Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Instant Response Initiative Headquarters

The HQ entrance comprises of two facades. A horizontal, urban topography designed to cope with a flood of people in emergencies, and a vertical representation of the current safety level within the city, constantly fluctuating and updating through colour coding, day and night. The surfaces are made of differing materials. A galvanized zinc shell and aluminium boxes hold the LED lighting in the vertical wall, whereas the topography is built from concrete slabs, strategically placed on a steel frame, multiplied and positioned to react to the undulating surface.

Site Analysis:
Existing Fortress urbanism in London
The existing model of safety in London revolves around the 'Ring of Steel'. Areas of red represent the most buffered zones, i.e. police patrol on foot, constant surveillance and monitoring. Yellow areas are simply secondary surveillance, CCTV for example. The tertiary layer is people power, neighborhood watch, people density. There is an oppurtunity within the site, which offers a place to act as an ancillary measure to the existing model, to provide a greater level of safety for the Whitechapel area and to contribute to the entire City with a building that monitors and updates this constantly 'at risk' part of the World.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Building Envelope: Mediating crowding stress in the urban environment

The Whitechapel area is populated with three main social groups, all with their own movement patterns and desired personal space boundaries. Business, residential and tourist traffic all combines creating many undesired social collisions. This proposal aims to reduce these collisions through subtle environmental changes.

By manipulating the floor level and texture in order to provide direct pathways to the three main destinations; Brick Lane, The City and residential areas, it is hoped to be possible for users to predict others direction and speed therefore reducing bottle necking. The more manipulated areas provide space for semi-permanent occupation, the way in which the floor is lowered creates a space perceived as protected, therefore resulting in grouping.

The canopies interact with changing weather, deflecting water and therefore creating potential crowding areas beneath. The openness of the structure allows for groups to form without significantly increasing the perception of crowding, therefore opportunity for more controlled social interaction. Each canopy is angled in order to influence the users’ perception of space, which is hoped to affect their speed. In turn users are influenced to move under canopies which provide a space which suits their speed, sorting pathways organically.

The supporting poles break up the horizon, controlling vision, and give the impression of a room with no walls. These safe spaces are designed for moments of calm, to absorb the rushing user traffic and, for tourists, get their bearings. This natural grouping allows for a harmoniously co-occupied space. Where negative social interactions between business, tourist and residential user traffic are minimised and movement is more consistent.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Building Envelope - Semester 1 proposal

Night View

Day View

After our 2 site visits in Aldgate and after examining and experimenting with our site I ended up with the proposal you see above. My building envelope is about an open public space which consists of several concrete structures. This structures will be made out of pre cast concrete and timber (decking system). The function of my proposal is about a space that people can go there and have a break from their daily routine or just sit there and relax while having a coffee. Moreover people can also use the space as a short cut since the site has another entrance at the back which is connected to another street of Aldgate.

Forensic Anatomy - Two key elements of the site

The two most important scenes I choose from the site were the 'Aldgate East Station' and 'The Aldgate Exchange Free House Pub'. The reason I did this choice was because my point of interest was about the Absorption of Energy throughout Aldgate. What I have noticed in the two spots I have chosen is how the absorption of energy changes during the day and during the night. I tried to show my observations through montaged photographs and diagrams showing how the public is moving in the site during the day and night.