Next event:
ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

Workmanship can be defined as ‘using any kind of technique or apparatus in which the quality of the result is not predetermined but depends on the judgement, dexterity and skill of the maker’. (-David Pye)

Antwerp, City Map.

The Albert Canal.

The site is strategically located at the mouth of the Albert Canal, which spans 130km across Belgium, as part of my thesis it is to be utilised to encourage connection between towns and cities located along the canal. Using the waterways as a means of creating a small-scale trade network for local makers is a more sustainable means of transporting goods and people and offers the opportunity to set up a rich dialogue between cities across the country. Natural resources found along the canal such as clay deposits, forestries and quarries have inspired the three main productive spaces included in my design- ceramics, joinery and stone masonry. From a sustainability point of view, I am eliminating the use of cars and investigating the feasibility and benefits of solely using the water system to transport raw materials to site and exporting finished products from the site to wider Belgium.

Site Strategy.

There are seven main spaces included in my design which are to act catalyst for the district alongside an overall masterplan. They include; workshops for makers, storage, an exhibition space, a marketplace, an educational/community building, a logistics/administrative building and finally housing. There is a distinct lack of housing within the immediate area surrounding the site and I believe the inclusion of housing for makers within proximity of the site is crucial in creating a sense of urbanity and 24hour life in what currently could be considered a largely desolate area.

Structural Strategy.

Each new building comprises of a solid concrete plinth which provides a sense of permanence and mirrors the carved, heavy nature of the surrounding docks and industry. Above the plinth, is a lightweight framed structure which is veiled by a crafted facade which would be produced and installed on site by the makers. The proposed buildings respond to the existing shed structures which characterise the site.

Ceramic workshop.

Market square.

The market square is framed by a Market Hall, Ceramics workshop and a community/educational building. The design aims to encourage public interaction with the programme and provide a space for creativity and workmanship to thrive.

Part section/elevation through ceramic workshop.

I have explored how the construction of each facade may be representative of the thesis idea itself. The construction of crafted facades made on site to celebrate ‘the workmanship of risk’ would create a unique space within the city and encourage public interaction. Each facade would be representative of what’s being produced within the district, for example, glazed ceramic tiles as a rain screen. The nature of materials which are produced by the 'workmanship of risk’ are often less precise and therefore the construction method has to have a tolerance for imperfection.

Facade study - joinery workshop.

This study model explores the relationship between the plinth and facade, examining proportion and materiality.