Calatrava in Dublin

      Dublin and Glasgow are similar cities in terms of geographical location and climate however their response to riverside redevelopment is drastically different. Whereas Glasgow has largely forgotten its riverside, Dublin has developed a series of promenades punctuated by statement pieces such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge. This provides connections across both sides of the river but also an attraction to regenerate the surrounding area. The north side of the river is seeing faster development however the south is rapidly catching up. It was good to see local people and tourists using their riverside, rather than it just acting as a barrier to development.

Diploma Degree Show Website image

Degree Show Website image – roof plan

Images were requested by the GSA for the Diploma degree show website. I chose the promenade roof plan as it is one of my favourite images from this year. It clearly shows the integration of the scheme into the urban fabric of Madrid but also how it doesn’t take anything away from the existing squares and terraces around the Palacio Real.

Final Pin Up Day

This was taken at 9:10pm on final pin up day when everything was finally finished. That fortnight seemed to last an eternity, though it was great to have an uninterrupted stretch to polish up all the drawings.

A big thanks goes to by partner’s dad Tom and friend Paulina for helping to get everything on the wall and to my old classmate Caitlin who I had to promise to never to make another 1mm grey board site model again.

Laying out the pieces for 1:2000 Site Context Model

Drawing inspiration from how Plaza Mayor imposes itself onto the fabric of the medieval core of Madrid, I wanted to explore further how the architectural promenade would affect the western edge of the city. I decided on 1:2000 as it showed a good contrast between the density of the medieval city to the east and the less urbanised area around the Campo Del Moro Gardens. The topography of the land dictates the layout of the streets in this part of the city; with the Palacio Real sitting atop a 40 metre high series of terraces and the surrounding streets following the contours of the land.

I spent a few days preparing the laser files to send to Flux Laser Studio in Glasgow, who I’ve been using since my dissertation last year. Once the files had been cut from 2mm grey board, I spent a further few days piecing them together and gluing them all into position.  The entire process was extremely time consuming but rewarding on completion as I was able to use it to test different configurations of my design.

The main idea for the programme was to use the existing fabric of Madrid to tell the history of both the city and Spain in a holistic approach, in contrast with the existing institutions on the site which currently focus on one aspect of the countries story. It was critical therefore to have a means of testing how the promenade could tie together or remove the existing buildings on the site to achieve this.

Chiselling through excess plaster

Due to the buoyancy of the foam used for the formwork in the plaster the “lightwell” section had floated within the cast before setting. I had to use measurements from the computer model to make an educated guess about where the void lay before using a chisel to cut through the excess plaster to get to it.

Plaster Casting Day

Turning Ali’s kitchen into a plaster casting workshop to make a concept model for the atmospheres I wanted to create for promenade. There were around 6 separate casts, each about 6-10 litres and it took 2 days to complete entirely. Inside the formwork was made of different types of foam and cast within a 15mm Contiboard frame.