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uMkumbane Mixed Use

October 17, 2009 1 comment

Final presentation for my current design was yesterday, which means a little more sleep and a whole lot less stress for me.

Stoked!

I’ve got a couple of little changes to make before portfolio at the end of the year, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The brief called for a Mixed Use building (residential/commercial/offices) in uMkumbane, Cato Manor, which is quite a poor area in Durban. The building was meant to act as something of an acupuncture into the area, a catalyst for further development of a positive urban environment.

It was generally quite a theoretical project, which was super rad! Some theory reports here and here.

And now for some pretty pictures..

roof

venders

cafe

res

back

night front

corner

Model built with ArchiCAD, Rendered with Artlantis Studio, and touched up with Adobe Light Room.

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RAD!

October 8, 2009 3 comments

Up till now I’ve been using Graphisoft Archicad for all my drawing and stuff, and for some reason I’ve always been super anti-Revit. I don’t know why really, suppose its just an aversion to things that are new and different..

But I saw a pretty insane Autodesk presentation the other day, and I’m seriously considering switching over.. Revit seems exponentially more powerful.. So I’m definately gonna give it a try, I just need time to learn the program..

So I’m probably going to try in the holidays in a month or so.

Also, Autodesk handed a pack of free student-version software, which I thought was just plain

RAD

Hmmm.. Part two

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m really struggling to resolve some plans for Monday right now, so I’m procrastinating pretty badly. Hence a little bloggage.

I’m really starting to miss PTA now. I don’t know why. I suppose after spending a week in such a creative, fun, different environment with loads of awesome people, coming back to the same old deadline orientated, design production line that varsity seems to be right now just feels like Sinai.

I just want to feel like I’m doing something worth while.

I think about the kind of things the people who presented papers last week are doing: social housing in Accra, creative arts centers in Kinshasa, Urban Agriculture projects in Johannesburg and do-it-yourself development mixed use buildings in Amsterdam. Architects and anthropologists Heinrich Wolff, Dick Van Gameren, Joe Addo, Liz Ogbu, Hein de Haan, etc, etc, just blew my mind. This is what architecture has to contribute to society! Not green roofed mansions one on top of each other in Mount Edgecomb on Zimbali, or art galleries on Florida Road.

Or maybe I’m just in a bit of an idealistic mood right now.

Well here’s a taste of what I’m rambling on about. A Day Laborer Station presented to us by Liz Ogbu of Public Architecture, the first of these structure is to be build sometime in the new year. (More info here)

model1

Rendering3Exhibition4

The Day Labor Station, a project of Public Architecture, is a simple, flexible structure that can be deployed at these informal day labor locations. It is a sustainably-designed project that utilizes green materials and strategies and exists primarily, if not completely, off-the-grid. It provides a sheltered space for the day laborers to wait for work as well as greater community amenities and resources. Our design is a responsive one, addressing the needs and desires of the day laborers themselves, as our clients. As such, the structure will be flexible enough to serve in various capacities, including as a meeting space or classroom.

Design1Design2Design3

Pretty awesome really. Things like this really make me want to be an architect.. But right now I don’t know if I can be bothered. I think I just need a break. Maybe I’m just missing some people/someone.

Sigh.

On another note: I’ve been listening to the new Paramore album this week. Pretty awesome stuff actually. Give it a listen..

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197 Florida Road

August 15, 2009 1 comment

My first (design) hand in for this term was yesterday. The project was an art gallery and professional on Florida Road. We were given a little park just opposite Spiga d’Ora as our site and told to use “femininity” as a basis for our concepts. It was a really fun project to do, and I’m pretty stoked with my building.. Presentations on Monday though, so not too sure how my lecturers will react, but crits have been going well..

Anyway.. Here are some pretty pictures.

Eating area

Front

East

Gordon Road

Back

Offices

Exhibition

Have I mentioned before how much I love Artlantis? Amazing program.

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Ilchester Pics

July 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve got this long running project for my Technology course at varsity, for which I have to do a PBS (practical building study) of a residential project from the ground up.. So all year I’ve been visiting this site kinda near my house and taking photos, and doing sketches, and all the rest, from foundation stages all the way up to this point..

View from street
Back veranda

Gang nail truss

I took these photos yesterday. Unfortunately, when I go in the week I kind of have to wait for the builders to pack up and leave so the lighting’s not too great in some of the shots, but its all good..

Timber
Facebrick

Interior

I just love building sites. There’s something about all the textures, and the colours, and the sense of something to come that just gets me so amped. This looks to be rather a pretentious, ugly big house.. But I think its quite beautiful at this stage.

Brick and rubble
Junk

Maybe it was just the Bon Iver in my ears, the half dark or the site itself, but there’s something of an atmosphere all of its own to a place like this..

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Project Model Renders

June 10, 2009 2 comments

Here are some renders of that project I was talking about in my last post. They’re drawn up on Archicad, and then rendered with Artlantis, both of which we get for free, as student licensed software, from the good people at Graphisoft..

It always annoys me when I drive past billboards outside new building developments and they’ve got crappy renders, with Photo shopped pictures of generic people and cars stuck on as an after thought with captions like “Artist’s Impression”, which should read “Scarred, Computer-illiterate Intern’s Impression”.. It just looks so bad! And its so easy to do a whole lot better looking stuff. Especially if its on a 2 meter high board facing the street..

Anyway..

Clubhouse

Unit

Veranda

Eating area

Living Area

There’s a couple more on my Flickr.. The link’s in the side panel..

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Design Project Pressure

June 10, 2009 1 comment

I presented my final design portfolio today at varsity..

Basically its a huge relief, because for the past couple months I’ve been averaging on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a day trying to get everything done, under huge pressure from my lecturers.. Some things have been pretty stressful.

The major problem, and the reason for the almost abusive treatment by my tutors, is that UKZN, along with a whole lot of other universities around the country are in serious danger of losing there accreditation. What this means is that, they would be able to provide a degree, but that degree wouldn’t be worth anything, since professional architects must not only be qualified, but they must also be accredited by the relevant authorities to practice.

This has created something of an uncomfortable (to put it lightly) atmosphere for the last six months or so, and put a lot of pressure on the staff to jack up the work.. Which puts ALL the pressure on us!

Well anyway.. The presentation didn’t go too well, but not I just need to try and forget about it, wait for my results to come out and pray HARD!

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