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Campo Lane Media Centre

Part 1 Project 2000
James Horner
University of Sheffield Sheffield UK
Campo Lane, Sheffield - a staid part of the old city with much commercial, cultural and architectural potential. My site lies near to the cathedral, distinguished by empty office blocks and unsightly backs. My aim was to inject some fun into the area with a dynamic media centre whose activities and physicality would both intrude on the curiously loveable aesthetics of the office blocks and make them viable again. My design is based around a performance void, a unique space quite unlike any theatres currently operating in the city. This is closely based on the idea that the product of modern mass media has an empty, unhealthy short termism. The void acts as a culmination of the activities that are to feed public consumption. A notional explosion of fun originates from the void floor; creating a circulation stairway that connects performance or presentation to reception and then in turn to office space. The latter exploits the availability of a vacant office tower adjacent to my new building and breaks into its existing circulation. By using a relatively small but highly visible connecting block it is possible to create a new focal public space and bring vacant property back to the fore.
James Horner

James has been nominated not for his achievement not only in a single design
project, but for an outstanding overall portfolio consisting of a
uniformly strong series of projects which range in subject from an
urban design strategy to a weather museum; and from a mausoleum for
Sylvia Plath to a performance space predicated on the concept of Fun.

James's work is always challenging and provocative, occasionally
bordering on the truely disturbing. His designs are not outrageous
for their own sake, but concerned with questioning deeply held
assumptions and conventions.

The strong conceptual foundation to his projects is backed up by
a very sophisticated understanding of the tectonics and assembly of
architecture. A thorough investigation of the detail implications of
the designs is made through a series of complex three dimensional
constructional studies which never lose sight of the original
conceptual basis of the projects.

Every drawing in his portfolio displays an immense dedication to the
craft of draughtsmanship, exploring on a variety of drawing
techniques as appropriate to each project rather than relying on the
slickness of CAD presentations or fashionable graphics.

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