AJ Small Projects 2012 Shortlist
Four projects by Scottish based architects have been chosen to feature on the shortlist of this year’s AJ Small Projects Awards. The shortlist of 24 was selected from 156 entrants for this prestigious prize, which seeks to reward design excellence accomplished for a total build cost of £250,000 or less.
This year every entry was published on the AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk and all shortlisted projects have been put on the cover of the Architects Journal. The winners of the AJ Small Project Awards, including the sustainability prize, will be announced on 8 February, where a prize fund of £2,500 will be shared at the jury’s discretion. The exhibition of shortlisted projects runs at New London Architecture from 9 February to 10 March.
The 2012 judging panel includes: Moira Gemmill of the V&A; Keith Bradley of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Rider Levett Bucknall’s Mark Weaver; Paul Reed of Marley Eternit; and AJ editor Christine Murray.
Below www.scottisharchitecture.com takes a detailed look at the shortlisted projects by Scottish architects.
Titan Crane Visitor and Educational Centre, Clydebank by Collective Architecture
Image: © Collective Architecture
© Collective Architecture
Following the success of the Titan Crane restoration project which Collective Architecture completed in 2007, Clydebank Re-built commissioned a small visitor centre on the site.
This was to house an exhibition space, seating, a learning area and ticket/reception area. A smart board was to be incorporated with seating to allow ﬁlm screenings. Hot drink facilities were to be provided. Collective Architecture was also asked to source and curate an exhibition relating to
the Crane and John Brown shipyard. The visitor centre aims to act as a gateway to the Titan Crane and provide a historical introduction to both the Crane and the ships that it built.
The building was constructed from timber, which forms both the structure and cladding. The roof is single pitched, raised towards the Crane. Trusses are exposed to reﬂect the structural nature of the Crane. The North East elevation is a backwards sloping glass curtain wall which will allow
dramatic views up to the jib. This creates a visual and conceptual link between the visitor centre and the structure it serves. The angular geometric form of the building is reminiscent of the huge plates of steel and structures lifted by the crane in its operational life.
The vertical timber cladding is painted a strong rust red with contrasting black shutters. This, with the black,white and red of the interior, reﬂects the colours favoured by the Cunard shipping line, whose ﬁnest ships were constructed in the adjacent quays.
Inside, the building is divided between one large public space under the most elevated parts of the roof and two smaller service rooms. The main space has been fully ﬁtted out to Collective Architecture’s design. Collective Architecture worked with local artist, Toby Paterson, to develop the internal decoration, curate and source material for the exhibition and design the wall displays.
This includes the design of a bespoke display cabinet to display a range of ephemera and models of ships relating to those built in the John Brown shipyard. Space is provided for moveable seating and tables. The foot of the curtain wall has a continuous ﬁxed desk to allow visitors to sit and look up at the Crane’s structure. Between the display cabinet and the exhibition wall is an educational area facing a smart board allowing lessons to take place.
West Annandale Street, Edinburgh by Tim Bayman Architecture
All images of West Annandale Street © Dave Morris www.dave-morris.net
Originally a shop, this Edinburgh property was built at the same time as its neighbouring Victorian era tenement. The proposed alterations, which were carried out with a view to creating a home and studio-office, focused on: reverting the front elevation to a 'shopfront'; adding a new pitched roof; and utilising neglected space over a dropped ceiling. This meant that natural light could once again be restored to a building which had remained in the shadows since its conversion to residential use in 1984.
Opening up a void under this new glazing, and moving the staircase from the centre of the plan to this void allowed light into the basement and freed up the centre of the plan for inhabitation. At ground floor level a table becomes the centre, serving both as dining table to the adjacent kitchen and meeting table to the mezzanine office.
At basement level a previously dark and airless storage space has become a living room with a wood burning stove generating heat in the centre of the plan. The narrow site allowed a pre-finished steel deck to be used as a single spanning structure.
Capel Manor House Guest Pavilion, Kentish Weald, near the village of Horsmonden, Kent by Ewan Cameron Architects
All images above and main image of Capel Manor Guest Pavilion © Henryk Hetflaisz
The brief was to design a guest pavilion, comprising of 2 bedroom suites, that would sit adjacent to an Italianate orangery from 1860, on the grounds of Capel Manor House, an iconic modernist pavilion completed by Michael Manser in 1971. Both the main house and the new pavilion are spectacularly sited upon the raised, arcaded podium of a ruined Italianate mansion on a leafy estate that was the once the home of Jane Austen's forebears.
Ewan Cameron's response is a formal composition of separate planar elements to frame the garden; an architectural haiku. The design was in large part inspired by the architect’s visits to the temples and zen gardens of Kyoto; in particular the idea of a building as a frame through which nature can be contemplated.
Reached via a secluded woodland passageway, the first encounter is with the simple rear façade, bedded down within the garden, embodying the Zen principle of Hide and Reveal. A continuous walkway has been created through the gardens: this passes through the centre of the building, which is open to the sky. This passageway is formed by two spine walls between the mirrored bedroom suites, giving each complete privacy. The walls are cast in Beton Brut concrete. Their rough mass contrasts with the lighter zinc and glass elements, while the wood grain imprint left from the timber shutters echoes the woodland context.
Each suite is entered through a pivoting walnut door. Inside they are subdivided by screens into a dressing area and bathroom, featuring hand-carved white Jaipur marble baths and basins. Finally the drama of the bedroom area and terrace is revealed: glass to glass walls, with elegant lightweight frames, bring the garden into the room and present the guests with carefully framed views of the valley below.
Ewan Cameron Architects worked closely with engineers David Narro Associates, to achieve the “floating” lightweight roof structure, clad in zinc. Kent based builders Green Construction ensured that the minimalist detailing was executed to an exacting standard.
Skerrie House, Anstruther, Fife by Oliver Chapman Architects
All images of Skerrie House © Michael Collins
Oliver Chapman Architects were commissioned by private clients to design an extension to an early 19th Century fishing cottage over looking the sea within the historic town of Anstruther, Fife.
Typically dwellings in such settlements turned their back on the sea and grouped closely together to shelter the narrow streets behind from the elements.
OCA's strategy involved using a modest budget to create openings and re-engaging existing living areas to face the sea, whilst at the same time retaining the character of the existing dwelling.
A 19th century stair to the rear forms the crux of the design, wrapped by a light glazed extension containing a new living room and kitchen but enmeshed to the existing by a wrapping timber surface which also forms a ‘cabin’ for study within the existing. A contrast in light and scale is experienced when moving through the existing dwelling, heightened by oblique views and unexpected glimpses of the sea.
The folded Oxidized copper roof form and irregular plan makes reference to the irregular geometry of the site formed by the relationship between historic cottages in the row and the angular rock of the ‘Skerrie’ which they are built upon. An angled glass roof-light provides a shard of natural light deep into the plan and visually separate the new extension from the house. Above a new roof deck connected to the existing stone stair allows the angular roof to be viewed in context of the dramatic views across the forth to the Isle of May.
Copper was chosen as an ‘active’ cladding to allowing the new form to patinate and adapt visually to its environment over time. This sits upon an angular plinth of dark grey Caithness slate which anchors the floor plate to the rocky context. The walls, roof, floor and envelope are heavily insulated, providing a 30% improvement on current u-value standards which provides a significant energy saving thermal buffer to the existing dwelling.
A sustainable surface water strategy results in water from the existing roof and ground surfaces, and the new angular roof being piped directly back into the sea.