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A YOUTH HOSTEL FOR REFLECTION

Part 1 Project 2000
James Patterson
Leeds Beckett University Leeds UK
This project is based upon the idea of reflections on both a physical and emotional level (like Narcissus in the water). The form of the building was achieved by dividing the site in both two and three dimensions by straight lines, starting and finishing at junctions and corners of the surrounding buildings, almost like a spider spins its web. Through this process I discovered a central 'heart' of the site in which the dimensions of the surrounding buildings related to. By placing a mirror at angles between this 'heart' and certain interesting elements of the surrounding buildings and landscape, I copied, mirrored and reflected existing forms to create a new form born out of the site. The new form was best realised in a three dimensional model, which was rationalised to create a functional building.
The rooms inside the building spiral around a central atrium, arriving at the large dormitories inside the large finger at the top of the building. The finger's form opens up towards the south of the city (an area of new development, and the direction the city is moving), embracing what is new whilst still having its roots firmly connected to what is already there.
The first two storeys of the building are predominantly glazed allowing light to bounce up inside the central atrium from the floor and reflect off the glazed internal walls and strategically placed mirrors. This creates an exciting juxtaposition between the 'hard' architecture of the physical building and the 'soft' architecture of the infinite reflections and unpredictable patterns of light.

James Patterson


James Patterson deserves this nomination for the energy, dedication, creativity, perfectionism, independence and commitment with which he works. He achieved a First Class Degree, excelling in all aspects of the course.
In this design for a riverside Youth Hostel incorporating a Poetry Centre, he asked himself how reflections in the river, and in reflective building materials, might parallel, promote, complement and symbolise reflections of a literary nature; how the building might embody the spirit of youth; and how it might reflect its dedication to poetry. In its scale, form and materials, the design reponds sensitively to its context. The needs for the privacy of individuals as well as various types of assembly are met around the perimeter of a dynamic multistorey circulation space. His growing constructional and structural awareness have enriched, without restricting, his creativity and experimentation. Particularly individual and delightful are the collages in which arrangements of dynamic, jagged forms are explored.



2000
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