Saint Christopher's Place
After my visit to the garden I returned to the brief that said:
"Design a journey through, or experience of, your allocated area of the Chelsea Physic Garden. Your proposal should reveal surprising, beautiful, or secret, aspects of the space to visitors. Your intervention should be ‘light touch’*."
I decided that I wanted to highlight the beauty of the plants since that's the main point of the garden. I knew that one of the main things the garden lacks is light and color in January. So I knew I had to experiment with both of those aspects. I started experimenting with different greenhouse shapes and how different colors work with it. After experimenting with shapes and colors, I decided that making a light source/installation would distract the visitors instead of highlighting the plants and making them stand out. I decided to make neon plants that glow in the dark. At first, I thought about painting real plants in non-toxic paint, but I thought that that would harm the plants then I decided that I wanted to make my plants from acrylic and LED lights. The plant sculptures would be placed just like regular plants inside the greenhouse and add pops of colours.
My visit to the garden:
The garden's location feels secret since the garden is hidden behind walls that are close to river Thames. It being hidden and calm in a huge, chaotic city like London makes the garden feel unique and safe. The garden is used to grow plants to be used as medicines. Since the garden is hidden and is usually used for medical reasons, I believe that the garden doesn't get the attention that it should be getting since I think that the garden is very beautiful even though it is January and most of the plants aren't even blossoming yet.
Today we had a crit, and I was very stressed about it, we went on with everyone's projects, and people had very nice ideas that drew my attention. I was one of the last ones to talk about my project. After I was done talking about it, everyone thought that I presented my piece as a product instead of an architectural form. I also thought the same when I looked at my project from their point of view. After getting some suggestions, I did some digital visualizations of the garage around the park instead of doing just one bike pod. I quickly realised that presenting my idea this way explained my plan so much better than it did before.
I sketched out what I thought it should look like when I got home and started thinking about how this garage would work: The bike could have a lock system that automatically locks its self, and the machine that is connected to the gate could give the rider a piece of paper that has a code in it. When they're done with what they're doing, they can let the device read the code and get their bike back.I then thought about the material because that is one of the most important things about a structure. I wanted it to be waterproof, easy to make and durable. I did some research and found the material "carbon fiber" which is a material that is commonly used to reinforce composite materials to produce something strong yet lightweight. Carbon fiber is also easy to fabricate since all you need is a mold of the shape that you're doing.
I started thinking about how a bike garage could be. Then, I started thinking about the shape and the place of the garage. I wanted it to be bold so people that bike could see it and know that they are welcome there. I also want it to attract attention to the park and add a welcoming feel to the area. I decided that I wanted to do a fence/gate/bike garage that surrounded the park so it would be bold and welcoming at the same time. I wanted the shape to have a contemporary, but homy feel to it, I experimented with forms such as triangles (inspired from the teepee) and rectangles (inspired from the actual fence of the park). I started experimenting with the U shape (inspired by arches) and decided that this was the best shape to go with since this was a gate, and an arch shape would look welcoming to people. I also thought that the U shape would compliment the sculpture in the entrance of the park. I did some modelling with cardboard and model bikes to see how it would look in 3D, and I did some digital visualisations.
I thought about where I can make a threshold that would be used a lot. The place had to be used for a lot of reasons since I wanted my threshold to be for everyone.I decided to go with a park and started researching some areas that let all kinds of people meet, and I started researching on Holborn/ Lincoln's Inn Fields. I wanted to analyze the site and gather as much information as I can so I visited the park. The park had a lot of universities, residences, museums, and businesses around it. The thing I loved most about the park and the area was it being modern with some signs of history in it. I asked myself some questions to understand and gather more information about the site.
- What is it used for?
Dog walking, socialising, some people use it to walk in while walking to where they are going, yoga classes, sports, etc.
- What kind of buildings does the park have around it?
Very modern buildings as well as very old buildings. Residential buildings, universities businesses, shops, restaurants.
- Is there any art that I can spot around the park?
I could spot one abstract statue in the entrance of the park, and I learned that the name was the Camdonian.
- What are the people like around the are? What do they look like they are doing?
I could spot all age groups, and the park looked like a meeting point for all kinds of people to me, and I really liked that. Some people around the park looked stressed since the area has a lot, but the people in the park looked calm.
- What is the Obstruction?
The area is a very crowded/ used area, and there are a lot of transportation options such as the bus, the underground and taxi access. There are parking garages as well. The thing I realized was; bike riders didn't have a safe place to put their bikes. I could see that their bikes would get wet in the rain and possibly get stolen when there are too many bikes around in the summertime.
- What can I do?
A bike garage?
We had a lecture this morning, and we talked about obstructions and thresholds. They gave us a task to identify and existing obstruction within a site and design a space that inhabits in this threshold. Our threshold could have been big, small; dramatic or subtle; an event in time-space or state defined by people nature or imagination. Our teacher also told us to go back to the brief if we had any problems. We went on with the day with going around Archway and looking for obstructions. I spotted some problems but I wasn't that excited about turning them into something positive because the obstructions didn't thrill me that much. The first obstruction we saw with my group of friends was a very high wall- bridge that you cannot see through and have to be very very tall to look down to see what's under it. I could see that they did the walls for safety reasons (because there was a train station under it) but I could think of more practical ways of making a fall-proof wall. Then I saw a green space near a building covered with fences, and it seemed very useless to me because there was no acceSs to it and there was nothing in it. I thought about getting rid of the fences but I didn’t like that Idea as a project because I wanted my project to serve some kind of purpose. (by purpose I mean I wanted it to be used all the time) We then saw a park that wasn't appreciated throughout the site by people. I thought about making a gate that would draw attention to the park without ruining its natural state. I did some research about gates and what attracts people (visually) but again I didn’t want to do just an installation/gate, I wanted my threshold to work.
I decided to combine the flow and movement of the plaster hanging sculptures and the cleanness of the painting that I was given to create the tent. I'm planning to make the tent in red just like the cross because I believe that it will attract attention from below and it will look fun when you look up.
What we did today was pretty exciting for me, we turned 2D abstract paintings to 3D forms. It was fascinating to see how many different things could come out from a painting. My painting was shaped like a cross and it being such a bold figure made me want to do a simple looking form because I believe that the shape already has so much meaning to people that it doesn't have to confuse us with complicating shapes and figures. I wanted it to look bold just like the 2d form of it. I thought that layering the shape with foam board would make it look bold but very simple at the same time so I decided to go on with that idea.
We wrote a lot of descriptive words to describe our area that we’re doing. I wrote a lot of words and finally came up with four main words. “Cocky, Sunday Morning, Green and Farmers Market.” I wrote cocky because there are a lot of wealthy people who like to brag, Sunday because it is very crowded on Sundays, farmers market because there is a farmers market and green because there is a park. We then went on by making quick models of our word from paper. We then went on by photographing them with human figures.
Before our first day in our specialist pathway, we had a research task about locating an overhead site in London that we think could sustain more life, more activity, more city. I decided to go with a school roof in Marylebone. The school roof has a basketball court in it, and I think that the white tent makes it look boring from the outside, and I believe it should look more like a school.