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Contact Information (+44) 7447 020275 West Mill, West Street Bridport Dorset

elizabeth LAWRENCE architect




R.A. M.Arch


[ Selected Projects ]



Student Lodge 3


Whole Foods


Wilmington Public Safety Building


Cooper's Wine Bar


Retro Fitness


Hutchings Residence


Professional Competition Models


student Hooke Park


Dorset UK

an investigation in self build strategies and engaged practice

The Student Lodge is an experimental dwelling tackling a low cost initiative through the reuse of scrap and upcycled materials. The 60 square meter structure was designed and built by a five student team for the Masters of Architecture, Design and Make program run at the Architectural



campus in Hooke Park, UK and is intended to house two future students.


Lodge tested the notion of leaving the design open to continuous prototyping throughout the process of construction rather than the more traditional method of






The team began the design process by constructing volumetric, wire frames in 1:1 scale which allowed for a real time siting of the structure. After the key views and orientations were determined, the massing of the structure was formulated through a series of round table design meetings. The floor plan which contains a private area for the two bedrooms and bath are separated from the more public kitchen and living area by a covered deck. The design was laid out at 1:1 scale after the design meetings so that the design team could actually experience the physical dimensions of the different spaces by "living the plan". Slight adjustments were made after these exercises creating an awareness for the space that traditional modeling is not capable of achieving.

The Student Lodge nearing completion. The rear walls display a pattern work of reclaimed slates, recycled glazing units and upcycled aluminium. The surrounding timber was sourced onsite minimizing the environmental impact of sourced materials.

Recycled materials gathered from dumpsters, donations and from a former, local BBC radio transmission station allowed for most of the exterior glazing and roofing to be obtained for no cost. The materials gathered were each carefully cataloged and cleaned before finding a new use in the house and modifications to many of these items were minimal. Sizes of window openings and the heights of the spaces were governed by the items acquired through the collection process. This project was an exploration in approaching design as an open and moldable process. Design decisions such as the cladding were postponed until installation so that the greatest possibility for reclaimed materials could be gathered as well as allowing the team to use the building as a full scale testing grounds for prototype ideas. This approach allowed for discovery as well as practicality through the sourcing of many items for little or no expense that formed the final construction kit of parts. The total project budget was less than a quarter of a traditional build and the majority of the materials used were sourced within a few miles of the build site. The reuse of the recycled items inspired creativity and the acquisition of new skills as the team sought to transform refuse into a viable new structure.

SITE LOCATION: testing 1:1 prototype volumes onsite to determine the views and orientation of the spaces

















"living the plan"

The floor plan consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom (left) and a kitchen and living area (right) connected by a covered deck.

PROCESS OF REUSE: acquisition, cataloging, reworking and fabrication, placement of final result

an early sketch of the facade

Whole Foods


Glen Mills PA

Whole Foods caters to high end, specialty food offerings for health minded clientele. The building is part of a larger shopping complex built in the mid 1980’s and has gone through a series of rejuvenating modifications in the recent past. The location of the Whole Foods was previously occupied by a smaller grocery store that had vacated the premise a year before. The north-western wall was removed and peripherally reinforced to accommodate the large glazing wall allowing for natural lighting among other changes to the structure and interiors. The exterior curtain wall was designed to withstand hurricane force winds and was tested by a direct hurricane landfall shortly after installation with no damage. The interiors were completely retrofitted to accommodate new service and storage requirements as well as an in-house bakery, kitchen, cafÊ and bar. I was responsible for the design and construction detailing of this structure and provided technical support for our interoffice liaison.

rendering of proposed work

removal of the north-western wall


safety building Wilmington

. DE

The public safety building is a 128,000 s.f. (11892m²) facility that houses the county’s police dispatch center, Emergency Medical Services and the 911 communications and operations center and is designed to meet the expansion needs of these services until 2020. This project employed sustainable design and construction practices which earned a U.S. Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design





completion. A large central atrium and translucent skylights allows for multi-story access to natural sunlight. My role in this project was to provide technical support, drafting and submittal coordination between a large team of consultants. I was also a pivotal member of the L.E.E.D. submission task force assigned to manage and document project waste schedules and resource usage.

interior light wells

Emergency call station

Potable water demands were reduced by 80% by utilizing a roof water collection system and incorporating restrictions in all plumbing devices.

Energy consumption was reduced

by 28% through the use of geothermal heat pumps, increased insulation, skylights and solar gain reduction. Also, 90% (19,000 tons) of construction waste was managed and recycled.

COOPER'S wine bar .

Manyunk PA

Whole Foods caters to high end, Cooper’s Wine Bar is the sister restaurant to the neighboring upscale establishment, Jake’s in Manyunk, PA. Both Cooper’s and Jake’s share the same kitchen, each maintains its own identity and clientele. Cooper’s caters to a youthful, yet upscale audience with offerings of gourmet pizza paired with local wines and spirits. Serving as lead architect and designer, this project was met with




challenges a


series of requirements into a limited space.


Retro Fitness is a fun and funky workout




are provided with various training and exercise options in an 80’s inspired environment.

I designed

and managed over a dozen different locations ranging in size from 9,000 s.f. – 17,000 s.f. (830 m2 - 1,580m2) with varying floor plans to meet client needs. provides


The colour scheme bright



environment for a series of activities including self-training, group classes and small taught training. Each gym is equipped with a juice bar, workout equipment, offices for training staff as well as locker rooms and shower facilities for guests.

hutchings RESIDENCE .

Landenberg PA The Hutchings residence is nestled in scenic Chester County, Pennsylvania and reflects rural, vernacular farmhouses commonly built in the area. Following the loss of the property's original colonial house to fire, the owner wanted to capture the memories of the first structure in the new build but also wanted to allow for modern convenience. The traditional floor plan gives way in the front quadrant of the house to reveal a two story library containing rare volumes collected by the owner. Local stone artisans and Amish timber framers added hand worked detailing into the facade, covering the modern, wooden studwork inside.




Top left to bottom: West Palm Beach, FL Library Delta faucet prototypes US Embassy Compound, Seoul Korea

These competition models and product prototypes were used when presenting before




models are constructed from laser cut polycarbonate and foam as well as resin and are painted to simulate the actual colours and textured desired in the finished design.

Speed and accuracy

were needed to construct these models in a short time span.

[ Selected Series ]

The following hand drawings are a selection from a series

entitled Our Woodland. Roots,




which showcased the various species found within a privately owned woodland.

The series

was used to aid viewers in the identification




along walking paths and in the greater context of the property.


Sweet Chestnut

Norway Spruce

Douglas Fir


Corsican Pine

Western Red Cedar

[ Selected Projects ]


Accumulating Watchtower


Coffee Table




End Tables



. .







The ambition of the WATCH TOWER was to achieve a view to the sea approximately 7 miles from the site in only four weeks, without the use of mechanical fasteners, or the aid of scaffolding. The project was not preconceived in a traditional manner, but arose through the process of making which began by testing various ideas through models.

After working through

a series of scale models and full scale tests, a knowledge of the available materials and fastening procedures informed the construction of the final prototype.


forest as strata

emergent layer

The chosen site was a thick, dense conifer woodland and the WATCH TOWER offered a new experience to visitors in the forest – dark to light, confined to open, lifeless to verdant. The conifer forest selected is located within a plantation of Spruce and Western Red Cedar, sown in 1990.



is little or no undergrowth, however, there is a layer of dead branches starting about one meter above grade and continuing to 4 meters above grade. Above this dead layer living.


the branches are green and The tower explores

these contrasts by taking the visitor on a vertical tour of these qualities.

under growth

The WATCH TOWER is comprised of western red cedar thinnings which are typically discarded resources when the forest is properly managed. Removing smaller, weaker stock allows for the neighbouring trees to flourish without being crowed from their sides. The Watchtower took these valueless items and combined them into a structure which allows for those visiting the forest to leave the dense under growth surrounding the forest floor, to a bright experience of the canopy. On clear days the viewer has the opportunity to look over the canopy to view the ocean over the rolling hills separating the forest from the shore. Since the tower is located in the midst of an actively managed woodland, the connections are provided by a series of lashings made from natural fibers. These fibers not only

the WATCH TOWER among the forest

become stronger when wet, but they can be left outside once the tower is disassembled without injuring the surrounding ecology. The wooden construction materials were all sourced within 100 foot radius of the structure which allowed for the use of only hand tools onsite, no machinery and a low impact on the environment. The TOWER grew out of a trial and error method of ad hock construction which allowed for each piece to be studied before being placed the structure allowed for those working inside to move up in height without the need for a secondary scaffolding system saving both time and economic resources.

West Bay

view to the SEA

into the project. The basket like framework of



6.9 miles

Hooke Park

test models

advancing in height on location



Plywood, mahogany and glass. This table explores the dynamic relation between




forces with the sweeping gesture of the wooden arch meeting the delicate band of steel cabling.

chairs to read a


Left to right: café chair – plywood and mineral paint Windsor chair – mixed woods

Winsor chairs have been built for centuries due to their practical use of different types of available woods and the reliability of their joinery. The café chair is a modern adaptation on this theme, using common materials to produce a finished piece. The Windsor chair will receive a traditional coat of milk paint after the chair has fully seasoned.



This table and a secondary, sister end table were constructed from timber acquired by the client when several cherry trees were naturally felled by a wind storm on their farm. The trees were milled on location and seasoned in a neighbouring barn until being made into a permanent extension of the client’s home. Wild cherry, curly maple, purple heartwood and walnut all blend to make an interesting, yet subtle pattern work for the tops of these tables.

Arts and Crafts style


This piece pays tribute to a simple, elegant




construction which celebrates joinery and the grain inherent to the species of wood chosen.

Quarter sawn red

oak harvested from a sustainably managed forest and milled within twenty miles of its final destination, the wood for this piece brings a historic context of its local environment to the end product.

elizabeth lawrence portfolio  

Selected works of architecture, design and making.

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