rome>space station Part 1 Project 2002 Liam Grogan Leeds Beckett University, UK "as a net is made up of a series of ties, so everything in this world is connected by a series of ties. If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, he is mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of interconnected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to other meshes.''BuddhaThe space station is designed to be a centre for education, information and personal exploration. To examine our own position within a much larger environment and to discover what is beyond our immediate boundaries.Form is derived from the dynamics of the adjacent streets and on a larger scale, the web of urban planning in the surrounding area. This modular, grid system provides an ordered and formal influence on the layout of the scheme and well as provided strong contextual links, something I believe is very important when surrounded by so many impressive structures. ‘It is made up of a series of interconnected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to other meshes’Within the building, layering provides glimpses of floors around you. This presents the opportunity for striking internal views and high-quality interaction between different spaces within the building.The surrounding environment is rich with rustification and character, the scheme complements this rather than trying to contrast or overshadow it. Materials that are rich in texture and of natural origin are used to distinguish the three main elements that make up the design and help to emphasise interior planning. The building is a collection of ordered spaces that create a contemporary addition to the urban landscape within this complex city, but traces its creation back to the abstraction of very simple, yet strong roman elements. Liam Grogan The brief for the Urban Space Station in Rome invited the student to design a Centre for the Understanding of the Built Environment. It suggested that Space Stations, (as study-centres, and because of their autonomy, and embodiment of the current state of terrestrial development,) might be a useful paradigm. There was a study-visit to Rome at the start of the semester, and the site information made available to the students was as comprehensive as for an international architectural competition. Liam’s work is impressive for its synergy. His dissertation laid the foundations for notable progress in his design-project-work. His progress was made obvious by the constant development of his C.A.D. and presentation skills. His design-project is beautifully integrated into Rome’s urban fabric. Throughout the year he approached each new challenge with a commendably self-directed attitude to learning, acquiring new skills and information as required, and deploying them with assurance, confidence and insight. He shows a constant eagerness to revise and improve upon his previous work.