Day Treatment Unit, Cancer Centre, Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Concept & Draft Design

This is an introduction to the project – ‘Landscape: bringing the outside in’

This is a full scale sample panel for an area of bespoke wall covering. VGL produced many such sample for us to approve and have been incredibly understanding and helpful in bringing the project to fruition. Ruth Charity, Arts Co-ordinator is on the right of this image & Carly Birkett, Account Manager for VGLis on the left.

This is a full scale sample panel for an area of bespoke wall covering. VGL produced many such sample for us to approve and have been incredibly understanding and helpful in bringing the project to fruition. Ruth Charity, Arts Co-ordinator is on the right of this image & Carly Birkett, Account Manager for VGLis on the left.

This arts project was commissioned in April 2012 for the Cancer & Haematology Day Treatment Unit, aka DTU, at Churchill Hospital, Oxford.  Ruth Charity, the Arts Coordinator for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has been instrumental in delivering the arts strategy. The Cancer Centre opened in March 2009 & was delivered by the Churchill Construction Consortium and designed by Steffian Bradley Architects.

The art project is currently in production and installation is starting on site this coming weekend.

The project brief described the unit as: “Between 70 -90 patients/day attend the Day Treatment Unit requiring treatment for varying malignancies and benign blood disorders. The treatment regimens (e.g. chemotherapy / blood transfusions) can be complex & lengthy, taking anything from 30 minutes to several hours, with some patients attending twice a week and others once every three weeks. The Day Treatment Unit consists of one long horseshoe-shaped room,accommodating 12 beds & 30 chairs. Currently there is little artwork on the walls and there is little of interest for patients to view. The windows are very high so there is no opportunity for patients to look out and thus no sense of what the weather is like or even what season it is. As a space, which patients visit on a regular basis, it offers little to lift the tedium of repeat visits”. 

Day Treatment Unit, Nurse Station. The patients within the unit are treated in beds or chairs set out around the perimeter of the rooms, facing into the centre of the room with any windows and natural light behind them. This is a typical view of the space.

Day Treatment Unit, Nurse Station. The patients within the unit are treated in beds or chairs set out around the perimeter of the rooms, facing into the centre of the room with any windows and natural light behind them. This is a typical view of the space.

Day Treatment Unit. All the treatment areas face onto a central 'island' of nurse stations and clinical rooms and service corridors, which make for a rather un-relieving view. Some patients are here for up to 4 or 5 hours at a time.

Day Treatment Unit. All the treatment areas face onto a central ‘island’ of nurse stations and clinical rooms and service corridors, which make for a rather un-relieving view. Some patients are here for up to 4 or 5 hours at a time.

mmm

Day Treatment Unit, view from treatment areas with beds and chairs.

Day Treatment Unit, view from treatment areas with beds and chairs.

Day Treatment Unit.

Day Treatment Unit showing treatment chairs facing away from the windows. Although the nurse stations benefit from the natural light which comes in from a series of small, high windows, it does appear to diminish the experience of patients within the unit.

Day Treatment Unit Corridor

Day Treatment Unit Corridor

The aims of the project were :

to create a more welcoming, positive and inviting feel to the Chemotherapy suite;

to create new work that will provide some distraction for patients undergoing treatment;

to create new work that responds to the architecture and interior design of the space and unifies the space;

to create new work that is created with sensitivity to patients and those working in and visiting the department;

to create work that responds to the art programme theme of landscape: bringing the outside in;

to create work that is easy to clean, meets infection control standards and requires little or no maintenance

'Bringing the landscape in...;, The concept was driven by the woodland and planting which surrounded the Cancer Centre, very little of which could be viewed from within the unit. The sky was predominant as the windows are so high. Blue sky, clouds, rain, grey, bright, dull, overcast - all conditions which influenced our discussions and responses to the site.

‘Bringing the landscape in…;, The concept was driven by the woodland and planting which surrounded the Cancer Centre, very little of which could be viewed from within the unit. The sky was predominant as the windows are so high. Blue sky, clouds, rain, grey, bright, dull, overcast – all conditions which influenced our discussions and responses to the site.

Blue sky with clouds...

Blue sky with clouds…

Our approach had to be considerate of and sensitive to the treatments being delivered here and the wellbeing of patients. Scale and distance form the walls was a critical factor. We have to be extremely careful about colour or figurative detail and scale which could have a negative influence on patients.  The more muted and soft views on an early misty morning image taken in a local park began to appear more condusive to setting the stage for our intervention.

Our approach had to be considerate of and sensitive to the treatments being delivered here and the wellbeing of patients. Scale and distance  of patients from the walls  opposite was a critical factor. We had to be extremely careful about colour & figurative detail and scale which could have a negative influence  and impact on patients. The more muted and soft views on an early misty morning image taken in a local park began to appear conducive to setting the stage for our intervention.

'Landscape: bringing the outside in..."

‘Landscape: bringing the outside in…”

Tree shadows on a concrete wall are both sharply focussed or softly blurred depending on the distance of the tree from the wall.

Tree shadows on a concrete wall are both sharply focussed or softly blurred depending on the distance of the tree from the wall.

The shadows of trees here combine with the building onto which they are bast to create an abstract backdrop.

The shadows of trees here combine with the building onto which they are bast to create an abstract backdrop.

I have worked at the Cancer Centre previously within the adjacent Chemotherapy Waiting Room, where a large triptych – an architectural glass artwork, originally commissioned for the old Oncology Unit by GBS Architects, had been re-sited successfully as a screen between the patient waiting room and clinical offices and corridor. This work was further enhanced by digitally printed optically clear vinyl installed on all interior glazing panels within the waiting area by VGL Ltd. I will post an archive review of this project in due course under the heading ‘Chemotherapy Waiting Room’. 

The DTU project was initiated with a two day residency during which I talked to staff and engaged with patients. The delivery of treatments make this a very sensitive place to observe and great care was taken to be as unobtrusive as possible. There has been an ongoing process of engagement & he staff have been a continual joy to work alongside. Their collective upbeat and supportive collaboration has made this project particularly special for me. The key staff, who smoothed the progress of the project throughout have been: Eliz Flanagan – Lead Chemotherapy Nurse, Jane Skelly – Chemotherapy Specialist Nurse and Moira Cunningham – Sister, Oncology and Haematology Outpatients. Other members of the Champions Group who informed my work & engagement within the department are: Claire Tasker – supporter, Julie Bourchier – former patient & Liz Creak – former patient.

Initially I produced a to-scale model of the interior ‘island’, a cluster of rooms around which I was to base the installation. The idea was to create an interior landscape, or vista which almost felt as though the trees and plants were overhanging the space, creating an abstract misty glade to look into.

Plan drawing of the DTU. The pink area outlined in red shows the 'island', a cluster of rooms at the centre of the unit around which the circulation flows. The green line shows the perimeter of the unit and the position of  the treatment chairs and beds all aligned to face the 'island'.

Plan drawing of the DTU. The pink area outlined in red shows the ‘island’, a cluster of rooms at the centre of the unit around which the circulation flows. The green line shows the perimeter of the unit and the position of the treatment chairs and beds all aligned to face the ‘island’.

This is a scale model of the interior 'island' and a concept surface design to illustrate the approach.

This is a scale model of the interior ‘island’ and a concept surface design to illustrate the approach.

Research image - overhanging tree...

Research image – overhanging tree…

Scale model investigating the concept and approach.

Scale model investigating the concept and approach.

Draft for the 'island' elevations.

Draft for the ‘island’ elevations.

Draft artwork for the Beverage Bay wall elevation

Draft artwork for the Beverage Bay wall elevation

Draft wall elevation

Draft wall elevation

Draft Wall Elevation

Draft Wall Elevation

 

We have been working alongside Carly Birkett, Account Manager at VGL, Reading who have collaborated on the design production, manufacture and installation planning for the project. We have had small scale sample panels produced and installed within the unit for a number of weeks to gain feedback from staff and user groups. Following this period, the detailed design was revised and re-issued for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Whiteleaf Centre, Aylesbury

Today I received some new images of the Whiteleaf Centre and the interior and am posting them here by kind permission of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The core members of the project team with whom I collaborated on the project are:

Tom Cox – Project Manager, Artscape, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Mental Health Division

Mark Bateman – Capital Development Manager, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Britta MacDonald – Senior Assertive Outreach Worker, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Michelle Harding – Head of Adult Acute Pathway, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust  

Neil Flint – Commercial Services Manager, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Whiteleaf Centre, Nightingale Associate Architects, Front Elevation with some glazing artwork visible on the right hand side.

Whiteleaf Centre, Kier and Nightingale Associate Architects for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.  Front Elevation with some glazing artwork visible on the right hand side.

Whiteleaf  Centre, Main Reception. Some glazing artwork can be seen on the doors and glazing to the external courtyard to the centre of the image.

Whiteleaf Centre, Main Reception. Some glazing artwork can be seen on the doors and glazing to the external courtyard to the centre of the image.

Ward Hub Interior - showing the ward identity artwork. Each of the 4 wards has a colour coded artwork to assist in creating a unique identity for each area.

Ward Hub Interior – showing the ward identity artwork. Each of the 4 wards has a colour coded artwork to assist in creating a unique identity for each area.

Detail of Ward Hub artworks.

Detail of Ward Hub artworks.

The Whiteleaf Centre, Aylesbury. Front entrance elevation. The small sapling tree on the green roundabout in the foreground is a specimen tree planted to create a focal point.  The tree is a Variegated Tulip Tree and was decided upon in collaboration with the project Landscape Architect, Robyn Butcher of Terra Firma Consultancy.

The Whiteleaf Centre, Aylesbury. Front entrance elevation. The small sapling tree on the green roundabout in the foreground is a specimen tree planted to create a focal point. The tree is a Variegated Tulip Tree and was decided upon in collaboration with the project Landscape Architect, Robyn Butcher of Terra Firma Consultancy.

70th Anniversary Screen, Central Concourse, Jubilee Building, Musgrove Park Hospital

Architen Landrell, who manufactured and installed the tensile screen, sent me their project images this week. Some of these I hadn’t seen before, so  am now posting for the first time.

One side up !

One side up !

Looking into the central void space between columns.

Looking into the central void space between columns.

One side of the double sided screen is attached -

One side of the double sided screen is attached –

Digitally printed fabric in process of installation and attaching to frame.

Digitally printed fabric in process of installation and attaching to frame.

They show the fabric installation in progress and the steel frame attached the columns in the Central Concourse. The concept for the work was determined by the need for the fabric to create a privacy screen between the main thoroughfare and hub of the Central Concourse & the clinical corridor which ran adjacent to it, without compromising the architectural space or blocking light. GEDC0208_1.0 - (602627)_Extra Large - (762759)

The tensile fabric is translucent and the supporting structure and columns can be seen through it.

The tensile fabric is translucent and the supporting steel frame structure and architectural columns can be seen through it.

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Detail: Shadow 'Cross' & dynamic flow of archive narrative .

Detail: Shadow ‘Cross’ & dynamic flow of archive narrative .

Text was used as both a textural device and a narrative with which to lead the viewer through the work. Text came from two primary sources. The Hospital provided a great archive through which to trawl. A good deal of this was in the form of written accounts of service by retired staff. The other source was form an ex US Servicemen, Sidney A. Smith MD, who had served as a doctor at Musgrove Park during WWII. His book, A History of Musgrove Military Hospital During World War II and The 67th General Hospital, was a fascinating account of the early years and origins of the Hospital. Sidney Smith had very kindly allowed me access to his photographs & images  during my time working a lead artist at Musgrove Park. Some of this text is below:   “A Royal Visit by H.M Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on Thursday, 19th November 1959, was a great occasion for Taunton. The town was gaily decorated, church bells pealed, and, despite the dismal weather forecast, the spirit of the people was at its brightest. Following the reception at the Station, H.M. Queen Elizabeth left for the Musgrove Park Branch of the Taunton & Somerset Hospital, where on arrival, she was presented with a posy of orchids, pink rosebuds and lilies of the valley”.  “The 67th General Hospital adopted a banner, which bore images of a Pine tree and a cactus plant to symbolize the Maine contingent of doctors and nurses joined with the enlisted men who were mostly from Texas and Oklahoma”.  “We used to have Sunflower competitions at the back of x-ray. Seeds would be planted and ingenious methods of support would be rigged, much to the amusement of both staff and patients”.   “From the beginning of my time here we had the National Uniform, classic navy blue for the Sisters and light blue for the Staff Nurses and of course you had your belt, which kept many a waistline under control. We were quick to abandon the paper hats, although the sisters were more reluctant to lose their frilly hats and sleeves. Everyone knew who you were because of the uniform you wore”. 

The frame as seen from level one.

The frame as seen from level one.

The tensile work fully installed. The right hand side of the Central Concourse will become a retail area with units running the same length as the screen opposite.

The tensile work fully installed, as seen from the Level 1 balcony. The right hand side of the Central Concourse will become a retail area with units running the same length as the screen opposite. They are just out of shot in this image.

The Central Concourse space has a fantastic timber ceiling detail by Project Architects BDP. GEDC0236_1.0 - (602653)_Extra Large - (762779)

Turner Contemporary, Margate

We popped over to the Turner Contemporary in Margate yesterday to see the last weekend of the Making Painting: Helen Frankenthaler & JMW Turner

Thought that was a pretty wonderful dual presentation & really enjoyed the dynamic positioning of the Edmund de Waal vitrines.

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Edmund de Waal at TC Margate

Station Quarter North, Southampton

I travelled down to Southampton for a site visit to review the basalt kerbs installed along Blechynden Terrace.

Looking East along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station, with the Grade 2 listed Brutalist Wyndham Court on the right hand side. The kerbside artwork feature is 290 metres long & features an inset narrative relating to to specific events and places along the line.

Looking East along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station, with the Grade 2 listed Brutalist Wyndham Court on the right hand side. The kerbside artwork feature is 290 metres long & features an inset narrative relating to to specific events and places along the line.

These robust blocks form the kerb edge to the ‘Canal Shore’ artwork currently in production by Hardscape up in Halifax.  Some corner quadrant features have been installed. This feature runs from outside the Station Forecourt, to the bottom of West Park Rd and Kingsbridge Lane. This text based work – the text is created via water jet cutting and inlaying a contrasting granite into the basalt – is 290 linear metres long x 795mm wide. The text slabs have arrived on site, but awaiting installation in July.

 

Draft artwork for part of the text feature 'Canal Shore'.

Draft artwork for part of the text feature ‘Canal Shore’.

Draft Artwork of text for 'Canal Shore'.

Draft Artwork of text for ‘Canal Shore’.

Draft setting out of text for the 'Canal Shore' detail.

Draft setting out of text for the ‘Canal Shore’ detail.

Robust basalt blocks  from Hardscape on site awaiting installation as part of the kerbside feature 'Canal Shore'.

Robust basalt blocks from Hardscape on site awaiting installation as part of the kerbside feature ‘Canal Shore’.

Large scale basalt quadrant blocks installed on site along Blechynden Terrace.

Large scale basalt quadrant blocks installed on site along Blechynden Terrace.

 

 

 

Margate Flood and Coast Protection Scheme, aka ‘Margate Steps’ wins Town Pride Award !

On Thursday 8th May 2014, at an event at the Walpole Bay Hotel in Cliftonville, the Margate Flood and Coast Protection Scheme, aka ‘Margate Steps’ was awarded a Town Pride Award 2014 by the Margate Civic Society.

Margate Civic Society, Town Pride Award 2014

Margate Civic Society, Town Pride Award 2014

This follows the 2013 award given to the project at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2013. This award was particularly welcomed as it recognised the benefit of the project in enhancing the experience of its host community. The project team behind the scheme received the award from ICE Senior Vice President, Geoff French, at a ceremony which was held at Leeds Castle on Friday 7 June. The awards recognise the best civil engineering projects across South East England with the judges looking for projects that deliver a real benefit to society through the knowledge, skills and professional expertise of civil engineers.

The new Kings Stairs, Margate Steps

Margate Steps, Sunset

Margate Steps, Sunset

The revetment steps are  now almost a year old and appear to have been really taken to heart by both the community & visitors alike. As well as fulfilling a vital role as protection from the risk of flooding, the defences were designed as a stepped revetment which accommodates integrated seating and lighting to provide an incredible amenity and public realm from which to enjoy Margate’s famous coastal views and sunsets.

Margate Steps at High Tide

Margate Steps at High Tide

 

hybrid 1e

The Whiteleaf Centre, Aylesbury

The Whiteleaf Centre is a £43 million 80-bed Mental Health Centre in Aylesbury. It was completed and opened in February 2014. The building was instigated by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and delivered by Kier Construction and Nightingale Architects. The Landscape Architects were Terra Firma Consultancy.

Whiteleaf Centre visual by Nightingale Associates, Project Architects

Whiteleaf Centre visual by Nightingale Associates, Project Architects

I was commissioned in November 2012 by Tom Cox, ‘Artscape’ Project Manager for Oxford Health, to develop artwork for glazing and walls which could also work as way finding. This was achieved via digital printing onto optically clear vinyl and vinyl wall covering by Guardian Glazing Films and their sub consultant Bonwyke.

Detail: Digital print on optically clear vinyl. Cafe & Waiting Area

12th February 2014. Detail: Digital print  on optically clear vinyl. Finally installed in the Cafe & Waiting Area

 

The project was influenced by its site history, firstly as a private residence called Manor House and an archive publication from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, which listed in detail, the contents of the house & garden from its sale at the turn of the Century. The house & grounds eventually transformed into Manor House Hospital, which was completely demolished for the new build.  I was also really intrigued by the Ecological Assessment of the former Hospital site which was produced by Capita Symonds for Kier Build in 2011 which referred to the original seed bank of the site being present still in the spoil heaps of the demolition.

Text from the Ecological Assessment of the site carried out by Capita Symonds for Kier Build in 2011

Text from the Ecological Assessment of the site carried out by Capita Symonds for Kier Build in 2011

BLUE TEXT A1 _Page_04

Detailed descriptions of the gardens and their contents were contained in the sales particulars of the original Manor House

Detailed descriptions of the gardens and their contents were contained in the sales particulars of the original Manor House


BLUE TEXT A1 _Page_02

 

A list of animals and insects identified through study or anecdotal evidence as being either resident or visitors to the site.

A list of animals and insects identified through study or anecdotal evidence as being either resident or visitors to the site.

The artworks are presented as a series of interlinked vistas and quiet spaces which carry references to the site through the interior of the building.  The images also to the influence that gardens, nature & the natural world has within the understanding and treatment of acute mental health. One of the aims of the new building is to provide gardening opportunities for service users to grow things and to provide quiet outside spaces where people can be surrounded by planting and seasonal change.

Early concept visual of a garden with planted borders and tree

16th May 2013. Early concept visual of a garden with planted borders and tree

Draft design for the Cafe & Waiting room

23rd October 2013. Draft design for the Cafe & Waiting room

Draft design work for the Entrance Corridor glazing

Draft design work for the Entrance Corridor glazing

Draft designs in progress for the 4 Ward Hub areas

24th October 2013. Draft designs in progress for the 4 Ward Hub areas

17th May 2013. Many site visits enabled a continuing dialogue to be had with staff and the project team.

17th May 2013. Many site visits enabled a continuing dialogue to be had with staff and the project team.

3rd December 2013 - Final iconography signed off and building detailed designs ongoing.

3rd December 2013 – Final iconography signed off and building detailed designs ongoing.

3rd December 2013 - Detailed design for Entrance Corridor artwork is approved -

3rd December 2013 – Detailed design for Entrance Corridor artwork is approved –

12th February 2014 - Some vinyls installed, some small revisions and snags to resolve with the print.

12th February 2014 – Some vinyls installed, some small revisions and snags to resolve with the print.

 

12th February 2014 - Site meeting to review first batch of installations. Print detail really good.

12th February 2014 – Site meeting to review first batch of installations. Print detail really good.

 

12th February 2014 - installation started.

12th February 2014 – installation started.

 

12th February 2014 - meeting in the Cafe & Waiting area to review first installation sequence.

12th February 2014 – meeting in the Cafe & Waiting area to review first installation sequence.

12th February 2014 - Meeting Room glazing partially installed. One panel of glazing is cracked - so installation now delayed here for several weeks.

12th February 2014 – Meeting Room glazing partially installed. One panel of glazing is cracked – so installation now delayed here for several weeks.

12th February 2014 - Detail of Meeting Room window.

12th February 2014 – Detail of Meeting Room window.

12th February 2014 - some windows have text referencing the former house on the site set in a maelstrom scribbled line.

12th February 2014 – some windows have text referencing the former house on the site set in a maelstrom scribbled line.

25th September 2013, Final artwork approved for project. Meeting Room & Cafe Waiting Area

25th September 2013, Final artwork approved for project. Meeting Room & Cafe Waiting Area

9th December 2013 - Ward Hub designs approved for print.

9th December 2013 – Ward Hub designs approved for print.

9th December 2013 - Ward Hub 'A' approved for print.

9th December 2013 – Ward Hub ‘A’ approved for print.

 

 

2nd December 2013 - Ward Hub 'D' approved for print.

2nd December 2013 – Ward Hub ‘D’ approved for print.

2nd December 2014 - detail to corridor artwork has printed incorrectly. The vixen is meant to be surrounded by an opaque cloud. This elements spans several panels, so is a pain to have to re-print. I actually quite like the effect - wish I had left is as it was!

2nd December 2014 – detail to corridor artwork has printed incorrectly. The vixen is meant to be surrounded by an opaque cloud. This elements spans several panels, so is a pain to have to re-print. I actually quite like the effect – wish I had left is as it was ! – but the coral colour tree on the right has also printed incorrectly – so the whole lot has to go.

2nd December 2014 - Detail - small violet at the base of the Meeting Room window.

2nd December 2014 – Detail – small violet at the base of the Meeting Room window.

 

 

 

Central Chelmsford

This is the development as seen from  the southern edge of the site, looking north.

This is the Central Chelmsford development as seen from the southern edge of the site, looking north.

Draft designs for granite inset text to York stone steps & cnc routed text to timber seating of 'The Steps' at the southern end of the site.

Draft designs for granite inset text to York stone steps & cnc routed text to timber seating of ‘The Steps’ at the southern end of the site.

The Central Chelmsford development has been in progress on site since 2012.  I was commissioned to join the team as project artist in January of this year.

The integrated project team is made up of :

Client: Genesis Housing Association. Main Contractor: Denne. Project Managers: Bidwells. Architects: PTEarchitects. Landscape Architects: Area Landscape Architects. Arts Consultant: Frances Lord

You can hear more on the project via this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orYUpbnacis

The site has a number of key buildings which were once a part of of Anglia Ruskin University. 507 new homes as well as retail and offices will make up the new development. The project is delivering a new community in Chelmsford.

One of the most historic & resonant as well as the earliest buildings on the site is the Grade II listed Anne Knight building, a former Friends Meeting House from 1824. Named after one of Chelmsford’s most distinguished women, Anne Knight 1786 – 1862. Anne Knight was a Quaker and a stalwart Anti Abolitionist, attending the World Anti Slavery Convention meeting held in London in 1840. Her views and correspondence on women’s rights led to her publishing what is considered to be the very first leaflet on women’s suffrage in 1847.

I have also responded to the landscape plans and architectural flow  & rhythm of the site as well exploring how the various elements  & spaces of the site are navigated and used by pedestrians. As the hub of a new community, the communal areas of the development are important places for people to take ownership of.

As well as collaborating with the project team I am also working and collaborating with several manufacturers and specialist contractors such as Hardscape, Ashfield Ltd & City Squared on elements of paving, seating and steps throughout the site, where interventions will be made via cnc routed text into timber and water jet cut and sandblasted granite.

I am working with City Squared in Leeds to develop the bespoke timber seating as well as to perfect the cnc routed text applied to the the timber.

I am working with City Squared in Leeds to develop the bespoke timber seating as well as to perfect the cnc routed text applied to the the timber. I have most recently been in discussions with a typographer to ensure that all the text is delivered with clarity and distinction.

Draft visual for proposal to sandblast detail onto a large granite platform seat.

Draft visual for proposals to sandblast detail onto a large granite platform seat.

An aerail view of the site which sits adjacent to the railway line

An aerial view of the site which sits adjacent to the railway line – outlined here in red.

Black brick curving facade of The Gate which forms the key elevation on site

Vertically set, black brick curving facade of The Gate which forms the key elevation & gateway on site

Draft scope for timber seating and granite detailing within The Place

Detail: Plan drawings & draft scope for timber seating and granite detailing within The Place

There are a number of brick built tree planters within The Place. Several of them have timber seating detailed as part of the artwork scheme. This large timber platform seat with longitudinal timbers will have text added via cnc routing.

There are a number of brick built tree planters within The Place. Several of them have timber seating detailed as part of the artwork scheme. This visual for a  large timber platform seat with longitudinal timbers  is still in development. It will also have text added via cnc routing. Visual by City Squared.

Draft text to York Stone double step risers with timber seat

Draft: Granite text to York Stone double step risers with timber seat

Draft visual of The Steps, with inset text to York Stone risers and digital manifestation to the glazed curtain wall.

Early draft  visual – an elevation drawing of The Steps, with inset granite text to York Stone risers and digital manifestation to the glazed curtain wall.

‘Heart of the Campus’, Sheffield Hallam University Collegiate Site

The installation of the Heart of the Campus West Elevation ‘Drawing’ artwork was started on site in November 2013 & is nearing completion.

Project Outline

The images all relate to an external artwork created for a section of the Western Elevation of the Heart of the Campus building, which faces onto Broomgrove Rd in Sheffield.

The Heart of the Campus building has been commissioned by Sheffield Hallam University. The project is being delivered on site by GRAHAM, along with Architects HLM and Project Managers Turner Townsend.

Up on the scaffold, details start to emerge.

Up on the scaffold, details start to emerge.

This elevation functions as a façade rain screen of grey colour-coated 10mm thick panels, manufactured by Rockpanel. It is proposed that the artwork will be formed via cnc routing of this surface, which will expose the base material to a depth of 2mm. When routed, the exposed base material is a greenish yellow, which eventually weathers to a rich brown colour over several weeks.The panels will be invisibly fixed to the sub-base frame & have a joint width of 5mm.

The themes explored in the work are conveyed through dynamic mark making and linear drawing evoking the history of cutlery manufacture in the city and techniques associated with printmaking, engraving, chasing and the evidence of the individual maker. These methodologies have found their way into every nook of the manufactory in Sheffield.

The narrative artwork forms an abstract landscape which can be read either as a vertical landscape or in plan, rather like a map, with forms and shapes redolent of topography, maps, rivers, trees & clouds.

I am working in collaboration with the project team, but more particularly with Mark Durey and his team at The Cutting Room, a company specialising in cnc routing, based in in Huntingdon, Cambs. The cnc process is used here on an architectural scale to create a dynamic façade as a backdrop along Broomgrove Road. They were brilliant to work with and brought so much more to the project than I anticipated. This is the art of collaboration and an excellent project team as previously mentioned, in Sheffield Hallam University, Graham Contractors & HLM Architects.

Contextual studies & rationale behind the design

Chasing & Engraving, Scales & Hafting, Red Deer, Elephant & Samba.

Samples of Samba and red Deer antler used in the cutlery industry.

Samples of Samba and red Deer antler used in the cutlery industry.

I was keen from the outset to explore a site-specific response to the project brief. With that in mind I have been researching the many collections and archives housed by Sheffield Museums and Libraries. I am particularly drawn to the history and manufacture of cutlery in the city. Individuals such as Ken Hawley & the wonderful Hawley Collection at Kelham Island, have made enormous efforts to preserve this legacy.

His keen focus upon the tools of manufacture draw you inexplicably to those individuals directly involved in the process of making & the evidence of the hand crafted & extraordinary skills upon which the wealth of the city was based.

From around 1840 onwards John Watson, a local builder & developer, sponsored the development of an area around Collegiate Crescent. The site was laid out with villas and landscaped in the Gardenesque style. The area rapidly began to house the families of prosperous local industrialists. Many cutlery manufacturers were among them. The area was a draw for wealthy and successful manufacturers from Sheffield – steel & file makers, cutlery manufacturers, printers & publishers.

These are amongst the influencing threads and themes I have worked with.

George Wolstenholme, one of Sheffield’s greatest cutlery manufactures, Master Cutler & owner of the famous Washington Works, built nearby Kenwood House around 1845 with the estate designed by the garden designer Robert Marnock, who also laid out the adjacent Botanic Gardens in the Gardenesque style.

Over the 20th Century much of the area has seen a transition from private residence to educational use primarily by Sheffield Hallam University. The City of Sheffield Teacher Training College was founded on the Collegiate Crescent site in 1905. For the next 60 years or so, the College produced its own publication, The Crescent Magazine. For a long period, the magazine and its frontispiece, was illustrated with linocuts, woodblock prints and other hand tooled printmaking techniques. The effects were dynamic – instant – and very much evident of the hand made. It is unclear whether students or local artists produced the prints, but many of the illustrations are of Collegiate Buildings still extant on the site – and tell stories of events and people directly associated with the College.

This is a linocut front cover of the Collegiate Magazine of 1958

This is a linocut front cover of the Collegiate Magazine of 1958

The artisan skills extended to sales catalogues & product merchandising. Promotional materials were produced and published locally. The publisher William White lived on Collegiate Crescent in 1861. The printed works of Loxley Brothers & Pawson & Brailsford are much in evidence. The Archives and Collections of Sheffield, including the Hawley, hold many such catalogues – printed locally and beautifully engraved onto copper plates mounted on boxwood by craftsmen with exquisite drawings of knives, forks, files, tools of every variety for distribution to all ends of the earth.

Trade went both ways – with materials arriving into Sheffield from the Empire over. Principally to furnish handles for cutlery manufacture and scales and hafting materials for knives and other cutting tools, the quantities were immense and the sources exotic. Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Brazilian Rosewood, Narwhale, Samba Antlers, Black Buffalo Horn and even Giraffe Bone. In 1878 the storerooms of Joseph Rodgers & Sons held 26 tons of ivory – 2,561 tusks or the equivalent of 1280 Elephants!

During the 19th Century this type of production was a repetitive, highly skilled, hand led process often carried out by small family businesses. The Hawley Collection at Kellam Island is the most amazing resource and repository for the manufacturing minutiae, machinery and hand tools associated with this trade throughout its history. Handling tools worn by use to perfectly fit the makers hand and opening boxes filled with the by products and blanks of a process which may have ended with a Stag Horned carving knife for example is wonderfully evocative.

Without the dedication of people such as Bert Hawley and his team of extraordinary volunteers, this legacy may have been lost to the City, which was for centuries the centre of cutlery manufacture in the country. The heart of the collection is not in its variety or depth or the fact it captures the sheer scale and grinding hard work of production. It is in the hands of its myriad makers that it comes alive. Handling tools, which have probably made millions of repetitive movements over a working lifetime is both powerful & moving. The collection is a vital research tool, drawing both academics and artists to it.

John Ruskin and the Guild of St George – a love of nature, close observation curiosity and drawing –

The visual narrative is extended at other points around the building, most notably on the high glazed curtain wall of the East Elevation Main Entrance facing onto Collegiate Crescent. Here, the bold graphic forms and iconography of the West Elevation respond to the light and open glazed ground floor elevations with a similar language but a much lighter touch, executed in softer, opaque & transparent layers of imagery which first appear as if sandblasted.

To enter the building one has to pass through this ‘veil’ of layered imagery, again exploring the themes outlined above. On bright & sunlit days, these digitally printed surfaces may cast intricate & delicate shadows across the floor of the entrance areas, quietly reminding us all of the continuity and evidence of history surrounding the University, the site and its use.

West elevation awaiting rain screen installation.

West elevation awaiting rain screen installation.

Scaffolding up - installation in progress

Scaffolding up – installation in progress

Rains screen cnc 'drawing' is now clearly visible.

Rains screen cnc ‘drawing’ is now clearly visible.

High up on the scaffold the artwork is very clearly seen.

High up on the scaffold the artwork is very clearly seen.

Routed Rockpanel detail is emerging

Routed Rockpanel detail is emerging

 

Scaffolding has mostly gone & the installation nearly completed.

Scaffolding has mostly gone & the installation nearly completed.

West Elevation

Details of cnc routed 'mark making' to evoke history of printmaking in Sheffield.

Details of cnc routed ‘mark making’ to evoke history of printmaking in Sheffield as well as suggesting the local topography

 

A clear water day in Margate. Margate Steps revisited.

On 9th May 2014, the Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme, aka the Margate Steps will have been officially opened for a year. It is rewarding to see that:

1. The sea defence works are working !…the storms over winter clearly tested the engineering.

2. That the wonderful amenity space we envisaged (over and above its primary function as a sea defence works) would have become such an addition to the Margate sea front environment. I will be posting images and text from the project’s history over the coming weeks.

It was an amazing project to be involved with. I promised myself I would swim off the steps at high tide to celebrate the opening. I missed my opportunity, so am trying again ! Look out for the guy in a wet suit trying hard not to look cold !

A video of Margate Steps can be seen here on its official opening day on 9th May 2013.

Winner: The project was awarded the ‘Community Award’ at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2013. This award is for schemes, which deliver their engineering objectives whilst achieving secondary benefits for the surrounding community.

I think we can safely say that Margate Steps has benefitted the community.

The blue text outlined below formed a much larger visual narrative prepared to support & inform the designs for the sea defence works. It is made up  of historic, anecdotal and real time events which occurred along the length of the new sea defences.

Mr Brown led the donkeys on Margate Sands for years...

Mr Brown led the donkeys on Margate Sands for years..The blue text images

TOPOGRAPHIC TEXT BLUE 1 _Page_02

The scale of the new public realm and amenity space which the new steps provided can be seen in the aerial images.  Image by Simon Moores

The scale of the new public realm and amenity space which the new steps provided can be seen in the aerial images.
Image by Simon Moores

The scale of the amenity space and public realm which the new sea defences have brought to Margate can be appreciated in this aerial image by kind permission of Simon Moores.

The scale of the amenity space and public realm which the new sea defences have brought to Margate can be appreciated in this aerial image by kind permission of Simon Moores.

A clearwater day on 9th May 2013 when the project was officially opened.

A clearwater day on 9th May 2013 when the project was officially opened.

A clearwater day for the official opening of the project on 9th May 2013

A clearwater day for the official opening of the project on 9th May 2013