Studio is arguably the most important module of my course as it teaches us how how to create and present innovative design concepts, which will eventually be the basis of most of our careers. Studio should also be the most enjoyable module, however again due to being unfortunate enough to get a lecturer that has no place in a primary school let alone university studio had become one of the most frustrating modules yet. Luckily our brief this semester was an exciting one, to redesign the foyer and walkway of the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre. The building consists of:
One dark and smelly walkway which runs through the building, linking the Stevenage train staton to the town.
And the centre itself which has multiple functions. It’s foremost being the theatre although it also boasts a large restaurant area, cafe, gym, multiple sports halls, conference rooms and offices.
There was no doubt in anyones mind that the building is ugly, badly designed, poorly laid out and, absolutely bursting with opportunities. The site, although dingy and drab inside actually had access to a lot of natural light in the form of large curved windows.
This, and the beautiful cement structures (visible through the windows) which support the walkway were the aspects of the building that immediately stuck out to me and later were the primary influence in my design.
We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the building by the building owner Paul who was very specific about the aspects of the space he wanted preserved and which ones he wanted intervened. From the site visit the main interventions I wanted to implement were:
- Opening up the space, making it more open plan, and allowing the views to be more visible
- To add an additional entrance to the building, possibly focused around disabled access (something the building is currently lacking)
- Modernise the space
- Combine the walkway and building so they’re not such separate elements
I’ll do another post soon detailing how I went about these interventions, but first, I think it’s about time I showed you guys my new house…