Page 1

Final Year Design Process

rachel eng

Masters of Architecture University of Newcastle

new space

studio space


acknowledgements I would like to thank God - the unfailing constant that has been throughout this journey in my study of architecture that has been not without its challenging moments. Much appreciation be given to my lecturer Chris Tucker, and Milos Obradovic for being a great source of advice and academic support through this year. Thanks also must be given to Rick Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury, and Kerry Clare, for their most invaluable support and input, from the bigger ideas to the finest detail of my project. To my SONA mentor, Tim Blackall - thank you for giving me your time, gracious hospitality into your blue ‘Tardis’ for our mentor sessions, and good all round design advice given to me and my mentor mates throughout Developed Design. To my studio mates - Andy, Si, Cho, Sima, Ian, Dean, Percy, Jas, Daph - its been real fun learning, eating, working, and camping (literally and metaphorically) with you guys and girls. I would like to thank you all for those moments and the camaderie. Life in studio will be infinitely dull experienced without friends like you. Many thanks to Michelle, Louise, Bec, WenHarn, Farah, and my brother Andrew for your help with the final push of my submission. For the first part of my degree I would thank my friends Ryan, Nat, Clem, Mich Lee, Min Huei, thank you for your friendship, love and being my family away from home. All of you are an irreplaceble part of my life in Sydney. Not least, my family. Notably mom and dad Richard and Annie - for your love, support, and teaching me on what it really means to work for what you want in life.


1:100 sectional model texture


table of contents INTRODUCTION 1 THEORY 1 A1_PROJECT INITIATION 3 A2_SITE DIAGRAM 5 A3_CONCEPT DESIGN 7 A4_SCHEMATIC DESIGN 9 programme a note on ncca compliance 13 intemission design development | historical notions 17 design development | arch as an enclave 19 design development | abandoned opportunity 21 design development | intimacy and transparency 23 A6_DEVELOPED DESIGN 25 A7_WORKING DRAWINGS 27 A8_FINAL DESIGN 31 CONCLUSION 38




for our Final Year Project is to research and develop a scheme that will be executed throughout our year. The spirit of my project aims bring a civic quality to the City of Newcastle - with sites with underlying historical background, utilitarian uses - all abandoned and some soon to be abandoned. The program chosen to support my scheme will carry a economic generating quality, and one that will be used by the public. The underlying motivation behind my project is to make a architectural statement that has nuances that plays against the undermining quality of the site’s urban environment. These include the inappropriate development, the heavy rail, and disregard for the movements on a human scale. This project will be an application towards solving these space issues in the City of Newcastle by experimenting on new and familiar forms.

THEORY “I carefully observe the concrete appearance of the world, and in my buildings I try to enhance what seems to be valuable, to correct what is disturbing, and to create anew what we feel is missing.” Peter Zumthor, in Thinking Architecture The theoretical ideal in the pursuit of exploring new spaces as presented by Zumthor has been the drive of my project. It is hoped that with the creation of new spaces the favourable aspects of the urban city will not be lost in the rush of development. In this project, a digital urban extension of the University City Campus will be chosen to be the driver of this project. Why so? To create a possible project that will have future repercussions on the future development of Newcastle City, a part of the University Campus should be chosen. In this project I have undertaken research of the micro, macro and urban history of the site in relation to the current state of development and treatment of sites in Newcastle City, From a student perspective I will not have political control over the future development of key utilitarian sites, however I hope to demonstrate new spaces that will inspire an intimate civic quality.



A1_ PROJECT INITIATION Project initiation in Week One was an opportunity to present our ideas to begin research on our project. The initial programme chosen was a digital information library in Newcastle City for education and tourism purposes. After research on resource centres in Newcastle - I realised that to affect wider change this resource must be: 1. made public 2. a driving, ongoing project with a long term focus to ensure longevity in urban use of programme. After a chat with Jan Gehl, an architect advocating a human approach to urban design, I decided to bring my focus to University of Newcastle City Campus. This project is driven towards technology and urban renewal -two goals in the vision of Newcastle City Council and University of Newcastle. Thus a strategic approach is discovered to narrow down a particular aspect of the University City Campus Masterplan, the current one being fragmented and facility driven.



A3_SITE DIAGRAM Site Diagram was an excercise to determine the most appropriate site that could be the closest fit for my scheme. In some way this also challenged the robusity, and the intent behind the proposed scheme. It is also through the exploration of my site that a form and approach can be shaped from my site. Three sites were considered Watt Street, Centenary Road, and Hunter Street. Aspects to the programme such as proximity, privacy, economic rationale, transport, circulation were thought of in the selection of the site. The feedback given from the Crit panel revealed a need for me to reasearch a need for a new typology of library - which does not compete with the one in Civic Park. Crit Panel: Milos Obradovic, Peter Stuchbury, Mark Taylor.


comic: anticipating the reaction of the Novocastrian against the new space sof Newcastle


A3_ CONCEPT DESIGN Concept Design was a drawing process towards discovering the best strategic approach for the scheme for the University of Newcastle City Campus Library. Nodes, Historical Connections, possible new ways of entering the site, and viewing aspects, were explored in this scheme to reveal a bridging programme to my site. Comic satire, diagrams, site sectionals, and perspective diagrams were drawn to illustrate a rationale for connecting the main road Hunter Street to Darby and the harbour. Feedback for this scheme was favorable and useful - much more research was however needed to explore the historical roots of the site - which involves the Australian Agricultural Company and its monopoly of coal in Newcastle City. 8


MAPS: THE CITY OF NEWCASTLE started out as a city of coal, industry and transport. The following archived maps and paintings show original patterns of what has been before the introduction of heavy rail, during the establishment of the coal mining pits and the pattern of transport since the 18th Century.

_site. This led to an extensive historiacal journey - it was amazing to explore - and discover the total extent of how Newcastle City relied on coal from the early 18th Century. This was found in the transport extensions made from that period to the present. Much reflection and observation of the site and the recent political push towards the removal of the train line gives much opportunity for reuse of a different approach when it comes to reopening the neglected urban corridor (see Figure and furthest left). The Burwood line (see map on top) is identified to be an interesting entry point towards the harbour pont of the Civic Precinct. It is understood that resolving the urban connections in consideration to the past is crucial to designing to rejuvenate the pedestrian and imrove overall rational traffic flow throughout the spine of Hunter Street. Resources from the University Library and Newcastle City Council Local Collections.

Crit Panel: Milos Obradovic, Rick Leplastier, Chris Tucker 10

nary ro

argle str eet



train line

et hunter stre 11

A6_ SCHEMATIC DESIGN Schematic Design was an intensive excecution of the concepts and intent highlighted in Concept Design, and Site Diagram. Programming to challenge the stereotypical idea of a libary was a challenge. On one hand I wanted to steer clear away from the facility based approach that is prevalent in the traditional model of libraries - thus I aim to reconnect, reconsolidate, and redistribute the program by rearranging the pedestrian movements throughout the site. Openings, new and existing are opened in this scheme - the opening on the right that bleeds from Hunter Street into Argle Street presents a great opportunity for a natural way to move through the sheltered aspects of the site. A form of the bridge is the next challenge - I aim to make this habitable and accessible by the public - this will introduce a public aspect to the University, an original intent of this scheme. The order of my scheme is a layered one - to preserve the varied privacy aspects of the programme. The programme facing Hunter Street is an urban precinct threshold - the one on Centenary Road is the main HQ for the UoN (University of Newcastle) City Campus that will program the Business and Law School facilities - including teaching, learning and administration facilities.

Trace on left: Proces Drawing of Schematic Design Note on NCCA Compliance: To comply with the upcoming submission - schematic design will take into consideration the practical and legal repercussions for the design of the building to comply with the next submssion.



_quickmotion the imagery on the left demonstrates the form making process involved in the schematic design of the university city campus. A focus on connecting pedestrian activity, consideration for disabled access, and relating the footprint of the underground mines under the site with the form of the building and overall programming of the site.


1:200 schematic model: showing a birds eye view of the University City Campus in linear program against the train line. model made of brown model board timver, and plaster.


above: view from Hunter Street after opening of severed connection lines.

_programme Feedback from the Crit Panel - John suggested a stronger programmatic approach as employed by Morphosis, on the Nara Exhibition Centre in Japan. Curved Ramp was perceived to be, while practical, weakening the ovearall concept of the habitable nature of the connective spaces. A less bulky overall form was clearly needed to be sought after as this did nothing to give better connection from Hunter Street and the Harbour. Crit: Milos Obradovic, Chris Tucker, John, Drew Heath.


LEFT: Undated map resource from Newcastle City Council Local Collections - plan view of train lines and corresponding coal pits. THE CITY OF NEWCASTLE started out as a city of coal, industry and transport. The following archived maps and paintings show original patterns of what has been before the introduction of he RIGHT: Aerial view of Newcastle City


design development:


eavy rail, during the establishment of the coal mining pits and the pattern of transport since the 18th Century.


ABOVE TRACE: from tutor Milos showing the structural rationale of my Final design. Design Development between Developed and Final was a vigorous one - in contrast to the form in Schematic Design, I wanted to reintroduce a form that was familiar to the Novocastrian, two main materials - one which expressed transparancy / lightness, and another which expressed warmth and intimacy. The result? The arch as a form of shelter and entry throughout the facade. The building was to be light steel frame construction - in the modern elegant sensibility that is appropriate to a new University Precinct. The Arch, made of brick being a timeless form that shelters and holds structurally also reflects in time, the previous use of the site - a train line.


design development: THE ARCH AS AN ENCLAVE


RIGHT: The basis of the project is to capitalize on the abandoned train ways of the city, This image is the High Line in Manhattan, New York before refurbishment from the Friends of the High Line. LEFT: Schematic trace that aims to lend habitable spaces to its programme.


design development: ABANDONED OPPORTUNITY


RIGHT: The Bridge School in China. The materiality and transparency of the form demonstrated in a learning environment lends a very welcoming aspect to the children. LEFT: Trace developed between Developed and Final. Sectional perspective that demonstrates the design intent for transparency in movement and programmed layering - not the boxed layer cake approach from conventional libraries.




structural rationale



Developed Design was an exploration into the major changes made to the programmatic value of this project the project evolved into a more urban nature, and transparency as well as structural simplicity. After some consideration, a firmer programme was brought onto Hunter Street to bring a more interactive aspect to Hunter Street (instead of undefined urban park on Hunter Street, a valuable site facing Darby Street). The notion of the ramp to reflect the movement on Burwood line was tested in Developed. Besides being a vehicle for movement, the ramp also accentuates the linear aspect of Hunter Street.

RIGHT: Structual rationale for construction of project indicating urban qualities and pedestrian connections. ABOVE: Developed Design Images indicating the changes made to the transparency of the form.

Crit Panel: Rick Leplastrier, Milos Obradovic, Chris Tucker,




Working Drawings, also like the other projects brought changes to the project and firmed up various aspects. This submission enabled me to make decisions about design elements to be kept in my building, and to discard or modify those that detracted from the overall concept. A notable difference is the facade - inspired by the Polish Jewish museum systems - a reflective facade is used. Glass blades at an angle were fixed onto the surface. Also the considering the bridge component of my programme in terms of reconstruction was interesting and my favourite part of the process - to examine the technical aspects of reimagining how would people move towards the library was a major challenge.




CNC cut pine site model showing site area.

_1:500 model process 31

drawing of model t acrylic transparen

to be built - media to be used: laser cut timber veneer to express warmth in materiality and ncy.

A8_ FINAL DESIGN Thinking of presenting for Final Design was a process towards consolidating my thoughts towards my project. Reorganizing my key ideas from beginning to end to demonstrate an idea that may happen - rediscovering undiscovered spaces on a site and applying a historically informed spatial framework that would express a form that would give back a sense for civic nature in a building programme that is moving towards the future - an Urban Information District. Student Centered Learning is fast taking over the traditional role of the teacher as giver of information - to students seeking information. With retraction of traditional teacher to student spaces, I have selected an information common - a programme that is has layers of privacy, yet it has spaces that enables a level of exhibitionism and playfulness to engage the user. In my images these public spaces will be shown, with its forms being created in reference to the abandoned, unused nature of a tired utilitarian site. I wanted the materialityand the spaces to play on the familiar notions of the Novocastrian on the train (as part of their civic identity) and the ridiculous ways in which people inhabit these spaces - be it performance, social events, information exchange, waiting for a bus, or window shopping. The following pages will give a summary of the key components that makes up a major part of my presentation.



_test video 34





CONCLUSION The journey towards the research into the local historical connections of Newcastle was interesting - it was crucial to understand this to better respond to what a site needs, as well as the psychological notions on how people will perceive a new building in a utilitarian city context - was the goal. Understanding the changing nature of how people learn in the past and future was also crucial to understanding how I would better design my programme - in the end the project turned out to be less about classrooms and more about intervening on fixed notions about how a site can be viewed - to engage, invigorate, and inspire the user. From my project I have also gained a better understanding on how to simplify structures to speak rationally on their own - I have discovered that in the process of trying to put in ideas into my building - that the better solution is often a simple one. Balancing the realistic and the conceptual is also an important part of my design process - not to be caught up in the traditional format that I was so used to - and to put myself as a user in spaces that was missed everyday by the user in the daily grind - was an immesely rewarding experience.


New Space by Rachel Eng  

Final Year Masters of Architecture University of Newcastle Design Process

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you