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Her Place

Part 1 Project 1999
Ruth Dillon
Birmingham City University, UK

Her Place

My aim with this project is to create a cross gendered space within the urban fabric of a very masculine city.
The brief was to choose a site and create a proposal relating to a relevant aspect of health. The site chosen was that of an old glassworks which sits at the beginning of Broad Street in Birmingham: the centre of the city's Entertainments area. After analysis of the area it appeared that the image of health was more important to the occupants than actual health. Along the street are bars and restaurants which place their occupants on show, creating a canvas for this image of health, hence introducing the building usage, of a cosmetic health centre, and design practice, with an exhibition space.
Having written a theory paper on the issues surrounding the female occupants of the city and how throughout history it appears that women have been isolated due to the masculine structure of the environment, I decided to create a proposal which addresses the traditional issues which cause isolation, such as scale, privacy, control of one's environment and security, but yet provokes thought as to the programme.

Ruth Dillon

The work exhibits a high level of consistency from theoretical concerns through to the programme and proposal as realised. The architectural concerns oscillate between the common-place and a deep-seated reality, and these are well represented in the scheme.
The relationship to site is provocative and anticipatory in that it successfully displays images of health at a time when these are growing in importance for both sexes.
Observer and observed relationships are well played through the assemblage of internal and external spaces whilst the context of both street and canal are successfully embraced.

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