I currently have a form for my building. A rough layout has been decided and most rooms have been assigned. The overall massing of the building seems to work on the site and has a certain logic.
There are just a few things to clear up at 1:200 scale, before moving into the intricacy of individual spaces. I am yet to decide what will make my design different from similar projects. I initially thought of it as a unique building that caters to its inhabitants in a really unique way, but slowly as the project has progressed, it seems to be becoming more and more mundane.
The first thing that was critical to me in this project was capturing the right atmosphere. The commune will act as a dwelling for both solitude and solidarity. There must be a contrast with light and dark, quiet and acoustic, vast and tight spaces. These spaces must be cleverly crafted, preferably in a non-orthogonal motion.
There will not be an issue with creating these individual spaces, but the issue I am facing is the fluidity of movement between them. There will be 3 different changes in level: stairs down to the cloister from the entrance, a slight slope in the atrium, and stairs up to the first floor cell blocks. It is important that these spaces are as carefully resolved as the rest of the spaces, with an opportunity to create place wherever possible. The stairs will definitely have to be unconventional (I have an image of steps carved out of the stone), which means disabled access may cause some serious issues.
I intend to develop the individual room atmosphere through collage and model, whilst evolving the building envelope simultaneously using Revit. This project is intended to become the main piece in my portfolio, and should therefore represent all of the skills I have gained over the last three years. I will ensure that everything I have learnt will be brought into the project, to show what I have learnt, and to assist my design proposal.
Tomorrow, I will create a ‘to do’ list to ensure my project is on track for the next few weeks. Now is the time that I tend to waste time making little tweaks to a project that I am convinced is too developed to scrap. It is crucial that I advance this project as quickly as possible, in order to identity issues before it is too late to change. Redesigning the spaces I have already designed with the building envelope in mind will add a degree of flexibility and make the spaces feel more tangible.