Christmas break went by quickly…
All of a sudden it’s January and it’s time to fly back to Halifax and begin my second term at Architecture school.
The flight was very early in the winter morning, and most of the time in the air was spent chasing the sunrise. Flying over Nova Scotia and into Halifax was rather nice.
Term 2 started out with a bang. After a meeting in the lecture hall, we learned that we would be working with Brian MacKay-Lyons this term, and both Niall Savage and Brian will be leading this term’s design studio together. Each student was given a well designed, design pamphlet that outlined our work for the semester (seriously – the design book was authored by Niall who has a graphic design background).
Term 2 in BEDS is: “The House”.
Over the next week we are introduced to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, a real place where our ‘fictional’ design interventions will take place over the term. Soon after, we organize as many cars as we can to get 60 students and our design tutors and instructors out of the city and down the coast to Lunenburg.
Upon arrival, we begin to tour the town, take photographs, make drawings, and talk to people.
We spend the whole day there.
One of the highlights of the day was eating lunch with Brian MacKay-Lyons and Cristina Veríssimo. We were sitting near the window at a local restaurant. The sun filters into the room through horizontal blinders in the windows and spills over the tables. Each table has a white paper that covers it, and only minutes into lunch Brian begins sketching as he talks, right on the table. While I did’t take a photo of the drawing and I don’t feel the need to explain everything we chatted about, it was a very memorable afternoon.
The second import highlight was travelling to Brian’s farm in Shobac area that evening for a design session. Being in the Ghost studio near the ocean and looking at all the Ghost projects around us was inspiring (to say the least). We finished the evening near the very prominent hearth of the studio chatting about architecture and architects.
As the first part of the semester unfolded, design with Brian was fun and memorable.
BEDS Term 2 – “The House” is broken down into Three Major Parts: 1) “Situation”, 2) “Dwelling”, and (3) “Detail”.
The first part of the term, as described above, I worked with Brian in a group of 11 other students. It was primarily concerned with finding our site and implementing an urban design strategy for our group. Our houses (our housing development) would then come out of this urban design strategy.
For our first Design Review ‘Critique’ each of the five studio groups (my group of 12 plus four other groups) all built a model of our waterfront sites in Lunenburg and placed a massing model of our designs on the site with all the other existing buildings (note: a massing model shows an approximate size and shape- it’s a kind of ‘placeholder’).
Incredibly, Barton Myers attended our crit, along with Brian and the other tutors. On top of that, David Bowick of Blackwell Engineers also participated in the critique. Here is part of my class all stood around the 1:100 model of the entire Lunenburg Waterfront!
It was a long day of critique, but it was a very memorable day indeed.
Lastly, then, I’ll leave you with a photograph I took one morning as I prepared my first cup of coffee.
Next post will cover the second phase of the term, “Dwelling”.