Scotland UK....+Secret POW Camps of the Past
Secret POW Camps of the past, is a project exploring the destruction of Scottish memory.
There were hundreds of ‘prisoner of war camps’ in the UK during the second world war. Every prisoner of war camp in the UK is mapped and listed. Scotland’s camps are listed and categories as part of that process. The lists give six-figure map references and camp ID numbers, alongside the camp’s location and number are the reference notes. The most common note for each Scottish camp is simply …Destroyed
However, after an initial exploration of three randomly selected sites, a project has developed to re-discover the reality behinds Scotland’s POW camps and draw attention to the importance of protecting this part of Scotland’s heritage before it is too late. Many, it seems, are not yet fully destroyed. They are privately owned, tucked away, silenced and awaiting the grizzly end to their death sentence.
In this case, destroyed seems to mean, conveniently forgotten and cast into the realms of a selective cultural-amnesia.
The surviving camp fragments potentially represent a new network of meaning and could contribute to an important part of Scotland’s modern identity, an account yet to be revealed, considered and reflected upon. (Gallery)
Bintan, Indonesia .... +Orang Laut Community .
At the Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore a small nondescript ferry departs four times a day for an Indonesian Island called Bintan. A 45 minute journey, 29 transitionally significant miles across the South China Sea. A political, cultural, social and fiscal transition from one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Lee Kuan Yew’s vision of modernity and civilisation, densely populated, a wealthy city state with a multicultural population of 5.3 million over 255 Sq Miles, where ‘1 in every 30 households is a millionaire’ (Wealth Intelligence Center, 2015) to an island once related, now separated through contemporary state boarders and national identities. The Island of Bintan in stark contrast, is a sparsely populated island, part of the Riau Archipelago Province located in the northern part of Indonesia, an island which once served as a trading post during the heyday of the spice trade between China and India. These days however, it is an island suffering from tensions between the centripetal forces fostering national integration and centrifugal ethnic forces which are tearing Indonesia apart (Kral, 2011). The inhabitants struggle with economic disparity, localised aspects of corruption, land dispute and the rights to sea ecology. Problems which are amplified by governmental ambitions for the Island’s precarious reinvention process, aiming to turn it in to an international tourist destination to complement Bali’s successes.
Once at the Bandar Bentan Telani (Bintan Ferry Terminal) a 4x4 vehicle and guide can be hired, driving north west overland to the district under Berakit jurisdiction then continue over dirt tracks and broken wooden bridges to a small coastal settlement in and amongst the mangroves called Panglong and it is here you will meet the ‘Orang Suku Laut’.
After being approached to give advice with regards an island in Indonesia and its relatively new residents, A two year relationship was formed with a community of Orang Laut, an indigenous people that lived much of their lives out to sea. The communities were forced to set up a permanent land based residence due to governmental pressures. The village was in need of assistance, and and NGO called The Island Foundation began to address issues of accommodation, economic and health.
The initial role was to provide the NGO with solutions to develop a village infrastructure based around a suggested museum and design spaces to safeguard the Orand Laut’s identity. Plans which would also help improve relations with neighboring villages and local government. We developed a sea school initiative in place of the museum concept. The school would provide the community an opportunity to retain skills and traditions but also reignite a wider interest in the habitat through the eyes of a people that are very much an integral part of the environment.
The Island foundation also engages parallel and complimentary projects in Education and sport. Last year before leaving Singapore we curated an exhibition and auction in The National Museum of Singapore where in collaboration with a number of international companies, money was raise to purchase and install a fresh water facility in the village.
Bintan, Riau, Indonesia .... +Relocating a Bugis Wooden Structure
A simple consultation with regards the re-location of a traditional Indonesian timber structure, which later developed into an interesting research case-study, exploring the re-use of architecture and a sense of place and orientation. A project exploring the contributing factors that led to an authentic building type losing its legitimacy once removed from its context.
The structure was rebuilt on the coastline, only miles from its original location and yet failed to relate convincingly with its surroundings. It appeared awkwardly temporary and failed to resonate with its new programme. Despite being of the same architectural vernacular, the materials locally sourced, original and painstakingly numbered and reassembled exactly.
The building successfully met the clients demands physically however failed to enhance the users sense of place and orientation.
Oslao, Norway .... +Deichmanske Library Re-use Workshop
Re-use Workshop and Lecture series, Oslo, Norway
In 2019, Deichmanske Library will move from its present location in Arne Garborgs Plass 4, Oslo, Norway to a new purpose built library in Bjørvika.
The workshop was commissioned by Norges Kreative Høyskole, to explored approaches to re-using and ultimately the conservation of the soon-to-be redundant and culturally significant neoclassical structure under review by the state.
An Architectural intervention or adaptive re-use approach to conserving the buildings cultural memories in Oslo's society and acknowledging the building’s combination of unique heritage values.
Therefore supporting its existing values whilst engaging opportunities to enhance, develop and introduce relevant contemporary values for present and future generations to appreciate.
Singapore.... +The Substation Arts Centre
An Initial Architectural Consultancy role, which evolved and became a seat on the venue’s Board of Directors, with a role to support the institutions plans to provide semi- permanent gallery spaces, artist studios, performance spaces and hospitality options.
A contemporary response to changes in site, neighborhood and financial conditions.
An opportunity for expansion, sensitive to the existing building’s important cultural significance and indicative of the provocative ethos established as Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre, founded in 1990 by the arts activist, Kuo Pao Kun
Singapore .... +Singapore Art Museum (SAM) Redevelopment Consultation
Singapore Art Museum Director’s consultation prior to S$90 million development scheduled later this 2017, expected to be completed by 2021.
The objective was to exploring architectural re-use approaches to conserving a culturally significant structure whilst developing a physical or visual synergy between the primary existing structure and newly acquired secondary sites nearby. .
Singapore .... +Campus Development
3-year contract: Director of Glasgow School of Art Singapore and co-director of GS OF A SINGAPORE PTE. LTD.
Besides developing new Asian and Scottish business opportunities and educational collaboration, the primary role involved the development of an educational partnership between Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and The Ministry of Education Singapore, whilst overseeing the construction of an intermediate campus and the new SIT /GSA campus, located on the grounds of Temasek Polytechnic, East Coast Area, Singapore.
Scotland, UK .... +Another Scotland
Another Scotland, is an ongoing lens based project aiming to explore the threshold between an imagined cultural consciousness and an unadorned, everyday reality, of the Scottish nation, griped and stifled by a romanticized past.
Exploring external perceptions in contrast to local memory and meaning, whilst acknowledging the resilience of the overlooked.
Clare Island, Ireland .... +Small Scale Stone Structure Re-use
A small-scale but typical, re-use project on a small island off the west coast of Ireland.
Where possible an authentic approach was employed in the rebuilding process the old stone barn. Reclaimed stone was used in the construction whilst exploring traditional construction methods and lime render combinations thus ensuring the buildings local vernacular and creating charismatic accommodation for the island’s guests too enjoy and look after.
North Berwick, Scotland, UK .... +Coastal Defense Re-use & Development
A feasibility study linked to a government grant application process. A proposal to re-use part of the old, neglected and redundant local Lido and its adjoining (often breached) sea-defense structure to develop a hybrid-use structure whilst improving the harbor defenses.
The response was to design an iconic structure from which to promote the growing interest with regards coastal communities, craft and lifestyle. A building from which to support existing social enterprise projects such as the local coastal rowing club and house existing environmental conservation initiatives such as the local lobster hatchery whilst providing space and opportunity for growth in coastal enterprise, leisure and educational potential.
Antwerp, Belgium .... +A clinic for sick and disabled buildings
Workshop #1 An international workshop held in Antwerp, Belgium which functioned as an architectural surgery – A clinic for sick and disabled buildings.
Re-using buildings is an essential way to breathe new life into the built environment. It is an approach that acknowledges the building’s embodied energy and which depends on the designer’s analytical ability to reveal host building’s structural and contextual make-up. A process that amplifies the importance of engaging with each building's unique architectural DNA Profile.
Once the DNA profile is understood then a successful response can be taken, in this case a medical methodology was explored with excellent results.
The patients, signs, symptoms and DNA were identified on a case by case basic [cases treated were suffering from burns, architectural cancer, stem cell, mental illness and cloning conditions] the workshop developed, diagnosis and developed treatment methods, ranging from bio-mechanics, bionics, prosthesis, cardiology and even plastic surgery. The surgery explored and tested the conditions, eventually providing long term and intermediate treatment after diagnosis. All finding were publicly exhibited.
NB* The patients were buildings identified from an urban context - in this case, Antwerp, Belgium. 17 international surgeons [architects and designers] spent a week working from the clinic.
Antwerp, Belgium .... +Hybrid Re-use and Urban Delight
Investigate duel-meaning, through finding un-happy, neglected, misrepresented or overlooked structures perhaps - an urban space, a mode of transport or simply an obscure building and offer an aspect of urban delight.
Very often architects and designers see their role in anthropomorphic terms, performing surgery, breathing new life into and restoring the soul and heart of redundant and neglected structures. These are vigorous, dynamic and determined acts which require the building to adopt a submissive role, to remain prone perhaps even anaesthetised while work is visited upon it.
Anthropomorphising the building in terms of voice however, reverses this power structure, if only temporarily. The act of listening makes the host an agent in its own reinvention.
We revealed an interpretation of the host’s voice and promote its soul whilst testing a synthesis of space, exploring a hybrid re-use and testing threshold and transitional methodologies.
Later analytical results became a driver of further exploration- After architecture is built how are the spaces re-appropriated. Antwerp citizens kindly let us behind their doors to explore their happiest space. Citizens from the Major to the homeless participated to great effect - after the week long workshop we exhibited our finding in a public exhibition.
Breda, The Netherland .... +Architecture & Heritage.
Gebouw F” Center for Architecture, Breda.
An architect Think Tank, where participants discuss the evolving role of the architect; In this case, the architect and developer as a lead up to the 'Day of Architecture & Heritage'.
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK .... +Whale Arts Centre Redevelopment.
The Whale community Arts Centre project was developed to help support the client’s plans to promote, the building’s place in society and the activities within.
A re-use project aiming to improve the organisation’s accessibly and everyday resilience by creating a more transparent, welcoming structure that enhances the overlapping spaces between building and the existing community facilities.
A process of addressing the seemingly impregnable attitude portrayed by the external envelop and the interior and exterior threshold spaces thus, improving spatial versatility and promoting community ownership, engagement and respect.
Orkney, UK .... + Policy: An Architectural Re-use Response to Sustainability
Support provided for a local government strategy document on 'Sustainable Development' Content relating to the management the embodied energy within existing buildings.
Embodied energy is fast becoming one of the most important energy considerations in the built environment and is increasingly an important factor in architectural conservation.
Assessing the embodied energy of an existing or historic building, reveals alternative perspectives on the cost of demolition and the viability in re-using the buildings.
In today’s energy sensitive economy, custodians of the aging built environment are wrestling with the costs and practicalities of re-use and sustainability verses a new build scenario. Understanding the relationship between embodied energy and conservation methods such as alteration or re-use at the very start of a project can save money, a critical factor to any and all, governmental or private developer.