15th of February
Today our tutors have talked more about the UNIT 7 project and gave us an idea bout what we could do in class to help us organise our research and do our project proposals. We identified some main topics and my groups topic was Reflective Spaces as most of us were going to look into comfort and perception of space. We made a mind map where we looked at the things that we were going to do research on and came up with these topics; memorial architecture, usage of light, usage of water, sensory, sacred architecture, architectural well-being, spiritual architecture and symbolism. We realised that by just researching these topics wouldnt be enough which is when we started looking at the architecture diary to find some architectural activities that are going on in London. We found a talk about comfort and perception in space Organized by: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. And we decided to visit some of the churches in London because we thought that it would help us understand the concept of comfort in such spaces.
My initial idea can be summed up as;
I want to design a sacred place that all people with all kinds of beliefs can use. I will look at what makes a space sacred and do research about symbolism to create this space. This space will be interacting with nature and the outside world; it will be protected from the outside but sensuous and intimate on the inside. I will use lights and movement as a basis for the research and to come up with a form for this structure.
20th of February
Today I and my group decided to visit the St Dunstan in the east. Here is a brief explanation of the St Dunstan's history;
"The Church of St Dunstan was originally built around 1100 and is a Grade I listed building. A new south aisle was added in 1391 and was repaired in 1631. It was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London. Rather than being completely built, it was patched up. A steeple and tower were added in 1695-1701 by Sir Christopher Wren.
The Church was again severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941. Wren's tower and steeple survived the bombing. During the re-organization of the Anglican Church after World war II, it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan’s.
In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970. Maintenance and improvement works took place in spring 2015 which new planting throughout the garden to revitalize this popular space.
You really will feel secluded in this gem of a City Garden. Those with green fingers will appreciate the range of plants wending their way around the ruins, an unusual plant in the lower garden is winter's bark, Drimys winteri. Its leaves are high in Vitamin C and were once eaten to prevent scurvy."
While we were there I found that people mostly come here to sit down and relax, it is not a very usual church because it constitutes of a garden in the middle of a semi-enclosed space. I thought that it was really nice to have such a private yet public space in the middle of the city because it is almost like it separates people from the rest of the world. While being there we though that it would be a good idea to ask people some questions such as; Why do you come here?, Do you think this space is sacred? Why do you think this place is sacred? and what makes this space sacred?
Question: What do you think it is that makes this place sacred?
Answer: I think that it's got a very nice disposition of the walls, they're really tall and they make you look up to the sky which I think is quite nice. And the way in which the lights fall through the windows and creates shadows and illuminates individual bits rather than the whole space which gives it nice sort of feeling. I guess the fountain in a way as well because it focuses the attention of the people on itself.
Question: what do yu think about the place in general, as in where this church is situated?
Answer: I think its a bit unfortunate because its surrounded by many office buildings and I think that it would have a greater effect if there was more space surrounding it.
Here are some pictures;
I think that this was an amazing idea of a church because it combines nature and sacredness in a very simple way by opening it up. In my own project I will use this idea of having an aspect of openness and nature, i also really liked the way the lights made the place even more beautiful. It is not all illuminated but it is in parts which accentuates some of the more intricate details of the church which I found really interesting.
After visiting this church we decided to go around the area and found another church called The Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens. We found that this church has been renovated four times and the fourth was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, it was also damaged by World War ll and was restored at 1955-56, and the north gallery was turned into lecture rooms. I felt like this church was a bit more like a church. It has all of the aspects of architectural and religious terms of a church which makes it sacred for most of the people that go in it. Here are some pictures of this church;
After this, we decided to visit Christ Church in Spitalfields which was a completely different experience because of the architecture and because of the place it was situated in. The two other churches were very much in the city and surrounded by office buildings which made them hard to find and experience completely as they were almost like blocked by the big buildings surrounding them. I really liked the idea behind this church because even though it is in the city it is in an area where there are no tall buildings and the church looks very graceful in the midst of its surroundings. Here are some pictures of the church and the inside of the church;
The thing that I found really interesting about this church was the fact that there was a separate room downstairs which was called prayer room which can be seen above. This idea of having a big space for all people to complete their rituals and a more private and small place for prayer interested me and made me think about doing something similar in my project.
26th of February
Today we started out by coming up with a few words that could describe our project and I came up with the words; open, introspective and inviting. We then started making some models for these words. At first I didn't really understand how I can make models for these conceptual words so instead of thinking about how I would make them I just took a piece of paper and started making. We had two minutes fro the first two models and 5 minutes for the thrid model. I really liked the shapes that came out of this exercise and I think that I might actually use one of the models as a base form for the final project. Obviously there are going to be many more models and ideas but I really think this is a good pace to start from. Here are the model that I did;
After doing these models I felt more confident in doing models based on words. Even though they don't seem like they reflect the words at all I feel like they have aspects of the words and I think that they are really good in terms of structure.
27th of February
Today we had to print out some pictures that we thought would be relevant to our project and group them in a way that all of our pictures would go in groups; sacred, light, threshold, structure, colour, water and nature. We all put the pictures on a wall according to the categories we made up and this was the result;
After doing this we decided to make it a bit more simple and identify these categories; light, dark, still, movement, closed, open, manmade/ artificial, and natural.
These categories helped us get our pictures in such an order that we would understand where everything integrates and where some structures differ from others. We built this photo dictionary in a form of axis where north is light, the middle is dark; east is open, middle is closed; south is nature, middle is manmade/ artificial; west is movement, middle is still.
Here is a picture of it when we were done putting up the pictures on the board;
At the end of this activity we all understood why and how we categorized these pictures in this way. i think that this exercise really helped me realise that its really useful to put things in certain categories because you can see how some structures that do not resemble can still be similar to other structures in some aspects. Plus since my group is reflective spaces it actually helped me see some more examples of sacred spaces that i didnt know about.
1st of March
Today i did some interviews with people that
5th of March
Today was a really interesting day because we had to draw some sketches of patterns that we thoughht about in 10 minutes. later on we were instructed to cut out one of the patterns out of card. I chose this pattern that i drew.
As I was cutting it out of the card i realised that it would be a good idea to give it some kind of 3d feel. So when I was cutting out the pieces, i started pulling the out of the card. I didnt cut out exactly the same shape but it was pretty similar and i actually think that it was better than the sketch that i did. Here is the card cut out.
After this we were instructed to make this shape into a 3D structure which is when I decided to cut some parts off and make it into a hexagon like structure to then be able to fold it and make it into a dome like structure.
Making this helped me a lot with how I want my structure look like. I wouldn't necessarily have this many gaps and cut outs in the structure but in the way that it lets light in I think that it is very good. Considering that my possible sites include Hyde park and primrose hill, i think that this kind of structure would look good in these places because it closely interacts with the nature and its surroundings by being so open.
After talking to my tutors i understood that in fact what i did was good but the purpose of this activity was to make a structure by folding the piece of card in different ways which should have created multiple spaces rather than just one.
6th of March
Today i decided to make this model to try out some different materials and see how well they work with each other. While making this model i was also looking at the specific shape that i would like to use in the final model, while i liked the structure and te shape i thought that this was a bit too simple for the project that io wass going to do. I really liked working with this type of wood because I could bend it and give it a different form than what it comes out as. As for the mod-roc, I think that it gave the structure that kind of protected look which is what my initial idea was about; "protected on the outside, intimate and sensuous on the inside"
I liked the way that this structure turned out because i wasn't expecting that wood and mod-roc would look good together but I figured that while the wood gave the structure that playful
7th of March
Today i decided tto go and visit Primrose Hill which is one of my possible sites. The reason why i want to make my structure here is because i would like it to be in a park but I would also like it to be a part of the community, which in Primrose Hill can be achieved by it being so elevated. The hughest pont in the park is at 67m and when you get up there you can see the whole of London. Because you can see the whole of London I think that this is the best way to bring peoples attention to this structure that i am going to make. There are definetly advantages to the structures aesthetics caused by the view. Here are some pictures i took of the site.
i think that this is a really great place to make this structure not only because of its position but also because it has such a wide range of people who come here. While i was there i saw ; young people who came to work out, people of age taking a walk or sitting down on the benches, parents who brought their kids to play, parents with babies, people who came to walk their dogs. I went around and i asked people what they would think about a religious space on top of the hill. While some of them said that it would be a great idea, some of them didn't like the idea of having a place for multiple religions under the same roof, and just the idea of a reflective space in the middle of the park.
This made me think about how important it is to certain people that they go to a church to pray rather than a place of multiple faith. After talking to these people I decided that i was going to look into the idea of natural DESIGN. Because I do not want to break up the naturalism of the park by building something very bulky and just unnatural. So it is very important for me to use materials that will compliment the nature and act as a part of it rather than stand out and make people feel uncomfortable.
8th of March
Today we did the SCAMPER test with our peers. First we were put in groups of two or three and we were intsructed to tell the other people in our groups about our projects and intentions, the research we did so far etc.
After this we went on to look at the projects and did the SCAMPER test which stands for; substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate and reverse.
Doing this has showed me that my options are very open and not as limited as i thought they are because other people can give much more feedback on your project than you can. So by doing this my project ideas expanded and i came up with much more creative and different approaches towards this project.
Some of the ideas that i loved were ; why don't you do it in reverse, so instead of having it as a dome just turn it upside down. I am definitely going to try too do this because once I started thinking about it it became impossible to not think about doing it.
In my initial idea i said that i was going to make a space for everyone which meant that it would be secular. But then this question emerged; If a space is for everyone, is it actually for anyone?
This is when i started thinking about having individual spaces for each religion that I am going to make this structure for. While doing this I still want to keep the aspect o having them in the same space whch is why u am going to have a commo space where people who want to com in will be able to enjoy the view of the park (Hyde Park or Primrose Hill) and complete theitr religious rituals as they wish. The thing that I would also love to incorporate with tus idea is the idea that anyone could come into any of the separate rooms and be able to learn about oter religions.
I think that nowadays most people have a loot of misunderstandings about what different religions are and how they work. This can be caused by multiple reasons but i think that an important thing to note is that we are all people no matter what and that we should not have misconceptions about each other based on our religion.
I believe that this is a really hard subject because to this day there have been numerous disputes because of religion and extremists who believe that any other religion but theirs doesn't exit. While I understand that this will be a different topic to handle, i believe that it is possible to have a place for everyone because it comes down to one person, if a Muslim wants to go and see how a Buddhist monk prays he or she should bee able to do this.
12th of March
Today I decided to make a site model of the site in Primrose Hill because I wanted to illustrate the elevation within the site. Each level is 5m higher than the other one except for the very top one which starts at 65 and the highest point is actually 67m. While doing this model I found it quite hard determining the levels because of the print out that i took off digimaps. I think that by doing this model, i now have a sense of where exactly my structure will go and i definitely am much better at understanding the different levels and different aspects of maps.
Whilst it was helpful for me to do this model, i think that I am going to make a much bigger site model next because it is a bit hard to build anything on this one. Wheen I do the bigger one i will use a different material and make it much more realistic. But as this one was just a trial model, I think I succeeded in that.
13th of March
Today i did some research on specific architectural features that are included in almost all of the religious places that people use. I found this aspect of the research very interesting because i found out some parts of temples that might seem like they don't matter but actually they make all the difference.
For example almost every Mosque has a minaret but there are modern mosques which do not have minarets but the idea of it is still there. The research that i did on thus is going to be in the RESEARCH section of Unit 7.