[Cities, like dreams are made of
desires and fears] [Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities]
 [Introduction] [A Year in Review] [This portfolio reflects the results of nine months of work on the subject Design Studio C, framed in third year of Architecture and Planning in the University of the West of England. The subject consisted of four briefs (designing three buildings and a field trip), which are reflected on this same page. The common theme was “water”; the briefs in Bristol flowed along the Avon River, while the field trip was to Barcelona, next to the Mediterranean Sea]
[Brief 01: Ferry Station. Pages 3-14 24th of September 2013 - 29th of October 2013] [B_02]
[Brief 02: Barcelona. Pages 15-20 5th of November 2013 - 8th of November 2013] [Brief 03: Living Bridge. Pages 21-30 12th of November 2013 - 13th of December 2013] [Brief 04: International Cultural Forum. Pages 31-42 21st of January 2014 - 25th of March 2014]
[A Year in View] [After finishing the fourth brief I went back to my previous work, and I found a link I had not realised: all my designs were informed by the theme “views”.
In all cases, buildings and master plans were created with the intention of framing views, direct people’s attention to remarkable but overlooked buildings or creating nice paths were people could find interesting photo spots wherever they looked.]
[In Visible Cities] [I believe that designing buildings is a process that has to take into account the reality of the city, and that means realising that people move around places that make them comfortable, that creating an atmosphere working with the surroundings is as important or even more than a nice shape.
I always remember a passage of the book Invisible Cities where Marco Polo talks about a city that has the most magnificent pieces of decoration that he had ever seen. They marvel the visitor the first time they visit this city, and also the second time, but as time passes, they become used to them; the excitement wears off. Architecture should not be about creating marvellous volumes that impress on a first sight, but rather about making the city an exciting place that never ceases to be interesting. Some architects try to make their buildings as visible as possible, creating and island in the urban fabric; I would rather create buildings that make more visible the hidden gems of our cities.]
[The year started with a small project on the harbourside: designing a station for the Ferry service that runs through the Avon River. It served as a way to introduce us to the theme of the year (water) as well as the common situation of the three projects (the own Avon). In this project I first used the idea of â€œviewâ€? in the buildings, by designing a shape that would protect existing views and framing new ones.]
[Starting with a solid block and erasing the parts that would obstruct views, and creating new holes for the framed views, the solid was soon transformed.
[The building is situated in front of the Arnolfini, a contemporary art gallery with a cafe in the ground floor. The cafe is looking to a small plaza with views to the harbour. In this space there is a statue of John Cabot, the man who discovered North America. The building will transform this place into the terminus for Ferry trips. Nearby, crossing Peroâ€™s Bridge, there is the harbourside, full of restaurants. After less than 5 minutes walking we can find the city centre via The Centre Plaza.
[A bit of backstory]
Three volumes were left at the end, the same number as services we needed (tickets, kitchen and bathroom). These three volumes took shape over weeks until they reached the version seen in the renders.]
In front of the Arnolfini stand the M-Shed, the museum of the history of Bristol, and if we continue walking to the west we will find the museum with the remains of the S.S. Great Britain, the longest ship of its time, designed by famous engineer Brunel.]
[The waters of the Avon River used to be tidal, unnavigable for months. The construction of the Netham Lock, finished in 1809, made possible the transit of ships at any moment of the year. For many years, the Bristol port was commercial and, during World War II, one of the main entrances to the country, which led to huge bombardings by the Nazi Army. The port closed in 1975. Since then, the harbourside has been transformed into a place dedicated to leisure, and now is a synonym of restaurants, cafes, museums and street markets. There is also a Ferry service that moves passengers around the Floating Harbour.]
[The first thing I realized when arriving to the place was the amount of photo spots in the area. Every two steps you can find somewhere nice to take a picture. [The Project]
As I am a fan of taking pictures, I decided to record the places with most interesting pictures in  [Views_Plan], deciding which elements where more interesting and which ones did not deserve any special treatment.
[The aim of the project is to design a small building for the Ferry company that must act as some sort of terminus: sell tickets to the clients, provide kitchen and bathroom for the employees and offer This interest in keeping the photo spots translated into the design a place to wait for the ferry. The building must be as close to 20 decision of keeping the building â€œcamouflagedâ€? in the photographs, square meters as possible. not making it stand out too much, ruining some nice pictures.
The access must be through a ramp that complies to normative Instead, the building tries to frame other nice views, which may be about wheelchairs, and the travellers must spend as little time as overlooked but are still interesting, creating new photo spots in the possible unprotected from climate conditions.] area.]
[University of Alicante Rectorship]
[One New Change]
[National Centre for Contemporary Arts]
[The University of Alicante Rectorship was supposed to be the star building of the campus, but Alzaro Siza made a concession to the pre-existing buildings. Most notably, the old Guard Post, more than a century old. The rectorship façade moves a bit away from the vision path so people can see the Guard on the background, as the shape directs the views.]
[St Paul’s Cathedral image is really important for the London Council, so they decided to protect it: no building can obstruct the symbolic view of the church. Jean Nouvel interpreted the regulations and left a blank space in his building so people could still see St Paul while moving through it, framing the view.]
[The final shape was inspired by this building. It blends and defines its form by taking away the chunks without use and putting them to better use. The windows are placed only where needed, situated in this void left after optimising the shape, giving the building a particular shape image that is linked to its functionality.]
[The first version of the Ferry Station was a single volume that had a [The final shape of the Ferry Station follows the same intention: the bent façade, directing the views towards the M-Shed.] buildings stand aside from photo spots, leaving blank spaces where there are interesting places. This eventually led to three different buildings]
[The building still lacked some interest on the final design and had trouble getting the light in, so I cut some of the corners to create windows and resolve both problems at the same time.]
[P_07] [The preliminary analysis focused on separating the interesting bits of the Harbourside from the rest, to focus the attention only in the parts that could be interesting to the design process. At this stage I realised how interesting our building surroundings were, and how the Station could become a place to observe them.]
 Harbourside  Peroâ€™s Bridge  Arnolfini  Ferry Station Site  Queenâ€™s Park  Lloyds TBS Office  M-Shed
[The Harbourside is an ideal place for photographers. I did not want to interrupt that, so I decided to choose the location that disrupted less the present photo locations. The analysis suggests that the best place to situate the Station is between the trees in front of the Arnolfini, which are actually an obstacle on the views. That way, our building is in a place where views were previously blocked by the trees.]
[The plan of the building is shaped by the pre-existing views and the desired new views, which are: A-The Canal in the direction of the SS Great Britain B - The residential neighbourhood next to the M-Shed Linked to the theme â€œviewsâ€?, I wanted to transform the Ferry Station into a new photo spot, with better views without the interruption of the trees.]
[Both the stairs and the ramp that lead to it continue with a portion that can be used for sitting, something that many people in the area like to do when visiting the surroundings of the Arnolfini.]
[When I had the final shape, it was time to the choose the function of each building. As the middle building has windows looking to both corners of the Arnolfini, it was easy to decide that it was going to be the ticket shop. It does not matter the direction from which people arrive: there is always a ticket window at sight. The kitchen needed more space than the bathroom, so it was given the left building and the right one was for the W.C. Finally, to make everything look more like and also make the wait for the ferry more pleasant, a roof was installed above, covering the three buildings and the space between them]
 [Buildings] [Kitchen]
[The structure is a prefabricate of steel, with a series of beams and pillars that will hold everything. In this 3D we can see how the metal follows the shape of the building, so that other elements can be installed at either side of the structure. The decision to choose steel was that it was not only very easy to assemble, but also really durable in environments of high humidity such as the harbour. While wood might be a good choice for finishing, it is best to use a material that does not change volume dramatically due to its high hygroscopicity.
[To access the ferry, a ramp has been installed in front of the Ferry Station that lets wheelchairs access without difficulty. There is also an alternative entrance on the other side. People love to sit in the harbour, so the handrails will not be solid, letting people sit and enjoy the views. There are also a couple of sections that are flat, with the only purpose of letting people sit there and relax.] For this reason, the steel must be stainless.]
[Cedar Wood] [Located in: Wooden Plaque, Wooden Plaque Parquet] [Function: Facing material] [Why: High water/steam resistance, repeals bugs]
     
[Steel] [Located in: Steel beams (frame)] [Function: Structural] [Why: Light. High resistance. Easy to assemble]
[Located in: Windows] [Function: Provide light/ventilation] [Why: Transparent]
[Located in: Thermal layer] [Function: Thermal and acoustic insulation] [Why: Easy to assemble, fire protection]
  
[Tar Paper] [Located in: Waterproof layer] [Function: Insulation from rain and other outside elements] [Why: Easy to assemble, flexible, 100% waterproof]
  [Number] Function - Material  Finishing - Cedar Wood  Services - False Ceiling  Services - Steel tray  Finishing - Plasterboard, 10mm
 Finishing - Double Glazing, 10-6-4  Structure - Steel Plate  Structure - Steel Nail  Finishing - Cedar Wood  Insulation - XPS 50 mm
 Waterproofing - Tar paper  Structure - Steel Beam  Finishing - Cedar Wood  Structure - Bracket  Separation - Wood Block
[On the first week of November we travelled to Barcelona to do some activities focused on drawing. During three days we sketched some of the most known buildings of the city, designed a project that had to fit in the existing city, and analysed an existing library to get some inspiration for our next projects.]
[Day 1/Sketching Barcelona]
[The trip to Barcelona consisted in a series of activities, mainly connected to drawing. We also had to record and edit a video, but I left it out of this portfolio, as it did not help me in any other project of the year.
[On the first day we were separated into small groups and directed either to the top north of south of the city. We had a list of buildings or plazas we had to sketch, which included the most known architectures of Barcelona (Sagrada Familia, Mercat de Santa Caterina, Plaça Catalunya...) following a itinerary to the other side of the Starting Tuesday 5th of November and lasting three days, these were city the briefs of the exercises and what I think I learned from them.] This was a useful exercise, as we had to arrive, analyse the building and draw the most important features of it fast and effectively. Even though I have been several times to this city, this exercise made me discover new aspects of buildings I had already visited 4 or 5 times]
[Day 2/Project+Library] [During the morning of the next day, we moved to a flat site near our hostel and had to design a building that would bring joy to the neighbourhood, with a size of between 100 and 200 square meters, integrating it in the pre-existing buildings that follow the Cerdà Urban Plan for Barcelona.
[Day 3 Sketching Montjuic]
This exercise was a great way to force us to forget about CAD [On the afternoon of the last day, after recording a video, we went to drawing in our houses and design purely by hand drawings on the Montjuic, a mountain next to Barcelona that holds historic buildings area.] such as Mies van der Rohe’s Pavilion and contemporary ones, like Caixa Forum. In the style of the first day, we sketched some of those [The afternoon of that day we visited a recent library to draw it and buildings. analyse how it worked. Our group visited Fort Pienc, in L’Eixample, a library next to a school. We drew perspectives and analysed how [This activity was the perfect way of realising how much I had imkey elements such as the vertical circulation or the natural lightning proved in this days, how I was able to tackle quicker every building worked. and double the number of drawings and their interest in the same time. After the exercise was finished, I left Montjuic with the feeling Fort Pienc was on my mind when designing vertical spaces (lighting that my drawings were more interesting than before I went to the them properly, making the process of moving upwards interesting) Barcelona trip.] in the final project, the International Forum Building, and also when deciding to integrate some sort of mediatheque in the Forum, which in the end was transformed into the idea of creating a game building]
[The next project dealt again with the water, this time more directly: we had to design a bridge to connect both sides of the Avon while having a market or a cafe (my choice) on the inside. The idea of having two circulations, one of which was interested in the views from the bridge, was the main idea that drove the project.]
[P_23] [The Project] [The Bristol Bridge Company wants a pedestrian bridge situated in the Avon River. The “living” part of the bridge must be either a market or a café, single-storey and in a privileged position as the company wants to recover the investment with its benefits. The circulation must be open to the weather. ]
[0.1] [Interpretation] [The first choice was selecting either a market or a café. After analysing the area, I realized that the east part of the river had restaurants, and the east part had a lot of pubs. A café, then, could be the perfect way to create a connection between both sites, filling the space between the lunch and the dinner and drinks at the pub.]
[The project started in autumn, when the riverside was full of yellow and brown colours, but it was difficult to take some photographs due to the relatively small space between the river and the buildings. That is when I thought about creating a space in the building to get better views, a space up from the level of the circulation.]
[A bit of backstory] [Bridges are, by definition, a medium to travel from one place to another one. But some people have challenged this in the past, by making lively bridges where interesting things happen: the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Ponte di Rialto in Venice or, closer to our situation, the Pulteney Bridge in Bath, which were transformed into markets, so people would spend time on the bridge instead of just move along. These particular infrastructures receive the name of “living bridges”. In the recent years we have seen even more examples of this, such as the regeneration of the High Lines in Manhattan]
[The Site] [The Avon River was also the situation of the first project (Ferry Station), but this time the situation is a bit to the north from the Arnolfini.
[The main idea that I had for this project was some kind of duality in the bridge between the people that just want to cross the bridge and do not care about the “living” part and the ones that wanted to take their time. This idea developed into the theme “Introvert/ Extrovert”.
The west side of the bridge lands between The Apple, a floating pub famous for its cider, and Spyglass, a barbecue & grill that is open The introvert would want to either travel fast or find a private place in the warmer months of the year. The area is mostly known for its to have their coffee. pubs. The extrovert, instead, would prefer to take their time to cross the The east landing is situated in a small plaza in front of the Bristol bridge, have somewhere nice to see and to be seen, spaces for District Probate Registry. It is mainly a residential area, but there are socialization and recreation.] a lot of restaurant nearby.]
 [Process] [Step 1]
[Cross through the middle, introvert space downstairs, extrovert upstairs.]
[P_24] [Step 3]
[Cafe in the middle. Terrace on top, introvert space in the space below. One level.]
[Break symmetry. Introvert space can only be found on east side. Terrace on top]
[Introduce the ramps to access the terrace. Give shape to the cafe.]
[P_25] [The analysis focused on the presence of restaurants, cafes and pubs nearby the bridge area. On the west side of the river we have some nice examples of pubs: Brew Dog, The Apple, The Old Duke, the Llandoger Trow... Itâ€™s an area with a lot of activity during the evening. Meanwhile, on the east side there are many restaurants, like Redcliffes or Totoâ€™s. There are not many cafes, and none of them have interesting views. Based on this data, I decided to install a cafe that serves as a bridge between lunch (east) and dinner/drinks (west).]
 [Short Section/A-Aâ€™]
 [Structure] [Coloured plastic ceiling] 
      
[Coloured plastic ceiling]
[Bridge base/ Cafe/ Rooms] [Number] Function - Material  Finishing - Wood plaques  Insulation - XPS 50 mm  Waterproofing - Tar Paper  Structure - Slab of concrete, 150 mm  Services - False ceiling  Structure - Ceramic brick  Access - Wooden door
 Finishing - Parquet Wood  Structure - Slab of concrete, 300 mm  Junction - Neoprene  Structure - Concrete pillar, 50 mm diameter  Protection - Stainless steel handrail  Junction - Ceramic  Separation - Wood block  Finishing - Double glazing, 10-6-4
[The aim of the final project was to develop a Master Plan to transform Castle Park, with focus on an International Cultural Forum brought by collaboration between UNESCO and UWE. In a place with so many interesting buildings and remains of the old castle, the idea of buildings shaped with framed views in mind guided both the Master Plan and the Forum, whose inside was devoted to videogames, an art still in development that needs exposure.]
[The choice of which was going to be the cultural theme of the building was easy for me: I have always wanted to design a space to discuss, learn about and try videogames.
[The project is a collaboration between UWE and Unesco, an International Cultural Forum where representatives of different countries will take over the building to show elements of their culture. Every certain months this temporary staff will rotate, while permanent staff from UWE will be there all year. The International Cultural Forum can be related to any cultural activity of our choosing.
[A bit of backstory] [Castle Park has only recently become a green space. Between centuries XI-XVII it was an actual castle, whose remains can still be seen scattered around the park. On the XVII century it was transformed into a residential area with some industries, and before the XX century it became the most important shopping district in Bristol.
It is a medium with less than 50 years of story that is developing fast, but a lot of people still dismiss it as a childish thing, unaware of the huge potential of the medium for narrative. There is nothing quite similar to what I wanted to design, so I could find little precedents for the inside.]
The building will be part of a Master Plan in Castle Park. Apart from the forum, there will be student accommodation for regular UWE students, accommodation for staff of the country that is using the forum and 4 pavilions]
[Apart from architecture, my main passion has always been videogames, so this was the occasion to showcase examples of the narrative and creative potential of the medium and, related to the â€œInternational Forumâ€?, how some countries are developing their own identity]
As stated in the brief for the Ferry Station, World War II caused massive damages in Bristol, and Castle District was bombed to ashes. This area never received proper urban regeneration, and in time it became the park that we can currently find there]
[The Place] [Castle Park is in the heart of Bristol, next to two of the most important commercial zones in Bristol: Broadmead and Cabot Circus, along with street markets that create a really vivid area during daytime. The site has many changes of level that need to be taken into account, particularly in the area where the forum will be situated, with a massive difference of 9 meters between the north and the south side, which looks directly into the river.
Papo & Yo (BR)
Today I Die (AR)
[The building shape was driven again by views. I started working on the Master Plan, allocating the main points of interest and creating new routes so that they could be easily found. Then, I allocated the main points from which the remains of St Mary-le-Port could be seen, and then reallocated and reshaped them so that they did not interrupt the views, but rather direct the view of the pedestrian towards it. The uses of the building are dictated by the brief, but I decided to move the accommodation for staff outside the Forum into one of the pavilions and create a building that was purely a centre for showcasing videogames. There is a second building with an Auditorium and a place to play competitive games
Although the area is now filled with grass and trees (except for a The narrative of the building is simmilar to a game: we have staff couple of old churches, which we had to keep), we have freedom to rooms (development of game), museum (tutorial), workshops change that and transform it completely into a urban plan.] (improve as player), zones for playing (challenge) and restaurant (reward).]
[Relation Master Plan-Forum]
 [Precedents] [Façade: Medialab Prado Madrid (Nerea Calvillo)]
[On the right we have the preliminary Master Plan. Five elements in brown inside castle park represent elements of interest: St Mary-le-Port, St Peter’s Church, remains of the castle, a small auditorium and a child park. The plan tries to bring attention to them by putting buildings and roads nearby. In the sketches we can see the idea of focusing all the attention into St Mary-leport, and how that gives the final, trapezoidal shape to the building. ]
[General circulation: Dutch Embassy (OMA)]
[Change of levels on site]
[Certain areas were planned from the first moment the theme was set for videogames. Here we can see:
[To deal with them, the building changes the level of access in section] 
 [Access] [The building can be accessed from north and south. The north door, situated next to the commercial areas, will be more public and give access to the entrance hall. The south one will provide a way to enter directly to staff offices. There is a difference of 1.5 meters in the height of both levels, as explained in [Circulation]]
1: Auditorium 2: Workshops 3: Competitive games area 4: Area for playing alone 5: Interactive Museum 6: Staff
[Joining circulation and Façade: Mercedes-Benz Museum (UN)]
All of them ended up in the final project.]  
[There is only one circulation on site, with ramps apt for wheelchairs. I thought this was the most inclusive method possible. The trick is dividing the building into segments that only move 1.5 meters vertically from the previous one. There are also elevators, included in later phases of the design process to provide faster access to higher levels.]
[Disposition of rooms: Sendai Mediatheque (Toyo Ito)]
[P_35] [In this case, I focused the analysis in the movement and the features of the park. Castle Park is a nice place for pedestrians, with low traffic on the north and west roads, and many people move around it. Interestingly, the main movement in the east-west axis are done only in the north and south of the park. I decided to change that with the Master Plan, by creating a new path that crossed the area.
To give more interest to this path, I designed a trajectory that had interesting beginning (St Nicholas Market) and end (Cabot Circus) and passed nearby the main fratures of Castle Park: the churches, the remains of the castle, the children park... That way, it would make sense to use that route, and it would add interest to the trip.]  St Mary-le-Port church  St Peterâ€™s Church  Remains of the castle  Children park
[P_36] [Here we can see the result of the Master Plan. The old paths are respected, and new ones are created as stated in the analysis. All the paths have an interesting building or remain to look at, so that none of them are dull or boring. The student accommodation is located in the north, closer to the city centre and to the shops, more convenient for students. The pavilions are all located near a point of interest, reinforcing the presence of people and bringing life to the area. On the west we can find the Forum, separated into two buildings (Forum and Auditorium, north and south), both designed to attract views to St Mary-le-Port. The car roads on the north and west of the site have been transformed into pedestrian to encourage people to use this routes walking and transforming all the area into a bigger park.]
Staff offices Entrance Shop
Library Workshops Mediatheque
Long-time playing Multiplayer playing Short-time playing
[On the left we have the museum furniture. Creating a circular pillar and installing screens would be difficult, so I thought about using a similar shape that had flat surfaces and the adequate space for a TV screen. That is how it ended up being an octagon.] [On the right we have the room for playing alone. Also an octagon, this time I wanted to focus sound on the player with a 5.1 system, providing also the best vision with three screens for panoramic view in certain games.]
[11.1] [Environmental_Explanations] [General considerations]
[A building full of computers will generate a lot of heat at any time [The small windows on the outside of the building difficult the entrance of direct sunlight, that would overheat our building. during the year. Passive ventilation will not be enough, so a different approach will be necessary. The system chosen will be Reversible Heat Pumps. They work well The building will have a close control , where all the systems of the in close control, recovering a lot of heat and having potential for free cooling. building work together automatically to create a pleasant atmosphere, without the possibility of users changing With so many space in the ceilings, there is the possibility of parameters. installing chilled ceilings that will help control temperature.] For this reason, a false ceiling with 600 mm of space was created. That space is more than necessary to move around all necessary equipment along the building, while also providing a safe and easy way to access it in case some work is needed.]
[Winter] [The own use of the building will help heat up the building but, as sometimes it is necessary more energy, a Direct Electric Heating will be installed. It only uses energy in the peak times where an extra effort is needed. This energy will be transferred to a radiant heat floor, that will rise the temperature from below a technical floor, moving the hot air upwards and heating the room fast and in a way that the users can perceive better.]