Thursday, 4 December 2008


alas this is the end of our define/redefine/propose project, we hope you have enjoyed following our group blog and will check out our individual thesis blogs.

ed -
rick -
karl -

Friday, 21 November 2008

Proposal - Gates-02

Further development of the site plan abstract, to include Ed's 'Bikespot'.

These next two images show the development of the space in elevation. A new ramp brings people into this new space from the train station and through the new promenade defined by the Gates. The arches are opened up to create routes through and potential for architectural interventions and the existing structure could be turned into a green wall. This would instantly improve the space, adding interest and creating a place for flora and fauna to thrive in the city.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Proposal - Gates

Thought I'd post this up here to see what people think, rather than the individual blogs. Since the redefine presentation, the three of us have gone off in slightly different directions with regards to the final part of the project, 'Propose'. Rather than produce one scheme, we have each identified an area or idea that we would like to further develop; I am looking to produce a framework for the area between the train station and Briggate which we had previously identified as having great potential for providing a link to Briggate.

I am taking on the idea of
The Gates installation and Japanese Torii to create a new link to Briggate which is identified by a series of gates. These will clearly mark the route to Briggate as well as framing views and links to other parts of the city; it also has the potential to expand right across Leeds, with Briggate as it's focus.

The images below show the progression of the proposed framework from a site plan into a more abstract image along the lines of that I wish to eventually produce. I feel this is a different and potentially exciting method of portraying the idea, it is to be supported by subsequent, more detailed explorations.

Identifying the potential

Placing the Gates onto the OS Map

Isolating the Gates

A section through the active ground floor plane

Identifying the links

The new gates clearly form a distinctive route, they open up into new spaces created at the site of the Labour Exchange and at the current site of the Travelodge hotel. The arches are opened up as potential spaces for buildings but mostly to diffuse the railway structure's impact as a physical and psychological barrier between north and south. The gates will form an integral part of the landscape, they will be used not only as navigation beacons but as furniture, art, billboards and when grouped together, as structures and shelters. The final part of this scheme will be the inclusion of Ed and Rick's proposals. Besides the gates, it is felt that this area needs an injection of new life in order to re-vitalise this route onto Briggate. Currently, this is a street with no name (literally), the arches are used as nightclubs and bars, but with seemingly little activity. Entertainment provides a precedent for the function to be placed into this area, possibly it just needs to be re-assessed, or perhaps it needs a change of function completely?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Friday, 7 November 2008

. . . individual models

Individual tributaries models illustrating elements which people flow from and onto Briggate.
Car parks as 24 hour beacons . . .
Pulsating route from the bus station . . .

. . . development images for redefinition

Development of Situationist influenced site plan as well as 3D concept images highlighting the different tributaries to Briggate.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Precedent Studies - The Gates, NYC

The following images explore one of the precedents we have looked at, The Gates, an installation in Central Park, New York City in 2005. The research of this lead to looking at Japanese torii gates. As well as information regarding the installation, the first sheet outlines why we see this as a relevant case study.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Tending the Tributaries 1 - Bus Station

The top image here shows the existing main routes from the bus station to Briaggte. The second image is an initial exploration of how these main flows could be re-directed and redefined to create new tributaries which enhance the experience of the journey. This is very crude, but I'll be working it up from this point into a more substantial diagram.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Briggate's historical grain

These images represent how the building grain on what is now the pedestrian section of Briggate has developed since the 18th century. These images were produced using the historical maps. Not considering individual plots, the massing of the buildings seems to have evolved in a circle over the past few hundred years; although I think this contradicts with the burgage plots history we discussed earlier in the week (more on that in response to Rick's post yesterday). I would suggest that the plots were initially built directly next to each other but the need for access to the rear created the alleyways and yards apparent in 1815 and 1850 altered this. By the 20th century some of these yards were filled in and by 2008 few remain. The 1850 and 2008 images provide the clearest comparison I feel. Anyway, something to develop.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

_ light node development

Development of creating nodes in and around Briggate city centre for people to follow. Potential areas to develop.

_redefinition group discussion 23rd Oct . . .

Development of redefinition:


-flow of people to tribute to Briggate, 2 main focus- TRAIN AND BUS STATIONS.
-diagram showing the tributaries [streets, arcades etc] running into the main river [Briggate]
-nodes becoming islands in the river to break/dam/direct the flow of people around and to Briggate. Abstract photo shopped images.
-3 main areas broken down to work on: Bus station areas- Karl. Train Station area- Rick. Arcades- Ed. To explore existing area uses, flows, direction and access to Briggate. Proposed areas for islands and redevelopment.
- Briggate as a River- case study to overlay a famous water way ie. Venice, River Amazon over Briggate to follow.

Tutorial Meeting 21st Oct . . .

Discussion with Steve Moran about definition and progression to redefinition.
Number of books to note that can be useful
  • Courtyard and Alleways of Leeds by Stuart Fell
  • Navigation of Cities by Kevin Lynch
  • Lamberts Courtyard by Stuart Fell.
  • The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch- grain, landmarks and nodes, how they work in cities.
-Creating a narrative to tell the story of project. Idea of making story/character to talk in to Presentation.
-How Briggate used to be the traffic interchange. Relation to old maps and how the main street used to be. Split into Burgage Plots originally creating more ginals and arcades which have slowly been built up over years.
-IDEA that Briggate is a main river flowing down with tributaries flowing off and into the other streets. Linking to the bottom to the existing river at the bottom of Briggate.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Connecting the City, Part 2.

Following yesterday's images I have developed the following which shows this molecular structure as it is and as it could potentially be. This is just an idea to get us going.

Following the comments, here's another version of the above image with the lower diagram changed so that only the new/altered connections and nodes are in colour and the arrows have been removed.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Connecting the City, Part 1.

two steps backwards . .

Briggate can be viewed and defined in plan form but none of its architectural richness is reflected by this. Mapping patterns along the elevation leads to a greater understanding of the streets social character, architectural merit, building use,negatives and positives and highlights the fall that occurs that might not be apparent when using just a plan to define the space.

refining the concept

Thursday, 16 October 2008

_ 16th Oct Group Discussion

  • Linking the nodes,: highlighting a series of important spaces and areas for a series of events and possibilites eg. green spaces, urban tree houses, as well as including existing ones such as city square. 
  • Horizontal and vertical elements in a molecular type structure.

  • Briggate as a pier: bringing people above the ground level and sea of consumerism. 
  • Gives the opportunity to reduce decaying spaces to improve the physical and visual links. These will form ket new nodes in the city.
  • Creating a molecular structure throughout the city.
  • Briggate as a core of ocean events.
  • DEFINITION . . . 'A decaying sea of consumerism'
  • REDEFINITION . . . 'Core of a vibrant ocean of events and possibilites' 
Other elements to add such as future tasks and development of project.

urban treehouse

For nearly three decades, the career of Japanese-born artist Tadashi Kawamata has been, in a word, transformative. His public installations, also known as “displacements,” transform the spaces they occupy, as whole environments are turned inside-out. Under Kawamata’s direction, complex and chaotic architectural growths of raw lumber, found objects and construction scraps bloom around existing aspects of the urban landscape. Playing upon the dialectic of construction and destruction that characterizes the life cycle of public space, Kawamata’s artistic practice is finely attuned to a site’s history, use, and physical characteristics. His building style is organic and improvisational, with little predetermined. Beginning with his acclaimed installation at the 1982 Venice Biennale, Kawamata has developed a site-specific, thoroughly engaged and unique synthesis of fine art, architecture, and sociological experiment. The result has been transformative—not only of countless public environments, but of the very concept of contemporary public art. Tree huts in particular are an emerging focus of Kawamata’s work; a crystallization of Kawamata’s interest in the architecture of shelter and of the insertion of private objects into public spaces as a method of renegotiating the meaning of both. Tadashi Kawamata: Tree Huts will mark the artist’s first exploration of this theme on a North American site following tree hut exhibitions at Art Basel 2007, in Trondheim, Norway, as part of the Generator 2007 program and at Galerie Kamel Mennour in Paris, 2008. In keeping with Kawamata’s emphasis on a unique creative process, the artist-in-residency program will invite visitors to witness, explore and interpret the evolution of the first Mad. Sq. Art project to be entirely fabricated in situ, and Kawamata’s first public installation in New York City since his landmark Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital project in 1992. About Tadashi Kawamata Tadashi Kawamata was born in 1953 on the Japanese island of Hokaido. Since the early 1980s, his ambitious, site-specific sculptural installations have won him worldwide acclaim as one of the preeminent artists of the past two decades. Combining the disciplines of sculpture, installation art and architecture with socio-historic and geographical research, Kawamata has made an international reputation by fashioning humble materials and found objects such as untreated lumber, chairs, barrels and construction scraps into poetic and transformative interventions into public space. His “Project on Roosevelt Island” (1992), in which Kawamata surrounded the island’s derelict Smallpox Hospital building with a massive and complex web of simple wood scaffolding, remains one of the most well known and highly regarded solo public art works in New York City’s history. Kawamata’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, both in Japan and abroad, most notably at the Venice Biennale (1982), Documenta VIII (1987), the Saõ Paulo International Biennale (1987), Documenta XI (1992), the Contemporary Art Biennale in Lyon (1993), Exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, Geneva (1995), Munster Skulptor Projekt (1997), the Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salpetrière (1997), the eleventh Sydney Biennale (1998), the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (2000), the fourth Shanghai Biennale (2002), the Busan Biennale (2002), and the Valencia Biennial (2003).