Charles Dunn (he/him)
A centre for the learning, performance, research and celebration of music within the Calton District.
Responding to the existing context, it aims to form part of a creative campus, drawing upon existing adjacent cultural landmarks – often overlooked for their transformative potential – to target poverty, education and employment. By providing a visible, accessible and approachable place for learning, coupled with the provision of free music lessons for young people, the architectural and pedagogical traditions which have long permeated classical music venues and institutions are reframed.
The explicit articulation of programme is achieved via a close dialogue between the public realm and internal space. A broad variety of performance spaces allow consumption of music both passively and actively for those with and without an existing musical knowledge base.
Intentionally intimate spaces with distinct architectural expressions allow the user to form close personal relationships with the spaces, in turn affording the building an intimacy with the community in which it serves. This directly counters the abstract design rationales and institutional agendas present within the musical “object building”.
A shallow floor plan and fragmented massing allows a visual permeability and legibility regarding the teaching, rehearsal and performance of music – removing the mystique and fear surrounding a lack of knowledge or etiquette.
Defined tectonic relationships and material gestures form an assemblage of distinct spaces for the user to inhabit. Moving away from the large object building and civic institution, instead there is both a symbolic and physical disassembly of the institution.
This urban intervention utilises a dense, elemental form as part of a wider master plan to concentrate the unique and vibrant character of the Barras and compose a clearly articulated public realm.
Giving agency to residents and acknowledging their immediate needs, a rich assemblage of support services at ground floor level provide facilities to the local community, targeting employment, health, happiness and poverty while drawing on the rich cultural heritage and personality of the Barras.
Combined with flexible work/live units above of varying configurations, tenures and sizes, this urban intervention aims to give agency to those who need it most and provide for a diverse demographic, while remaining mindful of the ever- changing cultural makeup of Calton.
This proposal is not for one target group, rather it acknowledges the breadth of likely resident and so works to accommodate this via its flexible cell arrangement.
A holistic design methodology, rooted in human experience, frames all of this by way of composing tangible, perceivable moments of passage.
These memorable encounters work to denote a separation across all scales of the intervention; from work to live, home to street, and street to district. Space, light and form create a dynamic experience and allow for moments of contemplation and presence, targeting the subconscious in tandem with the more rational, conscious support provided in the rich programme at ground floor level.
The programme of support services acts as a vehicle for success and works holistically to provide agency for residents from all backgrounds while integrating newly arrived residents from out-with the UK.
These distinct separations and the clear composure of space are explored in response to the writings of Hans Van Der Laan who considers the proportion and volume of a space in relation to the thickness of a threshold. He considers this key to the human ability to perceive space and the passage through it.
These moments of passage form experiential cues which aim to create a sense of home in the city, a sense of community in the district and a sense of sanctuary in the home.
The pervasive nature of labour within our domestic lives only continues to advance. As labour and domesticity become increasingly entrenched in one another Architecture in turn must then act to address this by way of meaningfully denoting a perceivable separation between the two.
Here a simple work/live unit utilises a central service core as a barrier between workspace and living space. It also functions as a moment of passage from the outside world.
These moments of passage are important in remaining mindful of our surroundings and separating our private, intimate moments, from those more public facing and work oriented.
Tectonics work to emphasis this through a change in level while the floor plan facilitates the completely independent use of either space.
By charting the procession from bed to kitchen to bathroom, the plan controls the varying levels of shelter, with the bedroom being positioned in the most protected, separated part of the plan.
In exerting a clearly defined passage from living to working we are able to establish an equally well defined separation between our thoughts of work and the sanctuary of home.
These distinct separations and the clear composure of space are explored in response to the writings of Hans Van Der Laan who considers the proportion and volume of a space in relation to the thickness of a threshold. He considers this key to the human ability to perceive space and our passage through it.