Urban Landmark. // Logie & St. John Cross Church, Dundee, Scotland.
Dundee Institute of Architects Competition 2015 in association with The University of Dundee. Commendation 2nd Place.
Paul Dimitris Kyriou / Ulker Kasif / Kaapo Komulainen / Katarina Murajdova
CONCEPT + AIMS.
The concept for the tower stemmed from the symbolic notion of The Tree of Life and its relationship to the story of Adam and Eve. We chose to ornamentally embellish the tower facades with a series of repeated panels with an organic tree-like design that would be laser cut into corten steel.
The tower is split into two elements: the solid (The Earth) and the light (The Heavens). The solid sandstone base of the tower was left as existing and a lighter weight steel structure with perforated corten steel facade panels rest upon the existing base. The structural and aesthetic grid arrangement increases in scale as the tower reaches to its final height. Connoting the notion of reaching toward the heavens and beyond.
“The Tree of Life is an important symbol in nearly every culture. With its branches reaching into the sky, and roots deep in the earth, it dwells in three worlds - a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. It is both a feminine symbol, bearing sustenance, and a masculine, visibly phallic symbol - another union.” Citation Anonymous.
The proposal aims to function as a calming and inspiring reflective interior space, as well as, creating a visual marker within the context of Dundee and further afield. The vast 60 metre height of the tower is a deliberate attempt to visually and physically re-attract locals and tourists to visit The Logie & St. John’s Cross Church. The new addition of the tower element to the church hopes to in a way, reposition the church as a hub for activity, interaction and primarily put The Logie & St. John’s Cross Church back on the map.
Between Parallel Planes
This project was an introduction into testing light, spatial quality and threshold. The brief asked for the design of a space within the parameters of parallel planes or within a cubic volume. The inspiration for this project was in response to the work of American Artist & Photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper. His work is focused around nature and landscape. Cooper’s process of capturing any one image can involve days, weeks and months of preparation, arduous travel and considerable efforts to achieve.
Cooper marks off specific locations on paper maps - in mostly remote locations - photographs each place with a single negative taken with his 1920’s antique field camera. His work evokes a meditative, almost philosophical aura. The images are beautifully printed by Cooper using a 19th century process with layers of silver and gold chloride. I was given 4 artworks by Cooper to choose from that would form the basis of my inspiration and focus for my project.
I had the fortune of meeting Thomas Joshua Cooper and having the opportunity to be lectured by him on his work. This enabled me to form an better opinion on his process, on the chosen art piece, and his personality. The piece I chose was in response to the parallels I drew between Cooper’s subject matter, his personality and physical appearance. His character is bold and steadfast. He has a rugged appearance which has been moulded by his artistic process and by his chosen subject matter. I wanted to create a space that combines both elements > the human and the geographical.
I began exploring carving, layering, solid/void and contouring. These explorations derived from the single photograph chosen at the beginning of the project. I was drawn by the stark and rugged composition of the photograph. The detail in all the craggy rock formations and boulders reminded me of Cooper’s aged creased skin and callous hands. I wanted to create a space that would take the inhabitant on a journey much like the arduous travels that Cooper has embarked on.
I began to generate a speculative 3 dimensional computer model of the boulder in the photograph. I merged the modelled boulder with a solid cubic volume. I then began exploring the negative spaces that were created by intersecting the two volumes by cutting and deleting areas of the model. Through this exploration I then decided to create equally dimensioned square planes and sliced the model equally. This lead to the creation of a spatial volume that was made up of sliced square sections of the original merged volumes.
I then amalgamated the slices to create a solid model. Together the slices formed a rugged, angular and cavernous space within the cubic volume. From the exterior the model appears plain and simple. From the interior an eroded, cavernous space can be found.
The brief and theme ‘narrative space’ was focused on the design of a space or a series of spaces that will summon certain emotions, transitions, and thresholds. These elements where to be created using a stipulated set of parameter: scale, light, shape, texture, materiality, form and colour. The project was located in the Scottish coastal town of Inveraray. The site was an old, dilapidated pier once a focal point in the town. I chose to regenerate this area of the town by replacing the old pier with a new one. As Inveraray has a strong maritime history and has a dedicated maritime museum in the town centre - I wanted to connect my proposal to the pre-existing theme of the town and its historical context.
The proposal consists of a long pier-structure located on the site of the previous pier. It is set on two different axis: the first is a horizontal crossed axis that accommodates a ferry terminal and boat mooring; the second axis is set on a diagonal axis framing the views of the surrounding natural landscape and town. The shape and form of the proposal was inspired by naval architecture, construction and materiality. I experimented with a variety of elements to create a series of journeys, creating mystery and encouraging discovery through the use of light, materiality, scale, and texture.
The proposal was a celebration of the towns history and pays homage to the previous pier. It is an extension of the town maritime museum, a place for leisure and outdoor activity. It forms a new dockland area and would hopefully encourage a new tourist driven micro-economy for the town of Inveraray.
Bute Artist Studio & Gallery
“Today’s city or town is not an accident. Its form is usually not intended, but it is not accidental. It is the product of decisions made for single, separate purposes, whose interrelationships, and side effects have not been fully considered. the design of cities and towns have been determined by architects, engineers, surveyors, lawyers and investors. Each making individual, rational decisions for rational reason.”
Jonathan Barnett, An Introduction to Urban Design
Guildford Square The heart of Rothesay, this site offers great opportunity to improve the face of the town and introduce an key development with a prime location to match.
The challenge of the brief was to situate a small public building, within the core of Rothesay’s town fabric, meeting the buildings programmatic requirements and the public realm needs of the town. the program should focus on creating a viable concept for a Public Arts Venue that goes beyond the idea of simply presenting art and music.
The proposal will also extend beyond the perimeter of the proposed building, into the public realm and creating positive and vital external rooms for the people of Rothesay and its visitors. The proposal offers the possibility to situate a prosed arts venue within the town context of Rothesay and embedded within a vision for the town, having the opportunity to contribute to the ‘REBIRTH’ of this struggling rural island settlement.
The proposed venue will engage with the Slow City movement with the ambition to provide an enriched public realm, reflecting on the past, engaging with the present in both a social and physical sense and help inform the future development of this beautiful Scottish Island.
The main purpose of the proposed kindergarten design was to form an enriched, flexible environment that would encourage exploration, play and learning through interaction with the building and landscapes that surround it. I wanted to create an unusual feature that would play with at least one of the senses, in this case I chose sight and explored how light and framed views could be manipulated within a building envelope and structure.
From the crest of the site it gradually slope to the edge of the forest floor and then dramatically drops towards the kelvinside river. I went through a process of deliberation of where to design the buidling to sit perched on the upper half of the site or build with the slope in mind and adapt to the sites natural topography. I chose the latter.
Through using the natural topography as a starting point for the design it provided a strong design ethos for the entire project and building programme. I used the slope to create a heirarchy within in the programmatic structure of the building placing all facilities for the youngest children on the first floor of the scheme which is on level ground with the University of Glasgow Campus road. The mid section and lower ground floor half of the buidling is for ages 4+. The mid section of the building has a dedicated play zone with slides, ball pit, play tunnels that are built into the architecture. Its a plat of discovery, fun, learning and interaction for all the children.
The slope also provides an intangible hierarchy > one of growth .The younger chilren will see the older children making their way down to the larger half of the building, which creates a feeling of mystery and excitement for the younger children. This in turn should help promote a yearning for interaction and discovery of the rest of the building and furthermore a want or desire to grow so that they can particpate and explore the farther corners of the building that only the older children can.
For the older children there are equally important skills and lessons they must learn as they grow. Mixing the two age groups together in a state of play and exploration within this environment allows them to learn responsibility, sharing, caring, and discovery.
I also researched German Pedagogologist Friedrich Frobel and his work. Pedagogy is the science and art of education, specifically instructional theory. Friedrich Fröbel born April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852 was a German pedagogue, a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities.
He created the concept of the “kindergarten” and also coined the word now used in German and English. He also developed the educational toys known as Froebel Gifts. I used the Frobelean ideas and ideals in the development of my own Kindergarten design and ethos. A famous quote of Frobel’s was also a key driving force in my design process. This can found on the next page.
(meaning in Scottish Gaelic > Artist Retreat)
The brief asked for the design of a small-scale enclosure fit for one or two people. It had to meet functional and qualitative needs, while carefully relating to the visual and physical context of Portencross, West Scotland, United Kingdom. The design proposal had to be for single site.
The site was to be a host that provides critical support for the single cell proposal. The small-scale enclosure was to support a currently present or potential activity on the site and to be used as a short-term base of operation.
My proposal was for an artist and would be used to reinvigorate the local art scene in Portencross and the surrounding West of Scotland region. The form, shape and placement of the building manifested from the idea of framing key views out to sea, towards thenearby islands Little Cumbrae, Bute and Millport.
Event House: Mixed Martial Arts Centre
This is a proposal for an mma centre located in the village of Lochwinnoch, West Scotland.
My intention is to propose a functionally dynamic and revitalising building, which can provide good functional spaces yet offer flexibility with relation to the chosen programme.
I want the building design to translate the energy and movement that takes place in Mixed Martial Arts. Dynamic and playful use of shape, form and placement on the site will be key in the design process, as well as, its relationship to its surrounding context as a whole.
I want the main space and connecting spaces to be awe-inspiring, raw and robust. The buidling will to be welcoming to everyone and instil a sense of rejuvenation, energy and productivity.
The building should encourage public involvment in Mixed Martial Arts. It will also create additional amentites e.g. a flexible secondary space for community activities and a cafe space with lounge area. To the rear of the building there wil be an external amiptheatre for outdoor events in the spring/summer with additional al fresco dining area for the cafe.
In response to the brief I want the building to revitalise the village - to become part of the fabric of the social system of the town and inspire both the young & mature demographics in the village to use this building not only as a Mixed Martial Arts training facility but also as a place of recreation, leisure and social connection.