Page 1

my move.


rumen dimov

version: “coef. 24“

contents _ cont ECOLOGIES





Year 3

CAN RICART factory of synergies

01 02 19 29 35 nts _ contents _ contents _ contents


01. Graduation project

57 Quayside - The Finnish Institute

This project’s task was to design new premises for the Finnish Institute, which is currently situated in London. In order to seduce the Institute to make this hypothetical transition to Newcastle, the benefits of moving north had to be developed into a convincing strategy. This involved a very specific brief-making as a result of explorations in a particular possibility of collaboration with a local innovative agent in a social, cultural or scientific field. This collaboration was explored through designing an Incubator for the local agent- a specific structure to host a specific activity of the collaborator in the urban setting of Newcastle city centre. This synthesized design idea had to be extrapolated in order to inspire a the larger brief for the premises of the Institute. and were all important ideas underpinning this design project which culminated into a proposal for ‘filling‘ a long-missing piece of urban fabric in the heart of Newcastle.

Orientation, memory activities


part 1: The Incubator

Ageing - the ‘longevity revolution‘

The collaboratorDr. Paul Donaghy (IAH)

The last century and a half saw an unprecedented transformation in human longevity, seen by many as one of humanities greatest triumphs- a victory over premature mortality.

The larger brief for the Finnish Institute is inspired by a smaller preceding design project. In the spirit of the Institute and in order to provide opportunities for creative encounters, a local agent from an innovative cultural field is chosen and a small design prototype is developed for him.


This dramatic increase in longevity is paired with a declining fertility. The form of the population pyramid is projected to morph from a stepped terrace to a skyscraper-like shape between 2010 and 2050. This means that not only we live longer, but our society is getting older, evermore reshaping the age group definitions and posing new social, economical, political and cultural challenges.


Acknowledging the importance of aging our contemporaty society, the Institute of Aging and Health (IAH) is an internationally recognized scientific research organization with an aim to understand the aging process and the disease mechanisms behind it.

“We know and can observe the process of aging, but research here is focused on the mechanisms driving it“ Dr. Donaghy’s particular field of interest is brain scans for dementia with Lewy Bodies - the second most diagnosed type of dementia (after Alzheimers)- which is a field where the IAH is a pioneering institution. Through a series of interviews certain notions were derived in order to inspire the design of this “stage set“ in urban setting. It became very clear that in an environment for care about people with neurodegenerative diseases the most important factor is to

keep people orientated.

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1. The context of aging diagram of the variety of dynamic processes during the last century and a half leading to the dramatic increase in human longevity.

2. Population pyramids. Sweden projected for the year 2105 when 10 percent of the population accepts interventions leading to negligible senescence.

3. Early concept model exploring orientation in an urban environment via landmarks.



Chess and the nonpharmacological Looking at professional setting of Dr. Donaghy’s environment a challenge emerged. The need to synthesize an activity that could inspire architectonic notions in the public realm of the street meets the private and closed domain of the medical research facilities. A spatial concept then emerged from the aim to stretch and mix the scope of engagement with the topic. What if the scientist was to observe the non-scientific? What if he was to participate in it himself?




urban office for playing chess social glue

An becomes a of sorts, mixing the public and the researcher and giving back to the street. The pharmacological approach (drugs and hospital-based treatment) meets the non-pharmacological (social, group activities and therapies). a place for encounters and recreation.

the street

giving back to

Chess could be understood as a form of cognitive training - a repetitive practice or activity in order to stimulate brain activity and minimize the memory impairment. A truly , the office provides accommodation for the researcher to conduct first person observations in search for evidence in the speculations- a new and engaging activity, contrasting the office everyday life.

positive design

1. Quayside site plan. The site was chosen to as it presents a 360 degrees panorama of landmarks for orientation.

2. Cross section of the incubator scale 1-200

3. Plan of the incobator scale 1-200

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* part 1: The Incubator

“Exteriority is not architecture. Interiority is not architecture. Architecture exists in how exteriority and interiority are connected.� Sou Fujimoto



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3. 1. The glazed office box hangs from the edge of the Quayside with a perforated timber cladding allowing light in and views out but avoiding the glare

2. The two concrete walls create a gradient of privacy by providing three differently exposed settings to play in.

3. The innermost opportunity allows the researcher to become part of the activity or simply observe.

The Finnish Institute part 2: site synthesis The site chosen for the Finnish Institute is located on the perimeter of the Newcastle Central Conservation Area. The plot on 57 Quayside is positioned in a prime location in the heart of creativity in the North- East of England. With large scaled projects targeted at promoting the area as an internationally renowned cultural hub (The Sage, The Baltic etc.), the location gives the ideal environment to fit the ethos of the Institute“... to identify emerging issues relevant to contemporary society and to act as a .“ Hence, from the range of sites given as options to choose for the new location of the institute, the Quayside seems to be most seductive in terms of already existing opportunities to foster such activities. Also, building upon the ideas developed during the incubator stage of the design, the site provides the same density of attractive views, being positioned just across the street from the incubator. The orientation gets another interpretation here,

catalyst for positive change through partnerships

focusing on what will be “left behind” rather than what is clearly visible “in front“. The temporary

garden installation built on the site has identified and highlighted a new strong visual link to the street - the view of the All Saints’ Church spire at the back. The design takes on the challenge to preserve this notion- by celebrating it and making it a central motive in the design. Also, a development on the site would finally complete a long-existing gap in the facade line of the Quayside. As the plot has been vacant for more than 30 years now, the last building occupying the site was a rather unsympathetic warehouse, being demolished in the late 1980’s. The design engages poetically with the of this structure by recreating its ghostly presence to achieve a large open-plan space to host 4. the main catalyst activity in the brief - the cafe.

desire line


5. 4. Location plan Scale 1-15000

5. Examining the different expressions, a concept of the missing chess piece of the facade line was developed.

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The Finnish Institute part 2: site synthesis urban block

leave a gap


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Although the full scope of the proposed site extends towards the residential buildings to the East, a design decision was made to create a long and thin building with a uniform expression therefore leaving equal “gaps“ on both sides and highlighting the street expression of the building. This way- the poetic enclosure of Trinity Chare (to the West) is rebuild and a similarly- sized access to the space behind is created on the Western side of the Quayside facade. This new gap allows for a celebration of the expressed volume of the auditorium and strengthening the visual image of the building as an Institution.


A diagonal cut and a concrete wall highlight the view to All Saint’s church and preserve its visual accessibility from the street.

view/ desire line

The profile of the last existing building on the site is recreated into a void- a ghostly presence.

memory/ ghost

In order the maintain the visual connection, the outline ‘respects’ the view and wraps internally. Where it splits - an is created where all the different inhabitants of the building have a common interface. The curved walls become an , binding the different functions of the building together.

‘exchange‘ void

orientation tool


respect the view/ create an ‘exchange’ void

3. 1. Site plan Scale 1-1500

2. Quayside elevation Scale 1-300

3. The missing Queen - a metaphorical aspiration towards a ‘solid‘ and ‘dominating‘ presence on the street frontage.

4. Street view of the diagonal cut through the building. The ‘desire line‘ is preserved and celebrated.


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part 2: Concept models; initial studies






1. Ghost below, interface in the middle Scale 1-200

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2. 2x circulation; auditorium in the middle Scale 1-200

highlight the ghost; cut to respect the view; heavy above

3. Exploring different configurations Scale 1-200

4. A diagonal corridor Scale 1-200


2. Full programatic clustering in detail Scale 1-200

3. Highlight the ghost; Cut for the view; Heavy above; Scale 1-200

The Finnish Institute part 3: building program THE PANELED ELEMENTS - acoustic - threshold - security - seat - shelter - ceiling

FOURTH FLOOR - rooftop terrace opening towards the Quayside; hard landscaping

THIRD FLOOR - green roof terrace; soft landscaping - sauna - institute offices

SECOND FLOOR - library - institute offices - researcher’s office and residence - church viewpoint

The concrete wall hosts all of the building’s circulation, allowing movement through the building through a series of perforations, also acting as a security mechanism, denying direct public access to the more.

2. FIRST FLOOR - library - first floor cafe - plant room - possible night use

AUDITORIUM - separate structure, mechanically ventilated below seats. - visually connected to the library, the researcher and the main circulation. - possible night use

GROUND FLOOR - entrance lobby and reception - cafe - gallery- part 1 - flexible functionseminar room


BASEMENT FLOOR - plant room - gallery- part 2 - underground parking

The concrete wall hosts all of the building’s circulation, allowing movement through the building through a series of perforations, also acting as a security mechanism, denying direct public access to the more sensitive parts of the building.

3. 1. Exploded programatic axonometric not to scale

2. Development structural diagram - steel frame not to scale

3. Circulation diagram of ‘the wall‘ not to scale

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part 3: building program

1. 3.

2. 13.

10. 21.

1. Key: 1. Lobby and cafe 2. Gallery 3. Flexible SeminarFunction room 4. Cafe 5. Library 6. Auditorium 7. Researcher’s flat 8. Interns’ office 9 Sauna 10. Toilets

1. Ground Floor plan in context, showing principle access Scale 1-200

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2. Basement floor plan Scale 1-300

3. First floor plan Scale 1-300

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Green roof Underground Parking Storage Plant room Directors office Arts manager Research manager Administrator’s Office PR ‘The Brain’ Cleaners Area

4. Second floor plan Scale 1-300

5. Third floor plan Scale 1-300




12. 2.



10. 10.








5. 15.




9. 14.




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part 3: building program

A second plant room is installed just to host the ventilation services for the enclosed volumes of the auditorium and the flexible spaces of the gallery, seminar and function rooms below. The mechanical ventilation takes advantage of the volume between the concrete ‘shell’ of the auditorium and the suspended platforms of the seats above to circulate fresh air in the rooms.




1. Perspective section not to scale

2. Circulation diagram not to scale

3. Section a-a Scale 1-200

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part 3: Interiors

4. 1. A longitudinal route through the building leads the visitor naturally to the viewpoint towards the church and across the rooftops of the conservation area and the Quayside. The continuous five flights of stairs cross the watinig room-social area for the auditorium on the first floor- one of the many perforations through the concrete wall, which allow for the circulation between the public and private parts of the building. The exposed structural elements are utilized as seatings to soften the contrast between the exposed steel frame and the delicate timber flooring.



1. Main entrance; view from cafe area

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2. Entrance lobby; view from first floor lift landing.

3. The circulation naturally draws the visitor towards the viewing point facing the church.

4. First floor cafe and social auditorium waiting area.


8. The split point between the two curved elements creates a sheer volume triple height space, where all the separate functions of the building meet. Being analogous to the chess in the incubator phase, the cafe becomes a catalyst for unexpected encounters, where different agents can meet and inspire unexpected collaborations.


5. Auditorium interior; the timber panels performing accoustic functions.

6. Roof garden view. Linked directly to the sauna and providing opportunities foe exposure or enclosure.

7. All the different functions in the building share a common interface - the ‘exchange void‘


8. First floor cafe view towards the triple height space.

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part 4: Technical Study

Falmouth Recreation Centre

The composite concrete panels were used here to not only to express robustness but also for their literal physical durability. In a similar fashion, the same type of panels will be used to clad the upper half of the institute, thus highlighting the ‘ghostly presence‘ below by contrasting the glass with the heavy expression of the panels but allowing for a lighter and more efficient structure. The interiorly exposed steel frame construction responds to the Finnish visual culture where highly manufactured materials like steel coexist in harmony with natural materials like timber.

The Sage Gateshead

The faceted paneled structure just opposite the siting of the design itself seems to be the ideal precedent for tackling the constructional challenges of the interior complex 3D curved walls. The structure here is incomparable in terms of scale, but the underlying principles could be adopted on the much smaller scale in order to achieve a complex curvature with rectilinear components.

Extension of Villa Garbald

Here, the square openings are distributed irregularly over the various faces of the concrete block and are shaded by larch shutters that can be pivoted upwards and outwards. In a similar fashion, the window openings on the main facade towards the Quayside will have shutter openings, except - this time the material will be the same as the facade itself. By doing that a consistent and unobstructed frontage is created, which leaves the opportunity to enjoy the views over the Tyne but also prevents glare from the South.



1. Quayside facade wall section Scale 1-50

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2. Model exploration of seamlessly closing paneled shutter windows for the Quayside facade. Scale 1-20

The Finnish Institute final models

Final presentation model; Scale 1:200 The building ‘fills‘ the missing piece of urban fabric, this completing the long- standing unfinished state of the Quayside. page 18

02. Can Ricart

A factory of synergies

02.01 Principles and Theories submission 02.02 Technology submission The project is set in a 19th century industrial semi abandoned ensemble of textile factories located in Poblenou, Barcelona. Split in two distinct parts, the brief asks for a large scale site strategy consideration of the entire complex and the development of a small portion of this masterplan (an insertion, extension or intervention) up to a tangible level of detail. The design is strongly related to the process of carrying out and through a specially designed model for tracing historical content. The results are then over-imposed on the site to create a which can be interpreted to inspire the design of the different areas from the masterplan.


morphogenetic landscape

Two separate pieces are then examined in detail as an example of the potential of this interpretation.

project 2: Barcelona and the layers of history



A general fascination with the aesthetics of the landscape led to the aspiration to search for a historically-based method to inspire the design. A goal was set to preserve the exteriority of the existing fabric and celebrate it by creating an interior which will contrast the eroding textures on the outside with a .

visual aesthetic

clean, and uniform

Insertion was the prefered method to interact with the existing fabric- perserving the exsiting structures and partially utilizing their remaining structural properties, but relying on new primary structure to accomodate the proposed developments. 3. 1.

2. 1. Historical maps of Barcelona and Pobleneu for the period 1706-1980

2. Experimental model for tracing and comparing historical maps.

3. Location axonometric; the layers of Barcelona not to scale

4. Concept collage- a ruinistic landscape

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Can Ricart project 2: masterplan

1. Workshops/ light industries 2. Cooking school 3. Food Co Op 4. Children Playground 5. Small Businesses 6. Market 7. First floor outdoor cinema 8. ‘The Gallery‘ 9. New Business Incubator 10. Roof public green space 11. Cafe - Restaurant 12. Cafe outdoor terrace space 13. Outdoor Studios 14. Extension of Hangar 15. Theatrical Organisation 16. Outdoor Area- Theatrical Organisation

2. Topological study of the experiment - the darker the spots are the higher their topolocial value becomes.


6. 2. 5.


7. 8.

9. 12.


11. 16. 4. 15.



Main access points

3. The algorithm resolves the desired proximity between the elements according to the number of connections and their ‘weight‘.

Proposed new connections Creative programmes Productive programmes Social and educational Areas of study in detail Overlayed morphological experiment - 2D

1. page 21

1. Masterplan axonometric not to scale

2. Topographical study of the expriment

3. Graph study of programatic relations

project 2: development- area B



The chosen area of development of the brief consists of ‘the Gallery’ space and the office incubator. These were chosen as example of two possible readings of the expriment - in plan and in section respectively.


4. Perspective breaksection through the office space incubator.

5. Sketch plan and section derived from the experiment. Scale 1:500

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project 2: Models and interior visuals


The Entrance throught ‘The Gallery‘ is the main access through the building to the proposed new smaller public square to accomodate the market outdoor activities and act as a catalist for the neighbourhood social activity. It is also an access to the office incubator. The pattern generated by the experimetn is visible in plan as every element play flexible role in the morphology of the space.



The five flight staircase ends opening to a beautif view of the surroundings, dominated by the clock tower and the chimney.

1. 1-200 concept modelextruding the traced shapes.

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2. Model of the office incubator showing the circulation pattern based on the sectional study of the experiment

Can Ricart 02.02 Technology submission

figure 2.2.1

figure 2.2.2 2.2.1 Primary structure axonometric. Scale 1-200 Steel frame first floor and roof structure; small timber cantilever on both sides of first floor voids; in-situ concrete pad foundations and ground floor

2.2.2 Secondary structure axonometric Scale 1-200 Timber first floor joists, secondaru cellular roof beams, cast in-situ concrete sculptural pieces.

2.2.3. Thirtiary structure axonometric Scale 1-200 Softwood sheeting on the first floor, ribbed metal roof decking, suspended first floor ceiling, ground floor suspended custom light fixtures.

02.02.01 Narrative of the “inbetween“ This section focuses on the design considerations of the gallery space. The different pieces from the conceptual model start to become various objects in the regular space-paving patterns on the ground, benches, hanging light fixtures and concrete shapes, used to expose works of art. Also, according to the experiments conducted during the pre-design stage, the concrete sculptures have a different topological value. Hence, some penetrate through the first floor to become benches there, while others go as far as 12 meters to become part of the roof terrace furniture. Three of the pieces are hollow and create ‘special places’ for exhibiting miniature pieces of art. The part of the master plan dedicated to this part of the building created the necessity for the insertion of a first floor. This could potentially decrease the visual impact of the presence of the large structures. This was reinforced by the danger of the space being ‘dwarfed’ by the scale of the neighbouring office incubator. Therefore, to maximise the impact of the concrete sculptures, a general aesthetic goal figure 2.2.4 to achieve a very precise and clean environment, highlighting the concrete sculptures, drove the material and constructional choices. The sequence of axonometric diagrams on this page shows the main structural choices. In order to utilise the existing fabric, the structure follows the rhythm of the existing large brick columns. The main structural beams go through the existing columns, which is a common practice in factory regeneration projects (figure 2.2.4), and thus follow the rhythm of the original space. The brick wall pieces, holding the columns in place are removed and replaced with steel channel section frames, which allow passing through on the first floor, but also serve a bracing function. To achieve a very thin first floor, two 1.5 metre voids are created on both sides, so that all non-electric services are then located in the suspended ceiling of the roof and/or the ground floor, servicing the entire two-storey volume. The circular hollow sections we chosen because of their smaller visual impact in the space. A special joint had to be designed to facilitate the column-floor junction in the first floor. Therefore the explanation of the floor and roof constructions is followed by a small scale detail of the designed figure 2.2.3 connection. Note: This is a short version of the original submission. Please refer to seperate A3 document for more details. page 24




4 1


figure 2.2.6 1. Roof ocnstruction: 80 mm planted layer alternating with 80 mm sandstone slabs protective matting root-resisting sheeting plastic-modified bituminous sealing layer 140 mm polyurethane thermal insulation vapour barrier trapezoidal-section ribbed metal sheeting 35 mm deep laid to falls on sheet metal castelated beam 390 mm deep 2. Reinforced concrete beam 400x330 mm to reinforce the damanged roof eave (fig. 2.2.7)


figure 2.2.8

3. 3 mm black-red-anodized sheet aluminium covering 4. rigid insulation panel 95mm 5. rigid insulation panel 25 mm 6. Suspended ceiling construction: aluminium edge channel 15x 16x 15 mm 15x 300x 3300 mm panels with 20 mm recess between the units galvanised steel carrier channels 26x 52x 3900 mm , attached 1350 mm apart suspension system with adjustmen clips, creating 200 mm ceiling void 7. balustrate as in 2 , attached to concrete beam with 100 mm offset from rooftop.

4 1 2 3 figure 2.2.9

figure 2.2.7

figure 2.2.5

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1. Floor construction: 27 mm three-ply softwood sheeting 100/250 mm laminated timber joists 12mm composite wood board 50/28 mm wood battens 12.5 mm gypsum fireboard 2. steel I-beam 220mm deep 3. 27 mm three-ply softwood sheeting 4. Balustrade: 21 mm laminated safety glass stainless- steel handrail at 900mm 100 mm distance between handrail and fitting on glass 100/64/16 frameless system aluminium channel attached to double laminated joists below

2.2.9 Floor to beam connection axonometric Scale 1-10

1. Special connection: Four 8 mm vertical plates welded to column Three vertical perforated 6 mm plates welded perpendicularly to the main horizontal ones to accomodate primary steel beams Double steel connector with two times four 4 mm steel plates 6 perforations each to accomodate 400 mm cantilever. 2. Circular hollow section column 193/16 mm 3. Steel I beam 220 mm deep 4. Hexagon head bolts M20x 200-220 mm with M20 nuts 5. Hexagon head bolts M20x 45 mm with M20 nuts

02.02 Technology submission 02.02.02 Micro Scale figure 2.3.1


4 5 1


The junction between the floor and the concrete pieces was chosen as a micro scale detail, because of its crucial aesthetic role. The main design goal in the gallery space was to achieve a very clean and precise space, which highlights the dominant presence of the concrete exhibition pieces. Therefore a 30 mm deep steel grill panels with dark brushed finish are used. These are laid flush to the floor finish on the first floor, therefore creating a material aesthetic gradient between the wooden surface and the concrete pieces. In total, six such custom grills have to be created. The frames are made off-site and are delivered and put in place by a crane after the concrete pieces are cast, set and polished. The ring L-shaped section, running around the concrete objects is attached to the concrete reinforcement prior to the casting. After the grills are brought to site, they are lifted by a crane in place, welded to the steel L-shaped sections and bolted to the I-beam. Around the structural columns, 27 mm softwood sheeting creates a contrast with the gypsum fireboard on the ground floor ceiling, highlighting the connection (as on the cover image of this coursework). Additional contrast can be added by the insertion of light fixtures on top of the softwood. This detail creates a sharp flush finish, around the concrete pieces, while allowing them space to ‘breathe’ as much as possible.

1. 30 mm deep steel floor grill 2. 30/30/5 mm steel L-section, attached to concrete reinforcement, prior to casting 3. 27 mm three-ply softwood sheeting 4. steel I-beam 220mm deep 5. 27 mm softwood sheeting

figure 2.3.2 2.3.1 Metal grill floor detail junction axonometic Scale 1-10

2.3.2 Custom steel grills axonometric. Scale 1-200 In order to highlight all the separate concrete sculptures, 6 custom grills have to be created. While structurally allowing for people to walk on top, they retain the dominant presence of the large concrete pieces.

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02.02 Technology submission Construction reduction

Flexibility and intensification of use The design of galleries usually suggests a very large open-plan space with flexible uses. However, the case here is quite different. First, the gallery itself is not a stand-alone building and has to act as a connection between the other two parts on every level and is a major connection between the two main public spaces on both sides of the building (ref. to the master plan in section 1.4). Secondly, with just over 400 square meters indoor space, there seems to be little room for experimentation, which would not obscure or block the circulation patterns. This is the main reason why the experiments were interpreted into a permanent insertion. Direct sunlight is not acceptable in the gallery spaces. Due to the position of the gallery in the hearth of the master plan on a series of pedestrian flow connections, an inviting sheltered atmosphere is created away from the intense heat in Barcelona. Its position and properties make the space more used and desirable during most of the day.

Standardization Most of the components in the structure are standard and off-the-shelf. For example, the suspended ceiling system is a standard DAMPA 300, widely available around Europe. However, both the floor to beam connection and the metal grills will have to be customized specifically for the occasion. This compromise is made due to the general aesthetical aim of the space. It might turn out to be more efficient to order standard normal grills and cut them on-site, rather than ordering 6 different specific units. Another downside might be that all the formwork, necessary for the pieces will have to be continuously adjusted and custom made, due to the shape of the concrete pieces. Nevertheless, the floor voids around the thin first floor allow for air-conditioning services to accommodate the entire volume of the gallery.

Celebrating the ruin From the onset of the design process an attitude of fascination with the ruin-like landscape was expressed. As the design focuses on the contrast and preserving the existing walls untouched, this means

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that less construction waste will be accumulated due to demolition works. Building component and material reuse

Insertion The design experiment, which initiated the general attitude towards the master plan, was in its core an attempt to reinterpret the history of the site. Also, the building which will host the gallery is listed, which was also one of the factors influencing the choice of approach. The reliance of the new structure on the existing brick columns, as well as the ‘tight-fit’, threat the old in a similar way as Carlo Scarpa’s sculpture gallery in Canova, Italy (figure 3.1). Therefore, the attitude towards the old fabric can be generally classified as that of an ‘Insertion’.

Object renovation and reuse of building components As per definition, the Barcelona project was focused on renovating the factory buildings and celebrating the existing. However this could be intensified if the existing fabric is not only used as an envelope, but the existing structure is incorporated in the design. Although all of the roof structure and most of the floor structures have been removed due to poor condition, in this particular part of the building there are 5 brick columns, which can be utilised. The primary steel structure of the first floor and the roof can go through the wide columns and then be sealed with a concrete mixture (as in figure 2.2.4 in section 2.2). In this way an advantage is taken from the load-bearing masonry structure, which also gives a certain a grid to work with and a ‘rhythm’ to be contrasted to the oddlycomposed new components.

Super-structure It is also worth noticing that this approach was taken toward the other developed part of the brief. As can be clearly seen in section 1.3, the office incubator involved a 20 metre tall external steel framed structure, whereby all the internal components are suspended and braced with tension cables. The old is preserved and the contrast between it and the recessed ‘tight-fit’ new insertion is celebrated.

Building for dismantling Almost the entire first floor and roof constructions are reversible and demountable as permanent connections are largely avoided. The majority of the connections are via bolts and screws and the only welded connection needed is the attachment of the special column-beam connector to the circular hollow section columns. The suspended ceiling allows for an adjustable service distribution and can be easily modified or removed accordingly. Building component and material recycling

Crushed Brick as Coarse Aggregate Due to the very specific and important role of the concrete structures in the gallery, special attention was paid towards their construction. The master plan proposes the demolition of two non-listed buildings, which have been badly damaged (figure 3.2), in order to make way for the public area of the market. Crushed concrete has been used as an aggregate for many years, but crushed bricks have only been recently tested. , The reports show only a 7% loss in compressive strength with a 9.5% lost in unit weight. The concrete structures in the gallery do not support any significant loads except their own dead weight. They serve as secondary structure to some extent in that they partially support the steel grills or serve as benches. Yet, they do not serve a major structural purpose. Therefore such a project could be a good opportunity for an experiment in the area and could give interesting textural qualities to the final polished pieces. Nevertheless, the complexity of the structures and the fact that they are relatively thin (150mm) means a careful design of the formwork is needed. Figures 3.3 and 3.4 show sketch sectional details that could be implemented in the design of the inclined pieces surfaces.

Khaloo, A. R., “Properties of concrete using crushed clinker brick as coarse aggregate”, ACI J. vol. 91(2), (1994) pp. 401-407 2 Khalaf, F. M., “Using Crushed Clay Brick as Coarse Aggregate in Concrete”, Journal Of Materials In Civil Engineering vol.18(4) (2006) pp. 518-526

figure 3.1

figure 3.3

figure 3.2




1. ply form 2. waler 3. soldier 4. telescopic prop 5. trench strut 6. coil loop


4. 5. 6.

3.3 Sketch sections of battered wall formworks. These could be implemented to cast complex shapes. Not to scale


Chasa Schigliana, Sent (2000) Architects: Rolf Furrer and Christof Rosch

Construction, aesthetics, materiality

Insurance Buidling, Munich Architects: Baumschlager & Eberle

Roof detailing, structure, insertion

Media-TIC, Barcelona (2010) Architects: Cloud 9

Business inicubator structure and materiality

Art academy insertion, Riga (2012) Architects: SZK

Material clarity, insertion, aesthetics

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03. Ecologies

The Layers of Decay

This project was set in the context of the British Science Festival in 2013 and was intended to highlight one of the crossing Newcastle and its related biodiveristy. The format of the project was competition based group work which concluded in a A1 board presentation, 1:50 and 1:200 models on site and a research booklet. The proposed small intervention (40m2 to 70 m2) had to form part of the contribution of the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape to the festival in September 2013. The installation is expected to participate to the ecological biodiveristy of the wild life corridor through its materiality and construction. Typical activities such as are to take place in small groups with the collaborative support of a variety of local agents. Inspired by nature’s cycle, ‘The Layers of Decay’ installation connects the visitor with a fundamental aspect of any ecosysteminsect life.

wild life corridors


‘There is no such thing as death. In nature nothing dies. From each sad rementnat of decay, some forms of life arise’ Charles Mackay

life - decomposition

Gosforth park nature reserve

project 1: Site and concept development


3. The wildlife corridor links Gosforth nature reserve and the Tyne. Both these habitats then also link to the wilder surrounding environment. The corridor is a home to some wildlife, a place for species to spread into and a seasonal foraging habitat for others. Mammals, insects, birds, amphibians and many plants all allow . Initial site impressions:

Jesmond Dene

the city

padding pool Heaton Park

nature into the heart of

Tunnels of volume

1. - a great feeling of depth and varied permeability in, out and around the site; Gradients of perspective. 2. Light and shade - patterns of through the leaves



The Tyne


scale 1:20000

flows and disappears

3. The ground into the surrounding greenery. Water and concrete contrasted to the warm colours and textures.

Ouseburn Valley

1. The wildlife corridor connecting Gosforth Park and the Tyne


2. Concept plan of the installation on site not to scale

4. and hugged - the surrounding landscape provides shelter from the wind. The brodader site is contained in the context of the valley and water flows down to it. 5. Decay

3. Site photos - textures, colours, minature life. Highlights - the sycamore tree - rotting wood

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** project 1: Mapping, models and solution







6. 1. Concept models on site scale 1:200

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2. Final concept model on site, showing the three planes of interest scale 1-200

3. Final presentation model on site scale 1:50

4. Isometric mapping diagram showing the existing water flows as well as defined and undefined walking paths scale 1-1000

5. Isometric mapping diagram showing the depth of views from the chosen spot of the site scale 1-1000

6. Ground floor plan not to scale

Ecologies project 1: Site and concept development ‘Layers of Decay’ is a lightweight timber framed structure with three horizontal planes. Each plane interacts with the other and the site creating a space with views above, below and around. The is the insect wall which carpets the ground and hangs from the above plane. The structure is made from the decaying beech tree from the site, in a geometric pattern creating small individual insect habitats. The is the walking plane which allows movement through and out and under. This plane floats above the ground on stilts and allows glimpses of the insect wall below it as it crosses and overlaps. The is a canopy that articulates the surrounding volumes and movement of the landscape. It provides shelter for learning, experiencing and studying wildlife whilst providing water collection as well. Between the planes are lightweight timber columns and light polycarbonate sheets. These articulate relationships with light, some allow clear views and others are semi-transparent.

first plane

middle plane

top plane

7. Broken section through the installation scale 1:75

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The lightweight timber structure plays with three on the forgotten padding pool site in Heaton Park. The pavilion could be easily taken apart after the event and assembled elsewhere, whereas the created and underlying structure are to be left on siteinto the environment, flourishing with insect life.


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insect habitat decaying

project 1: Improvement

04. Charette- Plan B

Institute of bio-architectural research

WHAT IF the way we perceive building and designing buildings is wrong by definition?

The whole concept of environmentally aware design and sustainability seems to have a major problem in its definition. If we observe how the nature that we so desperately want so save work, we can see all these mechanisms of adaptability that make the living organisms coexist in a symbiotic relation to each other. Buildings by definition are a composite of artificially extracted machine- modified materials, which no matter how much the technology advances will always maintain an alien presence in their respective environments.


The technology of the age has advanced. In the same way visionaries have felt that the spirit of the 20th century modernism is essentially “concrete and steel”, it seems that this is not the spirit of the 21st century architecture. A new idea has emerged with the advance of science in the fields of biology and biological engineering in the past decade. We are finally able to create genetically modified organisms and recognise and modify biological building blocks. A few pioneers have already initiated the idea that this could have a serious implication in the field of architecture, because in the simplest level of thinking it allows the opportunity of adaptability. In other words – the materials we create will always be dead and as such they will never be able to truly adapt.

Car park near Ridley building, Newcastle University


As much as this idea has any foundation to be even thought of as scientifically possible it is at the present moment also science fiction. A colossal amount of research is needed, but as architects are not usually associated with working in a lab, it seems that the facilities needed (i.e. labs and design studios) are separated which in turn makes the communication hard and slows down the process. In the 19th century, shipbuilding and heavy engineering were central to the city’s prosperity, as the city was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately this whole industry is now gone. A uniform facility for contemporary bio-architectural research in Newcastle can make the city one of the leading pioneers in this field which promises a vast amount of possibilities and implications of the field of synthetic biology in architecture. Once again Newcastle can become a leading pioneer in the technological research and advances of the age. As one of the best places for medical research in the country, it seems that this institute can be closely related to Newcastle University and catapult both faculties in the rankings and attract interest for invest4. ments and further development.

3. Life Science Centre Newcastle

1. Diagram of architectural thinking. Houses down to architectural components down to construction components down to materials. Why not down to molecular scale?

2. Roddam SS (+1916) SS Roddam, built by Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co.

3. Map of identified possible sites for the research facility. The LIFE centre is an already established institution in the field, Newcastle University’s medical faculty is one of the leading research institutions in the field in the UK

4. Lebbens Woods - a city of air. An example of visionary speculation of how wrong we think about construction.

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Making use of the available resources and adapting - the advanced bio- architectural research institute forms a network of smaller facilities which blend into the existing fabric. The extensions occupy dull passageways and hidden spaces where the structures can become real-life testing grounds for the experimental principles of synthetic life and unpredictable shape-forming. Its decentralised network reintroduces the role of the designer as an interdisciplinary figure – absorbing and reinterpreting a variety of influences and walking amongst people.


2. 3.


1. Concept sectionconnecting the Campus Coffee and Culture Lab Scale 1:50

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2-3 The structure penetrates and merges with the existing buildings, creating access and using the available resources.

4. Breathing- the advanced materials create respiratory motions of the different modules, allowing for ventilation and natural light.

Rumen Dimov Architecture Year 3 Portfolio  

2012- 2013 School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape @ Newcastle University