Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Archive, Create, Exhibit: Program Development

As part of the unit 1 portfolio submission I have been developing my proposed program for the site and researching examples of archives/collections, artists studios and exhibition spaces. I have also started to sketch initial interior proposals.

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Geffrye Musuem

While I was around Shorditch and Spitalfields yesterday I popped into the Geffrye Museum. The Geffrye is a museum of domestic interiors since the 15th Century and includes furniture, textiles, wallpaper and also garden design.

Here's what they have to say about it:

"The Geffrye Museum depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms. Its collections of furniture, textiles, paintings and decorative arts are displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day.

The displays lead the visitor on a walk through time, from the 17th century with oak furniture and panelling, past the refined splendour of the Georgian period and the high style of the Victorians, to 20th century modernity as seen in a 1930s flat, a mid-century room in 'contemporary style' and a late-20th century living space in a converted warehouse.

The museum is set in elegant 18th century almshouses with a contemporary wing surrounded by attractive gardens, which include an award-winning walled herb garden and a series of period gardens."

What was most interesting for me was the historic setting of the museum. The building used to a be a series of almshouses for the Ironmongers Company. The houses are surrounded by gardens, with a large lawn at the front creating an oasis in this busy part of East London. The museum has a contemporary extension at the back which houses the 20th Century wing, restaurant, shop and design studios for visiting schools and art classes.

A postcard of what the original almshouses would have looked like; the front facade remains mostly unchanged.

A view of the modern extension at the back of the museum.

Views of the interior of the extension.

Details of the layout and design of an 18th Century townhouse.

Chris Dyson Architects

Chris Dyson Architects is based in Spitalfields at number 11 Princelet Street, just around the corner from my site. I first found out about the practice when I visited the Listed Property Building Show whilst doing research for my parents house in Epsom. They had a stand and were advertising their skills in restoring historic buildings, especially Georgian townhouses. I then came across their work again in Period Living magazine. The practice has done a great deal of work in the Spitalfields area and have also restored Huguenot weavers houses, including Chris Dyson's own house and studio building. Their approach to restoration mixes modern materials, furniture and lighting with respect for the existing structure. They have undertaken some quite radical restorations, including the work to their studio at Princelet Street. From the before picture you can see that the building had lost its original windows and loft which the practice decided to replace. The result is a building which looks and is mostly new, although I can't deny that the end result is a huge improvement it is a form of restoration which I am not entirely comfortable with. It has become a copy of the original Georgian building and has therefore lost its authenticity. It also presumes that the original Georgian design has more merit than the additions and changes made by more recent owners, it strips the building of its true history and presents us with a false one; making us believe that this building has remained in tact since the 18th Century when in fact it has undergone many developments over the centuries.

Overall I really like the work that the practice are doing in Spitalfields, they have created some very beautiful spaces and helped to bring life back to the area and the buildings. I particularly like the strong sense of light and space in the buildings, this has been achieved by adding modern glass roof lights and extensions and also by using a lot of white in the interior decoration.

Article from Period Living Magazine:

Pages from a marketing leaflet:

Site Photography

Yesterday I took advantage of the lovely weather and visited my site. It has been quite a while since I last visited and I have been waiting for the weather to improve before taking photographs. The building work on the mosque directly opposite my site seems to have finished, they have built a minaret on the corner of Fournier Street and Brick Lane but the original building does not seem to have changed. It was very hard to take photographs of the building elevations because the street is so narrow and the buildings so tall. I have created a collage of images which I have tried to stitch together but you can see how difficult it was due to the angle of the photographs:

I also took some pictures of the street and surrounding area:

The Hawksmoor Church at the top of Fournier Street

View from the top of Fournier Street

Typical Houses on Fournier Street

Houses Eleven and Eleven and a Half

The New Minarete at the Fournier Street Mosque

View from the End of Fournier Street

Corner of Brick Lane and Fournier Street

View of My Site

View from the End of Fournier Street looking towards Spitalfields Market

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

More Pattern Design Experiments

I have continued to work on pattern designs for use within my proposal. Originally when I started looking at pattern design it was inspired by the 18th Century silk designs from Spitalfields, the delicate floral designs of the period can be seen not just on textiles but also in wallpaper and fashion design. I want to stick with the floral images but find a more contemporary image or way of using pattern in my proposal. I decided that to move my original design on I would begin by recording forget-me-nots in several different media. I am still working on these images but this is what I have done so far:

Painted study of a forget-me-not flower - I used acrylic paint in bright colours to create a bold image of a single flower

Pattern Repeat - I scanned in the painting and created a pattern repeat in the same way that I created my original design only this time I used photoshop instead of cutting it out by hand.

Project Proposal Development - Plans

Plans from the SketchUp Model:

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Project Proposal Development - Sections

I have continued to work on the SketchUp model I used for my initial proposals, adding depth to the floors and stairs etc. I have also made a few adjustments; after visiting the Technical Museum in Berlin I realised how large some of the weaving machines could be and the space that will be needed to house creative workspaces. I have created a double height space at 1st floor and a mezzanine balcony with access to the roof garden at 2nd in the central creative space. I have also improved the link between archive and create: the link is now at 3rd floor level, in create the 3rd floor will be used for the documentation of work either ready to be exhibited or archived or perhaps both.

I used the model to create a series of sections: