provide a cultural and social hub for la pablenou district in Barcelona. A number of specific businesses would require tailored accommodation within the complex, the second map indicates the buildings which have been allocated to each function.

The design concept came from the overlayering of street maps of Barcelona, the outcome was a truss system which would carry utilities across the complex and also suspend the inhabitable pods in the existing buildings. The truss system reflects the industrial heritage of the site, its network hints at the role the redeveloped complex will have in the wider community.


Can Ricart

Trusses carry services throughout the site

Process of making a map

Map Overlay- Concept development

Site Plan 1:1000

Development Models


Can Ricart

Initial sketch model to test the truss concept’s visual appeal, a later model further developed to test how the system would interact with the complex and moving to split the trusses across differently heighted horizontal layers.

Model 1:200


Can Ricart

Further development model, focussing on one chosen area of the complex for additional analysis of how the truss system would interact with the existing buildings. Introduction of the suspended pod concept for the interior of the chosen building.


Can Ricart

Section through the Incubator ( 1: 100)


Can Ricart

Towards outdoor cinema


Can Ricart

In the Incubator


Can Ricart In the Pod

Conceptual drawing for the pod allocation within the building

Chosen building for incubator, with initial plans for how the pods would be cited. Further development diagrams show; typical pod plan, and how the interventions would fit into the existing buildings.

Assembly of the building

Timber roof trusses

Plan Stairs

Cross Section


Longituadial Section

Can Ricart


Typical pod plan ( scale 1:50)

Existing building


Pod allocation within the existing building

Technical study of the Pod MAIN STRUCTURE •

hollow steel sections 100 x 150 mm

ROOF : • claps ( attaching the pod the steel trusses) • polycarbonate sheet( green, transparent) 40mm • LED lighting system • polycarbonate sheet (white) 16 mm FLOOR: •

laminated safety glass of 3 x 10 mm toughened glass • board insulation 40 mm • LED lighting system • polycarbonate sheet( green ,transparent) 40mm WALLS: polycarbonate sheet ( green ,transparent) 40mm • galazing system

Can Ricart


Scale 1:50


Can Ricart

Model of the pods 1:50

Summary of the approach The design came from analysing the history of the site – the building on the site was originally built for the textile industry and later became smaller steel factories. To reflect the industrial history, hollow steel trusses were employed to web around the site and carry utilities. The intervention concentrated on one building on the site. The building is approx. 11m in height (excluding roof pitch) and was left hollow. The Inspiration to create living pods came from Yona Friedman ‘the Spatial City’ (Fig. 1), where he creates a new city ‘in the sky’, on the piles that exist independently from the pre-existing ground level terrain. The pods are attached to the steel trusses, which web not only outdoors but indoors also. The pods, in the chosen building, create small office spaces as it is envisioned the space would become an incubator for small businesses.

Approach to the old building:


Some of the trusses remain intact; to restore the roof identical trusses were created. The junction between the roof trusses and the walls was not possible to insulate without ruining the original structure. However the thickness of the walls (350mm, a composite of concrete, rubble and brick), would seems sufficient for the thermal insulation of the building. The only significant proposed change is the introduction of a new skylight along the roof pitch - improving natural light and ventilation.

The the Spatial City of Yona Friedman (Fig. 1)

Ground floor: The old foundations are left as there were, but dpm, rigid insulation and a new concrete floor slab are laid. Approach to new intervention: Trusses:

The steel trusses are run in the building creating a web. The section dimensions are 200x200mm, trusses join with the high strength hexagonal bolts vertically and horizontally so they can be dismounted at any time. They are attached to the newly poured concrete slab with steel plate at the bottom. The stairways and landings are suspended from the trusses.


The living pods are suspended from trusses by a dismountable clamp, so the pods may be removed as required. The pods were created to be lightweight. The main frame is welded out of hollow steel sections 100x150mm, the cladding is a lightweight green transparent cellular polycarbonate. On the inside only the floor and the ceiling are cladded. The ceiling – another layer of white 16mm polycarbonate is installed to disguise services. The floor has fiber cement board insulation and laminated safety glass for the flooring. Ideally all pods would be covered with the polycarbonate, to keep the weight of the pods down; however tinted polycarbonate does not allow sufficient amount of natural light into the pods, for this reason the glazing system is applied to the shorter sides of the pods. A prefabricated double glazing system with structural silicon sealant is connected to the pod frame. Polycarbonate despite its appearance provides great thermal insulation, and also taking in consideration that the main (old) building is weather tight, the interior of the pods should reach satisfactory thermal insulation. The overall intention of the design was to minimize alteration to the existing structure and ensure the new intervention is relatively lightweight and dismountable if so required, leaving a minimum of trace. Also aesthetically, by using bright polycarbonate a great distinction between the original structure and new intervention is apparent.

Fig. 1 online source:

Conceptual model


The concept involved changing the original building as little as possible; it remained un-insulated . Original plastered walls would be exposed on the outside and inside of the building. It was elected to install single glazed windows into existing opening considering the climate of Barcelona.

Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona



Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

Can Ricart, Plan 1:1000

Green squares- living pods Green web represents a truss system that navigates across the site


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

Perspective view into the incubator


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

Plan and section of the typical pod 1:50



Section AA


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

Existing building




Timber roof trusses

Assembly of the building 1: 500

Treatment of the old building 1:50



Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

Roof: • • • • • • • • •

timber roof trusses rafters purlins insulation between trusses vapour barrier roof decking terracotta roof tiles skylights gutter

The insulation does not go around the truss in the wall. As it is an existing wall and considering the climate of the Spain, the thickness of the wall should already be sufficient.

Walls and windows: • existing building rubble and brick walls approx. 350mm wide (varies) • wall finish ( plastering) on interior and exterior • single glazed timber windows Single glazed windows- sufficient enough to keep the cold out and won’t overheat during summer months

Foundations and ground floor • • • • • • •

existing concrete foundations suspended concrete ground floor damp proof membrane rigid insulation separation layer concrete slab floor finish


Steel trusses carry the pods and also suspended steel staircases.


The pods suspended of the steel trusses that are attached to the floor, the new structure does not interact with the old building, the assembly of the new structure can be easily dismantled without leaving any traces of its presence (apart from on the floor, as the trusses are connected to the concrete floor slab).

Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

2 pods in the context of the pre-existing building Perspective (no scale)

Steel trusses 1:10


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

• open web steel trusses 200 x 200 mm • high strength hexagonal bolts for friction grip joints

Base: • trusses connected to the base steel plate • the steel plate connected to the concrete floor slab

Functions: • trusses not only carry pods but also carry services • light fixings can be attached to .

Typical pod (exploded) 1:50

Main structure:

Roof : • • • •

claps ( attaching the pod the steel trusses) polycarbonate sheet(green, transparent) 40mm LED lighting system polycarbonate sheet (white) 16 mm

Floor: • • • •

laminated safety glass of 3 x 10 mm toughened glass fiber cement board insulation 40 mm LED lighting system polycarbonate sheet(green ,transparent) 40mm

Walls: • •

polycarbonate sheet(green ,transparent) 40mm galazing system

Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

hollow steel sections 100 x 150 mm


Detail of the pod 1:20


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

(attachment to the trusses and polycarbonate connection to the steel structure)

• Steel trusses 200 x 200 mm • Clamps 10mm attached to the pod steel sections (dismountable) • Main structure of the pod , hollow steel sections 100 x150 mm • Polycarbonate (green, transparent) 40mm • T shape steel bearers (attaching polycarbonate to steel sections) • Steel bearers • LED lighting systems • polycarbonate sheet (white) 16 mm

Attaching polycarbonate sheet to the steel section. Detail 1: 5

Detail of the pod and glazing system 1:10

Glazing system: • • • • •

metal framework secured to structural frame structural sealant self-adhesive spacer tape silicone spacer block weather sealant factory sealed double glazing


• Polycarbonate (green, transparent) 40mm • Main structure of the pod , hollow steel sections 100 x150 mm • Steel bearers • fiber cement board insulation 40 mm • Steel bearers • laminated safety glass of 3 x 10 mm toughened glass

Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona


Construction: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Redevelopment and renovation of the Can Ricart, Barcelona.


Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona

The conversion of the existing building intends to have as little impact as possible; the original structure will be kept virtually unchanged in its appearance and structural elements. However minor improvements to make the building water tight would be necessary: • • •

Installing new insulated flooring Timber single-glazed window systems (utilising existing openings) Fitting a new roof based on the pre-existing roof construction

The only significant alteration to the original structure would involve the installation of skylights on the roof, leading to better natural light and ventilation/smoke extraction. The most significant impact on the site (which is concentrated around the chosen building) is the intervention of the steel web trusses and ‘living pods’ on the interior. This would have minimal impact on the site as all interventions could be removed at any time without lasting impact to the original structure. As the intervention is designed on a grid base, many duplicated elements can be used; keeping costs and labour to a minimum. Virtually all elements of the intervention would be constructed off–site, meaning only the final assemblage would take place on-site. The modular construction would follow this model; off-site production and off-site performance analysis. There is consequently minimal noise and environmental pollution with factory conditions also producing less wastage and a higher quality of manufacture. The primary materials for the intervention will be: • • •

Steel; used for the trusses and construction of the ‘living pods’ Polycarbonate; for the facades of the pods Fiber cement boards; for the insulations of the pods

Steel: Steel applied for both trusses and pods. Square web trusses are of dimensions; 200x200mm and varying length. The pod’s main structure is assembled utilising hollow steel sections 100x150mm and varying length. Even as the production of steel bears a high environmental cost (producing a great amount of CO2), its essential properties marks it as a sustainable choice; it is strong, durable, versatile, reusable and 100% recyclable, with all new steel made with a significant recycled content. When used in tubular form it has a high strength to weight ratio, and is efficient – reducing cost. The structure of the tubular system is adaptable; being easily extended or reduced. They can be unbelted, reconnected, modified, reused and recycled. The process of steel construction is dry, dust free and relatively quick – requiring a smaller amount of material in comparison to other types of construction. Due to its properties, the main production is completed in the factory with delivery and construction time on site reduced to a minimum and producing zero waste. It also can be easily demounted and rebuilt without creating dusty demolition and environmental impact. Typical living pod 1:100

Fiber Cement Boards: Insulating the pods would be unnecessary; the pods are located within the existing building which will already have been weather-proofed, additionally, the polycarbonate skin provides good thermal insulation. Introducing Fiber cement board insulation into the floor of the pods improves the spaces’ thermal performance, diminishing the need for further insulation. The fiber cement board is a mixture of cellulose fiber, cement, ground sand and water. No pesticides are involved in the manufacture of the material. It is lightweight, durable, water and decay resistant, and the environmental costs are almost negligible. The whole assembly of the intervention on-site should be time efficient and create a minimal amount of waste. This means a lower impact on the environment and surrounding communities. As virtually all of the intervention elements are dismountable it means that they can be replaced or adjusted at any given time (depending on the requirements). If the purpose of the site or building should change the structure could be removed and placed into another location with minor adjustments. If the structure is no longer required, all elements can be reused or recycled. Steel trusses can be reused as they have a long life, the pod steel frames can be recycled, Polycarbonate sheets can be reused as they are only suspended from the steel frame so would be undamaged or alternatively easily recycled. A similar suspended pod system was used in the Courtyard renovation of the Czech Technical university in Prague by Vysehrad Atelier. (fig. 2) ‘The atrium formerly used as a service courtyard was newly covered and became a central space/hall dedicated to the education of future architects. Levitating consulting boxes increase the capacity of the space, floor plan can be variably devided and rearranged for educational, exhibition and other purposes. Visible technical solution of all elements follows the original motto of design study „The Idea Factory“.’1

Courtyard renovation of the Czech Technical university in Prague (fig. 2)

Quotation: 1.

Available at:

Bibliography: • • • • •

Arup research and development, MPBA (Modular and Portable Building Association) [online] Available at: Courtyard renovation of the Czech technical university in Prague, Detail, Documentation, January 2010 Hollow sections for structural and mechanical application [online] Available at : Krygiel, E. and Nies, B., Green BIM: Successful sustainable design with building information modelling, (Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2008) Polycarbonate window and wall systems, 2012; Building Design, No.: 2038, 23 November 2012


For the pods skin; Polycarbonate panelling is used – it is a highly robust plastic with a long life cycle. Polycarbonate panels are used for façade glazing and cladding as an alternative to glass and can also be used for roofing and interior design elements. Aesthetically versatile; it can be transparent or opaque and LED lighting systems can be installed into panels as they can be cellular. Polycarbonate is easily shaped – bespoke shapes can be created. The panels are light-weight – lighter then glass or solid wall – as a result it requires less robust support systems and has a reduced transport cost. Despite its light-weight it possesses great thermal and acoustic protection properties. It also has a high ignition temperature and produces very little smoke. Polycarbonate is a fully recyclable material and up to 30% of reworked or recycled material is used in each panel produced. Polycarbonate scraps can come from products at the end of their life; from industries such as car production, electronics/household appliances and digital media such as CDs and DVDs. In the design of the pods I have used glazing systems on the shorter sides of the structure to provide natural daylight, providing views in and out of the pods. The pod skin is constructed from 40mm thick coloured polycarbonate, which may not allow sufficient natural light; however to reduce pod weight and expenses a clear polycarbonate sheet could be used instead. The pods are intended to be partially assembled in factory conditions, and delivered partially (or fully) assembled, meaning they need only be braced in place on the trusses (which should be fixed in place prior to the delivery of the pods). The implication is a reduction of on-site labour, waste, and noise/environmental pollution.

Architectural Technology Can Ricart, Barcelona




Ecologies Charles Lambert Ellen Creaser

Kristina Kupstaite

A Sunny Spot A grassy area of the site bathed in sun at midday to allow nettles and other insect-attracting plants to grow.

Hugging. Encroachment. Taking Over A sheltered space for human interaction, that assists nature as it takes over what is manufactured. We aimed to create a space that nestles into the existing forms, leaving wildlife undisturbed or aiding its growth. The structure provides places to interact with nature and encourage exploration.


Structure 1:50 A sequence of timber frames made using reclaimed railway sleepers. Standing on a platform, also created from the same material. The secondary structure is made from wicker and acts as a double skin, allowing both enclosure and encouraging plant growth. Sheltered above by a suspended polycarbonate roof.

Wildlife Walls The framework and wicker walls allow climbing plant-life to 'take over' the structure. Sedum and ivy, for example, will attract insects and in turn other wildlife to feed here, and some birds and small mammals to nest.


The Beech Tree In order to keep the dying beech tree on the site we propose to use sections of the trunk as seating and wildlife habitats. Some are left for seating and meeting spaces. Some are filled with dead wood/soil to attract insects such as hoverflies, beetles and ants, and to allow planting. Others are hollowed out to collect water in order to attract birds, snails, dragonflies and other creatures.


Site Plan 1:100


Approaching Nature...

Site Section A-A 1:50


Original submission





Plan 1:200

Approaching Nature... The Beech Tree In order to keep the dying beech tree on the site we propose to use sections of the trunk as seating and wildlife habitats. Some are left for seating and meeting spaces.

Some are filled with dead wood/soil to attract insects such as hoverflies, beetles and ants, and to allow planting. Others are hollowed out to collect water in order to attract birds, snails, dragonflies and other creatures.

Section AA


Wildlife Walls The Framework and wicker walls allow climbing plants to ‘take over’ the structure. Sedum and ivy, for example, will attract insects and in turn other wildlife to feed here, and some birds and small mammals to nest.


Hugging. Encroachment. Taking Over A sheltered space for human interaction, that assists nature as it takes over what is manufactured. We aimed to create a space that nestles into the existing forms, leaving wildlife undisturbed or aiding its growth. The structure provides places to interact with nature and encourage exploration.




Structure 1:50 A sequence of timber frames made using reclaimed railway sleepers. Standing on a platform, also created from the same material. The secondary structure is made from wicker and acts as a double skin, allowing both enclosure and encouraging plant growth. Sheltered above by a suspended polycarbonate roof.

Wicker walls



Reclaimed timber main structure


Railway Sleepers for the floor






Final model 1:100



B-line Northumberland Street Charrette The Charette asked us to explore how Northumberland Street could re-invent its identity and develop its character as at the present the street is uncoordinated and poorly mainatained. With several suggestions given the group began analysing and identi fying the issues in Northumberland Street and brainstorming on the ideas. Throughout the process a large scale hand drawn map of the street was produced which was followed by a quick site model where all developed improvement suggestions were placed, discussed and analysed.



Process in developing site map and gathering ideas

How might Northumberland Street reinvent itself? How might it develop its own character? How do we make it a nicer place that people would increase their dwell time? How do we make its management and function more efficiant, but also humane?

Northumberland Street potential by looking closely at 3 Key issues: • Ecology and environment • Movement, links and connections • Comfort,sociability,inclusivity and behaviour.

These were questions and some more that team have addressed through investigative site analysis and proposal exploration, and through a wide range of ‘rough and ready’ film, sketching and modeling the team have approached



Process of making site model and modeling ideas/proposals

Non- Design Module 57

Principle and Theories of Architecture

‘Life gets into the image’

Principles and Theories of Architecture

The site...


‘For the purpose of my argument I want to recall the process of the painting. At first the work proceeded according to established principles of painting practice – blocking in the shapes, establishing composition, paying attention to proportion and the shapes of light and dark – a reiteration of habits and strategies of working. However, at some undefined moment, the painting took on a life that seems to have almost nothing to do with my conscious attempts to control it. The ‘work’ (as verb) took on its own momentum, its own rhythm and intensity. Within this intense and furious state, I no longer had any awareness of time, of pain or of making decisions. In the fury of painting, rules give way to tactics and the pragmatics of action. The painting takes on a life of its own. It breathes, vibrates, pulsates, shimmers and generally runs away from me. The painting no longer merely represents or illustrates reading. Instead, it performs. In the performativity of image, life gets into the image.’1 Expresses Barbara Bolt in here book Art Beyond Representation: The Performative power of the image.

A process begins with an idea…


Principles and Theories of Architecture

Overlapping maps

Then it gathers its own momentum… Process and the abstract drawing

The pragmatic action, finding a solution… 3 pipes’ routes

The idea

The idea was to highlight the industrial heritage of the site and provide a strong focus for the community. Overlapping maps of La Pablenou district were superimposed on the site, creating an abstract picture, but also providing a key for how these two disparate concepts might interact. The arterial routes and streets became the routes for utilities serving and the main intervention in the complex.

Life gets into the image‌

The scale


A gradual distortion of memory occurs, without regular access to the site the full sense of it fades. The choice of acetate and acrylic reflects some of this sense of the ephemeral, their transparency and insubstantial nature representative of the diminishing recollections of the site. I wanted to create two separate accounts of the different processes of this project, the first object looks at the idea and how it developed. This stage of the project was the input of ideas, the overlayering of the street maps and superimposing them onto the site wasn’t undertaken with a clear objective in mind. This process allowed a concept to develop, a composite of the layers placed on top of the map of Can Ricart became the blueprint for the main intervention for the site. There was an organic development between idea input and concept development. The second object represents how the abstract process became a concept. The abstract picture superimposed onto the site plan needed a few small additions so that it could interact with the site coherently. In essence the abstract drawings became pipes carrying utilities into the buildings, but remaining exposed. These pipes are split into three layers.

Reference: Bolt, Barbara, Art Beyond Representation: the Performative power of the image(London: I.B. Tauris & Co. LTD,2010.), p. 5


Principles and Theories of Architecture

The scale of the site remains only a reality when physically interacting with it; the design process requires a level of detachment. Creating the site using the design tools available to you affords the surreal ability to distort the sense of scale further, actually zooming and panning so that the site is as big as your screen or as small as your fingernail. The choice of scale with this piece affords the viewer a sense of this distortion – the site itself is approximately 2090 m2, these objects are small enough to sit on the palm of your hand. With prior experience of the site, the objects represent some of the essence of the site.

The End......

ARchitectural Portfolio  
ARchitectural Portfolio