Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Public Lectures

Two public lectures about the Space for Learning project took place at the NCAD Gallery on Thursday 9th and Wednesday 15th December 2010. Robert Bourke described his collaboration with St. Paul's on 15th.  These talkes were organised by the Architectural Association of Ireland in collaboration with the Irish Architecture Foundation.

Irish Times Feature

Read the recent Irish Times feature on the Space for Learning project, by Gemma Tipton here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exhibition Launch

The Space for Learning exhibition continues at the NCAD Gallery until 29th January 2011. Here are some photos (© Alice Clancy) of the the very successful (and full!) launch party on 4th November.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Space for Learning Exhibition

The Space for Learning exhibition runs at the NCAD Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, from 5th November 2010 until the 29th January 2011. Below is a preview of our display table with models of the students' designs and mirror reflecting a film about the work (photos © alice clancy). You can watch our film, which has been narrated by Chris, here. We hope you can visit the exhibition and see the students' ideas for improving schools through good design. For further details on opening hours and national venues for this travelling exhibition, visit the Irish Architecture Foundation website.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Exhibition Preparation - The Bench

The team spent much of last week gathering together worn out table tops and broken school chairs for their bench design, a key part of our exhibition proposal. Last Thursday and Friday, the students cut out the table tops using the measurements that we decided upon at the design stage. The timber pieces were then glued, clamped and left to dry over the weekend. We met this morning to see the results and attach the chair legs. Just a few adjustments to be made, but otherwise a great success!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Competition Winners Annnounced!

We are delighted to be among the 10 selected teams out of 90 entries in the Space for Learning competition. This means we will get to develop and adapt our work for the exhibition that will tour around Ireland this Autumn. Read the Irish Architecture Foundation press release here. We will meet up after the Easter break to begin preparation for the exhibition. Well done again to the St. Paul's team for your fantastic work!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fourth Year Exhibition

This morning, the Space for Learning team exhibited their work to the whole school. Team members presented their models and drawings to students and teachers while our film was screened on a projector. Well done team!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

IAF Submission

Yesterday, we submitted our Stage 2 exhibition proposal to the Irish Architecture Foundation. It comprises a custom made Display Table containing models of the students' Design Proposals with a monitor underneath, projecting our proposed Film onto a reflective glass screen. The film would be viewed from a Bench, designed and made by the students from recycled broken school tables and chairs. Wish us luck for Stage 2!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 7: Preparation for IAF Submission

It was a busy final week of Stage 1 of the Space for Learning competition. Michael, Sean W, James and Andrew came in to Strand Studio to work on their 1:50 models of their proposed Canteen and Common Room. Andrew made a 1:20 model of his Bench design that we propose to build for the exhibition if St. Paul's is chosen for Stage 2. Michael tweaked his 3D walk-through on Sketchup, which forms the backbone of our Film that takes you on a tour of these Design Proposals.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 6: Design Development: Social Spaces for Learning

During the rest of Week 5 and this week, the students developed their Design Proposals using various techniques such as sketching, model-making, time-lapse video and 3D computer modelling. Sean W has proposed making the Canteen the hub of the school by expanding the existing canteen and connecting it to the North Courtyard and Yard on either side. He has been working on a 1:50 model of this space and, with Andrew's assistance, has been experimenting with how sunlight enters its new perforated roof using a desk lamp and a digital camera:

Meanwhile, James has been thinking of a suitable layout for a free-standing Common Room for 5th and 6th years, combining study, relaxation, internet and kitchen area. This will replace an existing prefab in the South Courtyard and will provide passive surveillance of the bike lock-up, a regular target for bike thieves.

The time lapse video of the Yard, organised by Chris and Patrick, has been used to investigate the use of this space over the course of a day. They observed that students either congregate in the Shelter at the edge of this large, blank space or cross it to go from one area to another - they rarely stand in the middle. This valuable insight is helping the students to think of ways to make better use of this space, also bearing in mind that the Yard is used as a car park in the evenings by members of the public who rent the sports pitches - an important source of income for the school. Thanks to James for suggesting the music!

The Building Analysis also highlighted a need to enliven the many, long, monotonous corridors of the school. As an example of a small scale social space, the students were also asked to design a Bench for the foyer of the North Entrance. Here is a video of Andrew explaining his idea for a bench:

Michael has been using a free download of Google Sketchup to construct a 3D digital model of the school campus. He is learning how to create a virtual 'walk through' and will soon add the designs proposed by the other students. Here is an example of his work to date:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Radio Interview

At 8pm last night, Dublin City FM broadcast a programme about the Space for Learning competition. Rachel McAree from the Irish Architecture Foundation spoke about the initiative in general and Robert Bourke described his work with the students at St. Paul's College from an architect's perspective. Click on the play button below to listen:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 5: Design Proposals

This morning we had our third meeting in our new base in the C Block prefab (many thanks to Mr Moran for organising that). The Building Analysis carried out in the first stage of the project identified 4 main areas for improvement: the Yard which is bleak and unattractive, the Canteen which is dark and too small, the Courtyard which is pretty but never used and a Common Room for senior students which the school currently does not have, but the survey showed a strong desire for one. The team will develop these design proposals over the next few sessions...


Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 4: Presentation of Building Analysis

This morning, the team presented their findings of their Building Analysis to a panel of 'guest critics' consisting of the Principal, Vice-Principal and a selection of teachers. The A1 boards were clearly arranged and the team members spoke confidently about their work to date. After the presentations, a brainstorming session was held (see last photo) and several Design Proposals were agreed on and will be developed in the coming weeks.



Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 3: Building Analysis (continued)

This week saw intense activity at St. Paul's as the team looked at the school buildings in great detail. After many hours in the wood workshop, Robert, Sean D, Sam and Leo finished the 1:250 site model in timber...

Sean C, James and Sean W worked on their model and sketches of the staircase next to the Teachers' Corridor....

Adam and Shane R collated their findings from their student interviews...

Meanwhile, the Structures, Materials, Environmental and Photo / Video groups worked on their respective A1 boards to be presented and discussed on Monday. Great work team!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week 2: Building Analysis

The Model / Survey team presented their work to date on the site model. Now that the base is almost finished, the aim is to finish the buildings for the group presentation next Monday, 8th February.

The team then discussed the different types of sketches, models and drawings that architects use at different stages of the design process. Examples were given of the Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland by the architect, Peter Zumthor. We later watched the beginning of a video documentary about this building, which Sean D heroically managed to download from Youtube!

We look forward to seeing the findings of the Light & Space (see image below), Materials & Structures, Environmental, Interviewing, and Video & Photography teams next week, so watch this space!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week 1: A Walk to Clontarf Village & Workshop Introduction

On Monday, we walked from St. Paul's to Clontarf, sketching, observing and discussing the area around St. Paul's. We observed the different types of buildings in the area and noted the changes in activity as we walked from the school to the seafront in Clontarf. Sketches will be posted soon.

We also discussed the workshop programme for the remainder of the project, which will be as follows:
  1. Building Analysis: two weeks of looking at the existing school buildings and it's users in detail under the following headings: Dimensional Survey, Light & Space, Materials & Structure, Environmental, Interviewing, and Video & Photography
  2. Design Proposals: We expect the findings of the Building Analysis to highlight certain areas for improvement in the school. We will try to address these issues in the following two weeks by making different design proposals. 
  3. Competition Entry: The Design Proposals will be presented to the school staff and students on 19th February and the preferred design idea will be developed and submitted as our Space for Learning competition entry.