The projects I completed this year were developed through a lens of good health and wellbeing as a reflection of Covid-19's effect on ourselves and our need to rest and escape reality. With us having no other option than to make do with our interior spaces, along with having to adapt to learning online, I found myself seeking out and learning about how to develop spaces to comfort and relax individuals. I was drawn to exploring light, material choices and the incorporation of greenery into spaces as a way to create a gentle and peaceful environment.
The second-semester project looked at a theme of rest - spaces for comfort, community, peace, silence, growing, and learning.
The first-semester project looked at a theme of movement – the movement of people, the community gathering, sound, excitement, and joy.
Not only have we learned how to adapt to a global pandemic, but we are also still continually learning how to adapt our lifestyles and work to help the climate crisis. With our responsibility as upcoming architects to learn to implement better, healthier methods and practises to reduce our contribution to the climate crisis, both projects were chances for me to experiment with methods to develop sustainable architecture and use RIBA’s 2030 sustainable outcomes guide to learn more. I pushed myself to use both projects as challenges to discover and expand on previously used structure choices, materials types, and building form to design a building more environmentally friendly that is low carbon and less reliant on mechanical systems.
'Garden Arcadia' Library
Semester 2 Project
‘Garden Arcadia’ designed in St Andrews Market street connects adjacent green areas of the University Quad and St. John’s Garden to introduce a new public green space that the public can use and rest in. The proposal seeks to create a constant connection to the outside using these pleasant exterior green spaces as views that alter for different spaces.
Ground Floor Study
- Allows for those comfortable to study and learning in a more relaxed environment where you can look pick a book and sit by the window to look out on the exterior courtyard, and glance as people enter and exit the library.
Private Study Carrels
- The first floor facilitates enclosed study carrels that have individual windows onto the busy street outside, allows students and visitors to be tucked away but still feel the presence of the outside world.
Window Reading Seats
- Allows visitors to retreat to a more open yet individual space that overlooks the external south-facing courtyard.
Main Reading Room
- A space dedicated for students to read and study in quiet, a glass wall allows for permeability to the corridor separating the reading room and views out to the external courtyard. Windows on the other side overlook the north garden space.
Using a CLT and Glulam structure helps to create a strong frame that helps with carbon sequestration, internally exposed CLT panels reduce the need for additional lining materials. A narrow floor plate and plenty of tactfully placed ventilation openings make the building easily naturally ventilated. The use of thermal mass in the reading reduces the need for mechanical ventilation and heating.
St. Andrews Pool
Semester 1 Project
This project transforms the existing building, previously a sailing club, into an extension housing a new swimming pool and spa baths. The spa baths are placed in the existing building where certain walls, as well as some of the wall being visible from windows, are left exposed to bring character across. An upstairs café transforms the previous gathering room for the sailing club members into a new public space for the community to gather and enjoy views of the popular East Sands beach and peek into the main pool space of the building.
Interior spaces are clad with timber to create a comfortable and warm perception of the spaces as well as visually connect to the exterior timber cladding and bring across unity. The main gathering space is designed to be bright and large to comfortably house many people.