Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Summer 2014: Sustainable City Infrastructure

The following images are part of a piece of work completed for the Rumford club on sustainable city infrastructure.  I decided to study how the infrastructure of the city of London has developed and imagine how it might function and look like in the future.

Classical Architecture
Surface Road Transport System 

Classical Architecture + Residential Highrise + Retail
Surface Road System + Underground

Classical Architecture + Residential Highrise + Retail + Office Skyscrape 
Surface Road + Rail System + Underground + 'Skyride'

The 'Skyride' could incorporate a roof that provides shading, shelter and the ability to generate electricity via photovoltaic cells 

The 'Skyride' could act as a crucial extra layer of infrastructure and could integrate vital services to surrounding buildings.  I believe the following systems could be integrated into a transport system like the skyride. 

1) An easily installed and maintained district heating system   
2) Or to reduce heat transmission losses from a district heating system, a refrigerant loop connected to surrounding buildings to enable them to share and swap unwanted energy using heat pumps.  This is particularly applicable to buildings of differing energy demands, such as, data centres with all year cooling demands and ageing building stock with high heat demands.   
3) Feed electricity generated from integrated photovoltaic panels to surrounding buildings and utilities

Friday, 26 July 2013

Summer 2013

I have recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a First Class Honours in Architecture and Environmental Design [MEng].  I look forward to a summer of travelling before starting a graduate engineering role with Buro Happold in Bath . 

The following text, image and video illustrate a summary of the development of my 4th year studio project which culminated in exhibiting the work in the University of Nottingham's Architecture Summer Exhibition 2013.  [Please click on the images to enlarge]

My exhibition bay at the University of Nottingham Summer Exhibition

I wrote the following programmatic narrative to aid the design process and help explain the inspiration and stories behind the design.  Watch and listen for a quick summary of the project [if you wish to see more information and detail, please scroll down]  Thank you to Tameside Local Studies Archive for the local coal mining photographs.  These run alongside my personal artwork, photographs and exhibition drawings.  

Watch and listen


The location of the project lies 10km East of Manchester in a town called Dukinfield.  The town sprung in to life in the 19th century when the coal and cotton industry enjoyed a symbiotic relationship to put this small Lancashire town on the map. 6 local coal mines supplied coal along the newly established canal network to the hungry cotton mill steam engines and local fireplaces of Dukinfield and Manchester.  The coal mining community was famous for its hardwork, camaraderie and drinking:

“Another thing, of course, in the mining communities which you must respect is their capacity for beer – very important.”

Dukinfield brewed very strong ale which was very popular with the miners 

1.1 Vision + Ambition

After completing significant background research and site analysis, the project was set out with the following vision and ambition.  Amelioration of the Mines seeks to provide an alcohol rehabilitation centre for the modern population of Dukinfield on the old site of Astley Deep Pit, the largest of the old local coal mines. The unique aspect of this rehabilitation is the programme which embodies the fantastic camaraderie and physical work of the coal miners to rehabilitate the land of the old mine and transform this scar in the landscape into a flourishing sanctuary  Furthermore, to allow the facility to gain an identity and income, the residents will learn the skills to produce an organic ginger cordial, all made from produce grown on site. This is in turn will re-establish the local Barretts Company legacy of manufacturing soft drinks and their famous ginger cordial recipe.

To purify the polluted water in the mine, the residents will establish a passive treatment strategy of slowly transforming the landscape into wetlands and reed beds. Reed beds are well known for their water purifying properties and will add to the restoring natural landscape. Reeds will be used to maintain the various forms of private spaces required for this programme through natural screens and barriers between public and private spaces. Furthermore, boiling the Phragmites Australis reed root produces a sugary syrup that will become a fundamental ingredient of the organic ginger cordial.

Barrett's Soda Water produced a very well known ginger cordial recipe

The traditional timber headstocks were a great form of inspiration 

Initial concept image of men working in the land and dormitories resting high above the water 

Photograph of the emerging wetlands on the site

The initial stages of the project comprised of research into the geographical, industrial and social history of Dukinfield.  This involved interviews with local residents / ex coal miners / alcohol rehabilitation workers and wildlife experts.  

Extensive mapping, weather analysis and heating / cooling requirements were calculated. This informed the exploration of passive and active heating and ventilation strategies. Consequently, comfortable internal conditions could be designed and maintained sustainably.

Alcohol Consumption Data for Tameside

Existing building mapping analysis

Annual Average Wind Speed vs Average Temperature Graph

Sketch Sections

Resident Dormitory Section

Accommodation for the residents in alcohol rehabilition:  I designed the spaces to sit within the wetlands to produce a calming environment and give them privacy between the rehab sessions.  The reed beds and dormitories have been designed to give the resident different levels of privacy as they progress through the rehabilitation programme.

The following image reveals the construction of the dormitories: The prefabricated timber structure has been designed to attach to the top of floats and allow the dormitories to sit above the water and avoid flooding at all times.  

Exploded Axonometric: Dormitory Construction

Dormitory Elevation

The Master plan illustrates the separation of the buildings.  This was designed to give the residents privacy and outdoor space between activities.  Furthermore, this allowed the public spaces to be safely separated from the treatment rooms and resident accommodation.

Master Plan

Ground Floor Plan of Resident Accommodation

Ground Floor Plan of Ginger Cordial Factory

Long Section

Closer view of the long section

Construction Section: Ginger Cordial Factory South Facade

External View of dormitories

External View of Cordial Factory

Internal View of Cordial Factory

The work above is a small sample of what was exhibited at the University of Nottingham Architecture Summer Exhibition.  If you would like any further information on the work, please don't hesitate to contact me: wtaholley@hotmail.com

Saturday, 29 September 2012

2012 Design Project: The Edinburgh Jewel Box

The brief for this project was to design a museum to display an eclectic collection of Scottish themed objects.  The building was located in the existing arched vaults on Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh.  If you wish to see any more of the project, please email wtaholley@hotmail.com.

The design concept derived from the idea of encouraging the user to discover the museum exhibits in the existing arched vaults.  From the beginning of the project, the existing vaults were a key element to the design process and utilising these spaces to exhibit the objects with the correct conditions was vital.

The conceptual exhibition images were key to determining the desired feeling inside the spaces in addition to lighting and materiality studies.  Layering the desired spaces informed the design process and allowed me to explore different ways of exhibiting the objects.  For example, the Scottish Colourist exhibition was designed to portray the feeling of a Georgian Edinburgh town house, where the artists used to live and work.  

A further design concept that complemented the idea of discovery was for the building to act as a jewellery box.  The elegant and decorative facade wraps around the curve of Jeffrey Street to conceal the exhibits inside.  Once the user enters the building, they discover the objects in reverse in chronological order imitating the feeling of finding the older objects, the further they delve inside the jewellery box.

Environmental Survey and Building Integrated Renewable Energy systems implemented into the building:

An extension to the project was to look into the future and explore the possibility of what the building would be like in 2050.  My vision was for the museum to be transformed into a copper acid leaching laboratory to purify copper and re use this material and protect the famous copper clad Edinburgh architecture.

Summer Sketches: 

Lyon Basilica

Summer project:

The following images display the development and final drawings of a canoe centre designed in Newark Weir. 

 3D Perspective of the project: