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999 Facility Clerkenwell.

Part 1 Project 2000
Rory O'hagan
University of Liverpool, UK
With this facility, I’ve tried to reconcile the needs and wants of the three emergency services under one roof. Through investigative processes I had evolved a clear idea in my mind of how the facility should be ordered spatially and programmed before laying eyes on the site. The introduction of the site, with it’s constraints and opportunities, seemed to put flesh on the bones of my idea in a surprisingly quick time. Immediately, I wanted to respond to the site with a building that wasn't just an infill block but one that had tangible pockets of space and one that afforded it’s occupants views and connections between it’s two contrasting street fronts.
The Kiosk is the archetypal enquiry desk transplanted into the street. It now becomes a means by which the public engage with these services, it visibly reassures us
with it’s stated presence. The boundary between the street and the domain of the building is intentionally blurred. The street rises up into the building, reiterating that these men and women work not just indoors, but for the most part, on the street.
The atrium space is not hermetically sealed from the
outside, but rather it is bound by the elements of the building. This ambiguity of inside/outside somewhat creates a theatrical staging for these people to go about their extraordinary jobs.
I felt red brick would give the building an immediate civic appearance, also it was the most appropriate material for this contextual setting. For me personally, it’s colour and appearance is rich in symbolism and associations.

Rory O'hagan

The main aims of the project which, I pursued in my teachings were as follows:

1. To investigate a public service and to provide an Architecture for that service if it was so
2. To consider a new typology of building, intrinsically linked to its programme, specifically
within the UK.
3. To visit and study a site outside of Liverpool where issues arising in a global city could be
4. To use an issue such as the perception of the 999 services as a generative model for the
students work.
5. To set an accomodation schedule which was of such complexity that the student would need
to design and plan any Architecture to a detailed level in order to quantify their proposals and
6. To give the students an understanding of the scale and physicality of a site.
7. To set and discuss a project where neither the students nor the staff could see the final product, ensuring the students were afforded a challenge, which at the outset was unrivalled to their previous works.
8. To discuss a real issue by Architecture students within an Architecture School.

Rory rose to this challenge. He set out an initial personal investigation as to his political position
within the whole policing debate and the other associated 999 facilities. He immediately set about a functional ordering of the facility before visiting the site. Rory tried to use the publically
perceived heroic fire and ambulance services to dilute the tainted image of the Metropolitan Police Force by arranging the services in close proximity rather than the easier method of isolation them only to share their car parking and canteen facilities. I believe that he has created
a building of great civic poise, with a simple but courageous architecture which streches from the public interaction at the kiosk on the slightly ramped street entrance, to the towering openness of the facility above with its airy atrium and circulation routes. The Kiosk sits beautifully beneath the
building and give the facility the unique position of interaction with the public. The Architecture is
well formed, and proportioned. The energetic use of red brick in large volumes setting and forming spaces internally and externally has worked to realise the romantic and dramatic activity of the facility which Rory set out display. Rory worked steadily and bravely over the course of the
project, considering and qualifing his initial stance.

He achieved all my aims in the carrying out this project and has been a pleasure to work with
over the past two years.

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