Hamish Niven (He/Him)
I am a RIBA Part One Architectural assistant seeking placement who believes strongly in the idea that anything left undrawn is a design decision left to another, an opportunity missed to further ensure a design is more functional, beautiful and durable.
In my third year project, I explored how the theory of phenomenological investigation, in which one determines what the “essence” of an object is, could be applied within the architectural design for a residential retreat and music hall for the charity Sistema Scotland. The object in question was an abandoned encampment found at the site. The encampment to me is the embodiment of retreat; it is a space which represented warmth and comfort, in contrast to the surrounding Balloch wilderness.
The tents themselves, spaces of privacy and isolation from the outside, still communicated an atmosphere of community due to their connection to the central campfire. The encampment’s light presence on the landscape was also admirable, as the campers had managed to sustainably reside in the area without scarring it for future use. They had embraced the site and what it offered rather than attempting to dominate it for themselves.
It was this essence which I attempted to capture within my design, in an effort to make tangible the qualities of the encampment to yield sustainable, comforting and meaningful spaces for the user.