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Commendation

MOTEL FOLKESTONE

Part 1 Project 1999
Heather Sheridan
Kingston University Kingston-Upon-Thames UK
Project: Motel Folkestone
Site: The North Downs above Folkestone and the M20, at the point where the ancient track, the ‘Pilgrims Way’, runs alongside the Eurotunnel terminal, crossing the mouth of the Channel Tunnel.

I have chosen to present my third year project work as a body of research, one where the interest remains within the continuous process of making and representation rather than in the outcome of discrete individual objects.

The metaphor of weaving formed the basis for developing an architectural language where warp and weft threads are interwoven as in dialogue rather than in monologue, so that meaning can be constructed within the material fact. Architecture makes the enclosures that wrap and define our social spaces and which can be alternately as transparent and shifting as diaphanous organza and as opaque and heavy as lustrous velvet.

This implies an architecture where the ephemeral, superficial and occasional have as much effect on our perception of the landscape as the more permanent, solid and substantial. An architecture which does not exist as a solitary object but in a conscious relationship to its landscape where scale, time, change, growth and decay are integral. An architecture where occupation implies that of both the enclosure and the landscape simultaneously.

Heather Sheridan


Heather’s interests have lain in the relationship between the object: architecture, and how conventional representational techniques exclude the more perceptual and experiential: the subject or the occupant. Throughout the degree she has experimented with the design process, broadening the architect’s palette and speculating with deceptively simple shifts.

The motel project embraces the seemingly contradictory ideas: of speed and place, of virtual and physical, of synthetic and natural, bringing into question the whole notion of context.

Working with the macro: ideas of landscape and season, smell, colour, the constructed vista; and the micro: inventive use of new textile technology, mixing the use of fabric with the more traditional architectural materials such as glass, metal, ceramic, producing forms which are wind and waterproof, yet flexible and breathe.

This shift in focus from the traditional architectural stand point has resulted in work which is imaginative, delicate and yet provocative.

1999
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