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Dramatic Redevelopment

Part 1 Project 2001
John Crellin
University of Liverpool UK
Containing a variety of spaces and services associated with the mechanics of urbanity, my most recent innovation attempts to conceptually expose the elements that compose the urban fabric, encapsulating the contrasting aspects of Liverpool’s urban spectrum and weaving them together through a sculptural, yet function form.

The essence of the design and orientation of its spaces is centred around the notion of private enclosure, public exposure and the exchange and contrast between the two. This notion generated the framework for the design, informing the architectural styles upon which the facilities could be hung.

Shifting from general site preconceptions to specific functional applications, the innovation of the redevelopment complex (located in an otherwise dead site) composes 3 architectural forms whose cranked composition shifts from a residential, office, student (design suites) and exhibition complex through to social spaces composing a cafeteria, restaurant, bar and retail units (expanding upon the facility of the existing Stanley casino).

Packing a lively design school with public amenities, numerous teaching facilities and accommodation in central Liverpool was no easy task. But the design generated by such a brief has challenged both the imagination and the aesthetic, perhaps evoking future development for the surrounding environment, whilst displaying a creativity that if equalled by the students occupying the facility will bring global interest to one of the more turgid areas of Liverpool city centre.

John Crellin

Once the site analysis was established, involving intensive observational phase where contrasting moments within Liverpool’s 24 hour cycle were documented,- a means to heighten contextual understanding, students began to move towards a personalised brief. Individual study was encouraged where specific information revealed broader links within the urban fabric of Liverpool City centre.

The student's brief expanded upon the given, suggesting mixed function, offering dwelling units: family, couple and single living etc., speculative office space with an associated crèche facility and with retail outlets at ground level. The original site included a garage, [ transformed into housing accommodation ] and a casino which due to it’s eclectic functional programme this was maintained and treated.

One key generator for the project was movement, the site being a cut through into the city centre, this analysis generated a vital element which was translated into active and passive formal statements linked to the catchment of people. i.e. How to attract, guide, move and hold people within a functional commercial perspective?

The student's creative process is highly intuitive and reveals a global approach to a generation of an idea expressed within architectural programme. He works directly in 3d sketch model format and these were subsequently photocopied < aiding the analytical process > and the results of which were stripped to an essential blueprint from which the final scheme was generated. Emotional mapping systems * were employed to draw out a personal formal vocabulary which helped the student understand the links between design intentions-qualities of internal spaces and their associated function. Central to the student's creative method is the of generation of space which continually evolves and is tuned whilst in 3d format and shaped into it’s final fixed form. Once the 3d model was established the student subsequently drew the project up, thus, revealing further internal detail and material studies.

Effectively a design approach which is the inverse of a typical conceptual approach.

I feel having witnessed the process, from analysis through to conceptual development and final presentation and communication of a scheme which due to it’s scale, detail and complexity of functional service, that the student's project merits inclusion in the publication. His passion and understanding of the process of what forms realistic yet exciting space is rare for someone at his stage of development as an architect.

It needs to be stated that a project of this scale has yet to be built in Liverpool and although his scheme, albeit a virtual statement, would make an interesting impact to Liverpool’s current urban fabric.

* A creative method employed where students establish their formal palette in 2d from which
spatial intentions and formal-material constructs can be derived.

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