The design has progressed into something more final now. The communal space took a lot of thought in trying to create useful spaces that make the most of the courtyard while providing practical access tot the required facilities. While we’re not 100% satisfied with this yet, we feel the option to punch holes though is a good solution to dividing up the spaces in a way which allows a gradual transition from one space to another. It also creates small interior gardens which offer a more intimate outdoor alternative to the central courtyard and bring light and views into the interior. It is likely that the circles will move around a little and the east and west walls be pulled in slightly.
The main point of debate in Estudio ESSE was what to do with the solar shading of the communal area’s south facing wall. we toiled over the pros and cons of having openable timber louvres between the columns and continuing the colonnade all the way around the courtyard so as to provide shade from above. In the end we’ve gone for continuing the colonnade all the way around.
The width and spacing of the columns was also decided. We’d been looking at some chinky columns which could perhaps incorporate seating or plants, but taking into account the scale of the building we’ve opted for more frequent skinnier columns. They’re be made from brick, as will the outdoor floor surface.
We’re not motoring ahead with the final plans and a 1:50 model which will form the basis of most of the visuals we need. We will look to combine images of the model with hand drawing and photoshop. The choice to not really use computes for this project was quite natural one. Hand drawing is far better suited to a project in which ideas are changing and things are being tweaked so frequently as this. While making a good model does take up time we think we can get it done in time and it’s always worth the effort. Nothing can be compared with a physical model for architectural experience. More on that later.
As the plans and the model come together we’re being pressed into final design decisions which is good because we can’t really go back from here. Completing these are the most immediate concerns then we’ll get on with photographing the model and adding the drawing and photoshop. With the luxury of more time we’d be able to trial the visuals a bit more, but as it is we’re just hoping our instinct will serve us well for the final competition boards.