Monday, 13 August 2012

Thesis part III

Some actual building for you to enjoy now!  We are looking at three sites across the Mourne Mountains in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.  Together they link through the mountains to form a passageway.  This post will be focussed on the first of the three shelters.

It is located in Tollymore forest, a well known and highly walked section of forest at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.  The building seeks to capitalise on the higher volume of users in this part of the mountains by providing a larger lodge suitable for hosting a larger body of hikers / students or fishermen for example.

Some aspects of the building brief I had decided upon were;

Be self sufficient regarding its operation and servicing.
Provide a refuge for hikers traversing the Mournes.
Provide a retreat for people wanting to stay in the Mournes for a number of days.
Protect from the south western prevailing wind.
Allow users to engage in multiple ways with the surrounding area - sensory engagement.
Cultivate an environment of relaxation, meditation and reflection.
Preserve the natural beauty of the Mournes - consideration will be given to how the building is seen and how it marks the land.
Educate people on the history and heritage of the mountains.
Take advantage of the southern sun and natural ventilation.
Be accessible via an already established pathway on the mournes.
Be close to a flow of fresh water but not interrupt its natural flow.
Offer a sequence of beautiful views.
Be accessible via an emergency services land rover.
Use construction techniques that involve easily transportable materials across difficult terrain.

The images below will outline the design process better than I could do in my own words.  The building footprint builds off an existing footbridge and seeks to connect existing passages across the Shimna River.  The ground is very uneven, irregular granite.  As such it was elected to drill piles into the granite and span steel sections from these concrete pile foundations.  From there a timber floor and frame would be built.

The building itself is simple in function. One side serves as an entrance lobby, with storage areas and a main living space with chairs splayed around an open fire and basic kitchen.  This space can be opened up further via sliding doors to connect to the southern decked area to let light flood in to the space (when we get the weather!)  The other side of the shelter is a uniform series of cellular sleeping pods.  These cells are positioned to receive morning sunlight to help the hiker wake up naturally.

A lot of the final drawings for these schemes were completed with my own hand and pens so I do not have all the finished images to post here yet at Queen's University still has the final presentation pages.  I will upload photos of the final presentation drawings when they are back in my possession. For not please make do with what I have and the model photographs!

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