A reimagining of slums, QED, Alexandr Valakh

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6th year Alexandr Valakh has been researching the anatomy of slum functionality in Rio De Janeiro. Slum areas typically develop due to inadequate employment opportunities and the necessity to live resulting in the irregular and somewhat chaotic appearance of the constructions.

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To reinvent this Alex is proposing a loose set of structural rules that bring some much needed order the the slum idea. By implementing this theory Alex’s idea will allow a basic industry infastructure to help support formal employment opportunities as well as making efficient use of the same geographical footprint.

concept 2

Alex’s bold ‘plug-in-city’ concept involved units that can be adapted and extended to suit their purpose in the community. Units can be extended in any direction thus allowing the construction to climb and create a towering peak. Alex has called the project the ‘Stacked City Prototype’.

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Alex produced this 1:100 scale structural flow model to study variable layouts and in turn the conditions it would create for the people using the site. The model was extensively designed in CAD and made using laser cut acrylic and ply wood components to represent different material elements.

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Easter Break Opening Times

Recently many of you have asked about our opening times around the Easter break as you are eager to get ahead with your models!

We will remain open as normal until Wednesday 16th April when we will close for a week, re-opening on Monday 28th April for the final push towards your end of year shows.

We recommend booking any machine time as soon as you know when you want to use it as slots will fill up rapidly when the deadlines approach.

Don’t hesitate to ask about anything you may be unsure of regarding your models!

Scott and Jim

Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem, First Year Paradigms Project

This first year group have made a great set of models to demonstrate the various design considerations used in this Louis Kahn design. The building was designed in 1969 but never built.

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The group decided to produce a 1:50 section model showing the internal construction. This was achieved through a combination of laser cut and hand made components. The original design proposal was to be made from stone and would appear consistent throughout. For this reason the group decided to make the model’s using wood with light staining to blend the lighter timber with the MDF sheet.

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The groups 1:100 model (below) shows the extent of the proposed completed building. The group used pine to cut the outer wall components which were stained. A nice feature of this model is the ability to remove the roof sections to view the internal layout.

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This is the groups site plan model demonstrating its relationship geographically to the nearby mosques which had be a key element of the design from an early stage. The line of sight is shown using red thread across the landscape.

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City Tower Project, 1st Year ‘Group 8’ Paradigms Project

This first year group, also looking at the work of Louis Khan, have been looking at the un-built City Tower Project. The design was  intended to be built in Philadelphia in the 1950’s but stopped after several stages of development. despite this it is still regarded as an important study and influenced future designs with its use of space frame technology. (Albani, 2013)


The group used laser cut floor and base plates to build the structure around central wooden dowels as the building core. The outer ‘web’ skin the binds the floors was represented with string threaded through pre cut holes in each plate.


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The group used our new studio space to photograph the model against a white backdrop.

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As several people pointed out, the addition of scale people and cars really help to convey the size of this design to the viewer.


Albani, City Tower, Architects,Architecture,Architectuul, [Online Article] Available from: http://architectuul.com/architecture/city-tower , 2013

Trenton Jewish Community Bath House, Antoinette Y. Oni and Paul Wright, First Year Paradigms Project

This first year project looks at the work of architect Louis Kahn and his Jewish community Bath House design for Trenton, New Jersey constructed in 1955.

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An important part of the overall design was the inclusion of the surrounding landscaped and wooded area. For this reason particular attention has been paid to the representation of each tree on the site using the abstract use of wooden dowels.

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SEED B.15 Modelmaking Workshop: 2 WEEKS IN 2 MINUTES


Not long after I started here in B.15 it became very apparent that the constant hive of activity we have here was often unnoticed. I decided, amongst other things to document a period by setting up a camera to record two weeks in time-lapse format. Taking place over two weeks last May, this footage gives a brief insight into the fantastic and frantic creativity we host day to day.

Please share with your friends and keep making!


2nd Year 1:20 Detail Section ‘Halley 6’ Project

Second year groups were asked to produce a 1:20 detailed section model of their construction pack which was provided by another group in the year. The objective of the project was to use the model to demonstrate their understanding of the buildings construction in terms of its technical details, services and environmental performance.

This groups building, known as ‘Halley 6’ is the British Antarctica research station. The chosen section featured two supporting legs and look at internal structural elements in relation to the outer facade as well as ducting voids.

The submission was given in alongside a report including a 3D Digital structural model that also showed the main structural components.

The model was made using plastic tubing for structural space frame components, vac forming plastic sheets to form the leg supports and clad the exterior. In order to make the leg shape a former was made to wrap the plastic around which was heated and glued into shape. The leg assembly and skis were represented with laser cut elements that were spray painted. Flooring and interior walls were made using 3mm MDF.

Andra Calin Group. Halley 6 project (3)

“Poppy” Pavilion at Dunham Massey

As we have documented since the start of this academic year, the poppy pavilion project has taken many hours of development and construction to create. Much of the final structure assembly was completed in our store space due to the sheer size of the piece. Alex, Lorena and Nancy assembled of structure in two main parts before transportation to the site.  


The group met on a cold and rainy February morning to assemble the pieces at Dunham Massey National Trust park. The poppy was anchored using 3 fence piles which were fixed to the bottom of the structure. The final assembly too a full day and another morning to complete not to mention some frozen hands by all accounts!

The completed structure held its form well and had withstood the recent stormy weather with no problems. The structure along with the other Pavilion projects can be seen on display at Dunham Massey over the coming months.

Well done all involved!

Workshop Closure Dates This Week

Due to new equipment training and critique involvement the workshop will be closed for two days this week.

Monday 03/03/2014 – Open 09.30 – 04.30 (Closed 13.00-14.00 1hr Lunch)

Tuesday 04/03/2014 – Open 09.30 – 04.30 (Closed 13.00-14.00 1hr Lunch)

Wednesday 05/03/2014 – Closed

Thursday 06/03/2014 – Open 09.30 – 04.30 (Closed 13.00-14.00 1hr Lunch)

Friday 07/03/2014 – Closed

 Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Normal opening times will resume week commencing 10/03/2014

Scott & Jim