A Stellar Concept That Will Get You Thinking...

Over the last 6 months, I have been working on my final major project. This project has been designed to test our time management skills, how we can combine the skills that we have learned throughout our university experience, our research skills, our technical capabilities, and our presentation skills. The end result is supposed to best reflect the highest quality of work we can produce, and I believe that my final project displays the high standard of technical detail, drawing skills, research, and concept creation skills that I can produce.

The site I chose was 'Westgate House' and 'Westgate Court', which I combined to make into one building, on Westgate Street in Cardiff. This street is notoriously one of the oldest streets in Cardiff, and it's original purpose being located nearby the river Taff in the 1800's was to store merchandise that came in off of the docks. This is why the building has a cellar with caved ceilings. The caved ceilings lended themselves to the design and inspiration of the 'cheese caves', which need darkened spaces to mature, and commonly are stored in spaces similar to the cellars of Westgate House.

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In contrast, the upper levels of the building reveal themselves as an entirely different structural make-up. By use of the pre-existing concrete framework that had to be considered as a prominent feature of the interior, the design of 'floating floor levels' and a feature staircase was created. The idea was that the historical facade which existed on the buildings exterior, would then open up to a grand, light filled, 'floating level', interior.

The final design has been broken into three major categories with regards to the development of the project. Firstly, the structural interior has been taken into consideration, then the buildings detailed design elements, and finally the curation of the space and the coruscation route in relation to it's branded features.

The structural interior:

- The building has a pre-cast concrete frame. The beams and columns we're considered in relation to any 'voided spaces' in floor plates that we're removed from the existing floor plates. Having spoken to structural engineers, I understood that the voided spaces we're only made possible if they we're 500mm away from any surrounding column or beam, and so the design was calculated with respect to that information.

The 'floating' landings which are part of the feature staircase also used the existing columns and beams as a method of weight distribution.

Glass floor panels also we're placed into part of the 'voided' floor spaces which lined up perfectly on top of one another on each floor level, to open up the interior even more and to encourage natural light distribution.

The detailed design elements:

The feature staircase has been calculated in careful consideration of approved document M and document K.

Because the staircase design is largely very contemporary, the staircase balustrade was given some extra decorative elements to contrast effectively with the rest of the design. Bronze framed, textured glass panels, are placed on each singular step and an aluminium handle runs along the top.

The roof has a lot of technical detail given over to it. Being design as a 'drum', the circular roof sits atop a mechanised track. This allows the roof to rotate around to face any direction where prevailing winds might be facing from so that aluminium mechanised 'fins' on the roofs lid can open up and gain the maximum amount of natural wind ventilation into the building as can be achieved. When and where the roof should open and face is controlled by temperature sensors on the buildings interior, and wind sensors on the buildings exterior. The designs profile means that an asymmetric shape is seen from a side angle, representative of the buildings interior. The entire circumference of the roofs drum has windows in a variety of shapes to illuminate the buildings interior and open up the space. The option of whether these windows have coloured tinting is also there, which would cast colourful light down throughout all the levels of the building.

Circulation of space, spatial arrangement, and branding:

The concept of the design was that each level offered a different activity of local food produce which could be created in stages as visitors ascended the building, gradually reaching the roof-top restaurant level where they could eat the meal they had constructed.

The curation of the space also took into account where the alternating street levels of 'Womanby Street' and Westgate Street' lay. As can be seen on the boards, there are two entry points to the building, and the design was created in consideration of this. Historically taking into account that the main entrance to the cheese tour and storage was from 'Westgate Street' where stores we're loaded from the river Taff and also considering the second entrance to the deli from 'Womanby Street' where in the 1800's the street was notorious filled with shops and bars.

The floor levels ascend as follows: 1) Cellar The Cheese Caves, 2) Ground Floor Deli, 3) First Floor The Bread Making Workshop, 4) Second Floor The Brewery, 5) Third Floor The Restaurant.

The branded aspects of the design use the images from each level which have been drawn as a feature of recycled bags for merchandise. The bags also explainwhich level the visitor went to, advertising the building itself, and what is on offer there. A logo was also created, this has been shown on various branded products which would feature on each level of the building (this can be viewed in the document proposal pdf provided below).

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Posted in Home Post Date 11/01/2020


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