So first of the big projects for third year. In a similar way to the second year projects we were fed into the project gradually with smaller parts of the project to focus on as we went along. This involved some context analysis of Hebden Bridge from many different aspects, research on narrative spaces and, of course, site analysis.
Having not been to Hebden Bridge before, the context analysis produced some rather pleasant findings, such as the wealth of literature and creative culture in what is quite a small space, to the vibrant and enthusiastic community that run every single cafe, shop and bar as independents and then find the time to organise, run and partake in the many markets, parades and fairs throughout the year.
From there we were asked to consider what a narrative space could be. Using one book we knew quite well, we had to create a space to tell that story in. Obviously there are still many themes that could be drawn from each book so each design would focus on different things. I chose the Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet as a book I wanted to design for. It’s a very long book following multiple characters and story-lines centring around a small village and the construction of a cathedral. From there, my tutor, Tony Broomhead (of Broomheads Homemade) advised me to play with stone and hard materials. I looked into casting and developed my space soon after. It is worth mentioning that we were only allowed to represent the space through one model and one drawing!
After this it was into site analysis and then on with the project. I chose to aim my scheme at children because across the road from the site is the most popular children’s playground in Hebden Bridge. Alongside this, the site is on the route for the handmade parade and is close to residential areas making these reasons lead to a child-focussed scheme.
During the Project I also got the opportunity to go round 7 stories in Newcastle, which is the National Centre for Children’s Books. This helped shaped my scheme and develop fun and playful spaces to run educational visits and workshops in.
Our proposal had to accommodate:
Storytelling – space for one or two, space for one hundred and other spaces as required
Education – storytelling workshops, group / school visits
Library – with particular content (local or traditional tales or other), reading and study space
Social – (shaggy dog) storytelling society, book club
Community – engagement with literary and other festivals, both local and national
Ancillary – arrival, refreshments, toilets, admin, backstage, storage, plant, external spaces
Residence – national storytelling laureate, visiting storyteller or ‘landlord’
Here are the results!
Sitting in on the review was Jacquie Milham who was very useful! Providing some very constructive insights, she saw the project for what it was and came back with a wide variety of comments. This was particularly useful considering she is a practicing architect from Hebden Bridge.