In our second design project, we were tasked with designing a space for the community to connect and experience the creativity around them. Our Brief had three twists: Urban Archive, Urban Gallery or Urban Theatre.
A community art gallery provides a space for youths to create and present artwork in a safe environment, rather than spraying graffiti on private property. The gallery has a fluid and organic form, influenced by the sculptures of Richard Serra. It builds a journey and allows movement to be controlled. The use of brick reflects the history and urban grain of the area, and is perforated in areas to introduce light. The building’s roof is sloped, increasing in height to act as a beacon to the community. Public amenities are recessed within a mass formed inside the building’s centre, meaning that they are hidden and do not disturb from the gallery experience.
My design for an Urban Archive aims to create a space that allows the local community to physically interact with their surroundings to adapt the building as needed. Utilising custom archival shelves to either divide the space into private study spaces or an open space for community events. The design utilises angled brick walls to allow light in whilst selectively farming views out creating a sense of shelter and privacy whilst still connecting the building to the rest of Grangetown.
During this project the aim was to develop a design solution which converts a derelict piece of land aside the River Taff into a new community centre – in this case an urban public library. Throughout this I wanted to emphasise a theatricality to the community participation within the library, and therefore conceived a sort of ‘vertical labyrinth’ spiralling upwards and outwards. Every step and stair would be a bookshelf, a viewing point and an impromptu reading/sitting space – allowing the entire space to be a collective reading corner. At set points I then integrated windows, growing in size towards the top of the building, so as to increasingly reveal slithers of the view over the river and to the city.
An urban theatre situated on the Taff embankment in Grangetown, Cardiff, my project aims to unite the communities of Grangetown through its inclusive and practical design. Utilising the slope of the embankment, it provides a panoramic view of the river Taff and the Cardiff skyline. An amphitheatre style stage for concerts and performances allows for expression of community interests and ensure that the road stays quiet even during performances.