Page 1

Liusaidh Macdonald Portfolio

University of Cambridge 2010 - 2013


Year 3 Year 3 - Other Projects Year 2 Year 1

2 20 24 32

Borran’s Field Borran’s Field is situated on the most northerly tip of Lake Windermere. To the south lies 11 miles of England’s largest lake. The site contains two large marshes, a Roman fort, a set of rocky outcrops and a barn. This barn is the only building which can be found on the site, it is made from green slate using traditional building techniques. The site is enclosed by a traditional slate dry stone wall. Beyond this, to the east lies Borran’s Road, a small yet fairly fast road which links Ambleside to Waterhead. This makes the site feel isolated from the town of Waterhead. In order to travel between the town and the site, visitors currently pass through Borran’s Park. Borran’s Park feels like an urban, municipal park. It seems to be at odds with the surrounding landscape, however, it is popular with the residents of the area for dog walking and for children. The other side of the site is enclosed by a meadow, this leads to the River Brathay, which feeds the lake. The meadows contain protected flora.


Year 3 (2012-2013)

1.20,000 Site plan showing recorded flood levels. Borran’s Field severely floods.

The topography of the site gently slopes towards the lake.

Moisture mapping of the site illustrates the topography and ground conditions of this site. The dry ground next to the stream in the marsh is clearly visible.

Soft Underfoot Boggy Waterlogged Marsh 3

Year 3 (2012-2013)

Enclosure - The Ferry and the Fort A small stream drains the land adjacent to it; creating the only traversable ground in the marshland south of the fort. This stream will be extended around the fort to create an invisible boundary, which will not deter visitors from the fort, as the existing fence does. A formal route is placed along the traversable land, culminating in a jetty. This jetty engages with the existing Windermere Ferry route, which will bring groups of up to 100 visitors to the fort from larger tourist centres on the lake. A wall is built alongside the walkway, acting as a datum to the landscape. A more subtle route is constructed between Waterhead and Loughrigg Fell, passing through Borran’s Field and along the shores of Lake Windermere. This lets walkers ascend this popular fell without walking along busy roads, but rather by continuing the Lakeland tradition of travelling alongside the water’s edge. An outpost is placed on the knuckle between the two routes, holding tourist information and artefacts excavated from the fort.


Year 3 (2012-2013)



Jetty Hostel In both 2008 and 2009 floodwaters submerged the entirety of Borran’s Field. Jetty Hostel is adapted to these conditions; at times it may become an island or be completely landlocked, nonetheless it remains operational. The experience of living along the jetty will change substantially with the moving water levels. The walkway is informed by Kampong Phluk (Cambodia) and Howburn Farm (Cumbria), both of which have a fascinating relationship between absolute privacy and public space, and a spinal arrangement. The rooms can be fully opened to become an extension of the public space, where occupants can eat a barbecue or sit in deckchairs on the walkway as the ferry passengers pass by. Alternatively, the rooms can be completely closed, to become an opaque box with only a window to the unspoilt landscape.



Year 3 (2012-2013)


Year 3 (2012-2013)

The Tower


The communal areas are inside the tower building, whose proportions are informed by the Cumbrian Pele Towers. This building is more formal than the bedrooms in order to be recognisably a communal area. Local green slate is used as an aggregate in the concrete floor and the protective skirting boards inside the rooms. Larch walls will weather to a grey tone, emphasising the effects of the harsh conditions outside, and the shelter offered within. 9

1.1500 Plan of the Jetty Hostel.


Year 3 (2012-2013)

Privacy Strategy The bedrooms are arranged along a linear walkway, creating a tension between the public and the private. The rooms have the ability to be an open ‘lake hut’, seamlessly connected to the communal street by opening the large folding doors. Conversely, the rooms can become completely closed boxes, sheltering the visitor from potentially harsh weather conditions after a long day in the Lake District in absolute privacy. The sliding door has an inset, a smaller door, which may be used to enter the room in bad weather, or during winter when it may not be desirable to slide open such a large door.

Visitors may open their doors to sit on a deckchair or even to have a barbecue.


Partially Open


I looked at two precedents to inform this relationship. The houses in Kampong Phluk flood every six months and become serviced by water, not road. When the monsoon rains begin to arrive the previously transparent houses shut their windows and sliding doors to become opaque boxes. They operate on an amazing spine of public, communal space which lies immediately against private quarters. Used as a street during the flood season, people happily hop between houses to get across the village. I am interested in this tension between public and private space. Howburn Farm is a traditional Cumbrian farm. Public and private areas are arranged around a spine of buildings. I am interested in this way of organising space, where rooms act as separate buildings internally, but are one mass accessed from the outside. 11

Year 3 (2012-2013)

The Single Rooms In order to best cater for the tough usage these rooms will receive, and to emphasise the relationship with the communal street, the floor material from the street continues internally. The concrete with green slate aggregate makes a durable floor which can withstand muddy boots, wet clothing and heavy scuffing. This material continues upwards as a skirting board, protecting the lower portion of the walls. The green slate aggregate is a waste product of the local slate mines, sourced specifically from the nearby Honister Slate Mine. Above this skirting board is the larch cladding, this will be unweathered, in contrast to the exterior. The difference in colour will make the interior seem much more cosy and the weathered exterior will express the harshness of the environment. This cladding will continue onto the ceiling of the room, however a Herdwick wool rug will hang over the bed. This rug will soften the acoustic properties and make the room feel more comfortable. Importantly however, it will remain out of reach and away from dirty footwear with the intention of keeping it clean and undamaged.


Year 3 (2012-2013)

The Family Rooms The family rooms, intended to house a couple with children, contain a double bedroom, a bunk bedroom and a bathroom each. The rooms have internal folding doorways, which enable the space to function as one room. This could be used to keep an eye on the children during the evenings. Alternatively, if a couple had no children it would be possible to lock the internal sliding door, creating one double room and one bunk room, which could be used for other guests. The divide of public and private is equally as strong in these rooms as in the single rooms. The glazed rear facade takes advantage of the marsh behind. This enables the private bedrooms to have a strong connection to the surrounding landscape. In contrast, the other facade, with the large folding doors, has a seamless connection with the communal street.

1.100 13

14 1.2000 Axonometric drawing, showing routes around the hostel and the relationship between the Jetty Hostel and nearby jetties in Waterhead.

Year 3 (2012-2013)

1.40 Section detail through a single room.


Year 3 (2012-2013)

The Windermere Ferry will transfer visitors to and from the hostel from nearby towns. The journey by ferry will give visitors a unique impression of the hostel. They will notice the rising proportional scales down the jetty from the bothy shelter, to the accommodation, tower, barn and finally the spire of St. Mary’s Church in Ambleside. 16



Along the walker’s path lies Loughrigg Fell.


Year 3 - Other Projects (2012-2013)

Jetty Hostel - ARCSOC Exhibition 2013 TESTBED 1, Battersea. Design, curation and build of the exhibition space.


D e s i g n Charette: A Flood in Cambridge The issue explored during the design charette was a flood with a depth of 4m in Cambridge. This would isolate the college courts, trapping students in their accommodation. The short term scenario propsed deals with getting food to students trapped in their accommodation and enabling them to travel around Cambridge. This would be achieved using the existing punt system, the punts would behave like a mobile market. In the long term, canals would be dug into selected streets to form a network which connects to the River Cam and the Backs. Hubs in this canal system are positioned in popular meeting places. The canals run near to all colleges and finally connect to an attenuation lake south of Cambridge, to prevent further flooding. Vegetation will be grown along these canals, as many students have no access to a garden. This vegetation will be used to grow fresh produce.


Year 3 - Other Projects (2012-2013)

Architectural Engineering A project done in conjunction with the University of Cambridge’s Engineering Department to design a school capable of withstanding regular flooding in Malabo, Zambia. The current Malabo School has to close for six months every year due to the floods. After the flood the building needs extensive repair work. UNICEF has identified this school as a priority to be improved. The replacement school should be built using local materials and construction methods, so that it can be repaired easily. It should last for at least five years and should adhere as closely as it is feasible to UNICEF’s ‘Child Friendly Schools Manual’.


The Proposal This circular school will float in flood season and the children will arrive in boats. In the dry season the school will ‘land’, and access will be via land. It can be built by local people using local and sustainable materials and construction methods. Entrance to the rooms is gained via the playground, which forms the centre of the building. There is a shaded area around the playground to use in especially hot conditions. We have included a separate bathroom and smaller classroom for girls. UNICEF states that gender-separated spaces improve female attendance rates. The classrooms will be well lit with daylight and will have brightly coloured walls. These promote ‘more joyful learning’ and encourage the children to both attend school and learn. The small health centre we have included will also help to maintain good sanitation in the community and will store basic medicines. An auditorium will provide a platform for the local community to meet on a larger scale and for student organisations to form and meet.



Year 2 (2011-2012)

Making and Exchange Hackney Wick, London A nursery is at the confluence of two communities, that of industrial Hackney Wick and the 100,000 strong new Olympic Park development. Locally grown plants will be purchased by the future residents of the Olympic Park, these plants will give them a connection to the heritage of the quickly developing Hackney Wick area. In this nursery, plants are delivered to the Dace Road level, at the foot of the stairs. The plants are then transferred by a funicular system running along the Dace Road Staircase to the upper level greenhouse where they will be hung for display.


Year 2 (2011-2012)

Cross-sections at 1.500 25

Year 2 (2011-2012)

Greenway Level Plan - The Greenhouse Shop 26

Year 2 (2011-2012)

Dace Road Level Plan - Plant Storage and Deliveries 27

Year 2 (2011-2012) 1.10000 Site Plan

Furniture Workshop - Hackney Wick, London A furniture workshop lies along the Hertford Union Canal, teaching the residents of the new Olympic Park Community how to make traditional wooden furniture. When approaching the workshop, the journey from raw material to finished product will be emphasised through the long horizontal windows, which also reflect the canal. Internally, these windows will give stunning views towards the changing Olympic Site and good lighting conditions for people using the workshops. The workshop spaces are connected by a series of wide archways, which aid the movement of bulky materials; a large amount of storage is situated alongside them. The workshops are both durable and spacious. A library and classroom spaces are situated upstairs; these have internal windows to the workshop areas in order to facilitate teaching. 28

Year 2 (2011-2012)

1.500 Site Sections


Year 2 (2011-2012)

The classrooms overlook the main workshop space. 30

Year 2 (2011-2012)

The approach from the Olympic Park 31

Year 1 (2010-2011)

Collect A device for monitoring the movements of water. A float is attached to a pen, when the water is disturbed a line is produced. The device was positioned along four points of the River Cam which experience different levels of activity. The drawings produced give an accurate depiction of which sites were more turbulent than others, for example, Mill Pond shows a violent result as there is a punting station and a drop in the riverbed. Whereas Garret Hostel Bridge is a much quieter stretch of the river, which is shown in the drawing produced. Large abnormalities in the drawings describe events closer to the device; the large line seen in the Jesus Lock drawing describes a swan brushing past the device.

Jesus Lock

Magdalene Bridge

Garret Hostel Bridge


Mill Pond

Year 1 (2010-2011)

Store An alternative take on the issue of archiving the objects created in ‘Collect’. Hidden below Hobson’s Passage, Cambridge, is an archive created from an extension of the drain network. Hobson’s Passage lies over a historical conduit which is fed by six large downspouts, these will be extended to bring the movements of water into the archive itself. A wall of corrugated iron will slowly corrode as the water moves down these downspouts, along the archive and into the water table. The objects created in ‘Collect’ are catalogued along this decaying wall. Natural daylighting is gathered from toughened glass skylights, giving the appearance of manholes from the street level. 33

Year 1 (2010-2011)

Display A design for a theatre and museum in Dalston, London. Designed to be a new type of cultural venue, this building is both a platform and a repository for local life and culture. The building will join a large number of theatres, small galleries and music venues in Dalston, questioning the ways in which a movement is exhibited and objects are performed. The building is primarily influenced by the whitewashed Victorian terraced houses which surround it and the community garden project situated behind the site. It creates a route, connecting the terrace to the fairly isolated garden project. The lower level of the building features the main performance space, however this level is fully glazed to allow the garden, street and performance to fully integrate. The gallery space is situated on the much larger upper floor, a large opening between the levels enables performances to be watched from all parts of the museum.

1.500 Sections 34

Year 1 (2010-2011)


Architecture Portfolio  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you