Designers hold such power in how their work can affect people and I see that in architecture. It is part of the building’s function to be accommodating. I believe that providing people with spaces that are a positive and welcoming environment can positively impact society. I see the aesthetics of a building are intertwined with its practical function. I wanted to combine my interest in psychology with architecture as it has such a great impact on our lives and the way we use and live in space is not always considered. This is what motivated me for this project, to try and find out how our environment can positively impact our lives as we are constantly exposed to buildings.
I aimed to produce an inner-city architectural design that brings people unconsciously closer to nature and creates a sense of community. I titled my project Nature of the City as it hints at both bringing nature within the building, as well as looking at the character of a city’s environment and how that affects us. I researched studies around Neuroarchitecture and Biophilia to see its benefits and designs. When deciding on the function of the building, I wanted it to be accessible and used by all. A tube station would be able to expose people on their way from A to B, instead of creating a workplace where it would only affect the select people working there. The design is very open which is something I thought important as I didn’t want the ‘form’ to obstruct the function as people are trying to move through space. By adding to the length of time it takes to travel or making the path confusing, would only increase the stress of commuters which is what I was trying to reduce. To help with the design process of finding the organic shape of the mainframe, I made multiple models out of a variety of materials including wire, willow and paper. My final model is made up of a wireframe covered with paper mache and then painted.
Throughout designing my model, I have looked at existing buildings and incorporated their response to organic design. I took inspiration from the many designers I researched and you can see how that is translated in my work. Designers include Frank Lloyd Wright, Hadid and Calatrava. I wanted to design my building around natural form and found the idea of a leaf fit well to make up the roof. I believe we connect and respond to curves in design as it is what we see in nature. When moving around these curves, alternative views can make it appear that it’s growing or adapting. To me, this suggests the possibilities of life which can be related to our everyday lives. I like the concept of the connection of life running through the veins of the leaf, similar to how the tube station would be. As a ‘non-place’, people would be passing through the building and, like the leaf in nature, would be sustaining and contributing in a network.
To follow my interest, I am going on to do a BA in Architecture at Oxford Brookes.
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