B.E.D.S Term 2 | Part 1 of 3

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.

Flying into Halifax

Flying into Halifax

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.

Waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

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!

Critique One - BEDS 2

Critique One – BEDS 2

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.

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Next post will cover the second phase of the term, “Dwelling”.
Stay Inspired,
– Matt

Journey to the Ghost Ghost Laboratory: November 16-17 Build Day

For many, many years now I’ve admired the Ghost Architectural Laboratory. In fact, the project heavily influenced where I wanted to study architecture and why I wanted to study architecture. Thinking back, it was over 4 years ago now I bought the book. Yet it doesn’t seem that distant…

Reading 'Ghost: Building an Architectural Vision' one morning with a coffee.

Reading ‘Ghost: Building an Architectural Vision’ one morning with a coffee.

When I arrived at Dalhousie’s School of Architecture and discovered Brian MacKay-Lyons would be teaching us later in the program, I began to revisit the book again. This time around, I recognized some of the names in the book, including Christine Macy (now the Dean of the school).

Yet, it gets better.

Brian’s son Matt MacKay-Lyons is one of my classmates. In fact, I’m grateful to have the diverse class that I have. Thankfully, the opportunity came up to visit the MacKay-Lyons land and help rebuild an old schoolhouse. Not exactly part of a Ghost project, but nevertheless, a chance to participate in something I’ve admired for so long.

Given the end of the B1 term was so intense, I’m only now able to publish some of the photographs and the experience. Below is a series of photographs of the long weekend with Matt and some of our colleagues.

Car ride with some students (and coffee).

Car ride with some students (and coffee).

The road in.

The road in.

Arriving at the MacKay-Lyons property, a 'Ghost' looms in the fog.

Arriving at the MacKay-Lyons property, a ‘Ghost’ looms in the fog.

View from one of the cottages looking back out towards the road we came in.

View from one of the cottages looking back out towards the road we came in.

The frame of the School House is already up.

The frame of the School House is already up.

Some of the guys walking to the site.

Some of the guys walking to the site.

Early in the construction day.

Early in the construction day.

The site and looming 'Ghost'.

The site and looming ‘Ghost’.

IMG_3936

IMG_3934

iPhone panoramic on top the School House.

iPhone panoramic on top the School House. Looking back towards the road we entered from.

iPhone panoramic on top the School House.

iPhone panoramic on top the School House. Looking in the other direction.

iPhone photo from inside the wall.

iPhone photo from inside the wall.

iPhone photo from inside the wall.

iPhone photo from inside the wall.

Colin and Nathan having a look.

Colin and Nathan having a look.

Working away.

Working away. I’m in the orange hat and plaid shirt!

Sean and Will.

Sean and Will.

End of the build day, nearly dark.

End of the build day, nearly dark.

We headed back to the cottage to get some food, and then went out again to explore some of the Ghost project sites, and have a fire.

Midnight fire.

Midnight fire.

By the fire.

By the fire.

The next morning, after a stay at the cabin, we headed out to explore yet again.

But not before coffee!

Morning coffee.

Morning coffee.

Charles Moore inspired renovation - the cabin we stayed at.

Charles Moore inspired renovation – the cabin we stayed at.

iPhone panoramic leaving the cabin.

iPhone panoramic leaving the cabin.

IMG_3961

IMG_3962

IMG_3963

IMG_3967

iPhone panoramic from on top of the above structure.

iPhone panoramic from on top of the above structure.

IMG_3972

IMG_3974

IMG_3975

Looking towards the School House build site and the cottages.

Looking towards the School House build site and the cottages.

I’ll finish with a great photograph Nathan shot of me inside one of the walls:

Me inside a wall working away.

Me inside a wall working away.

Many thanks to Matt MacKay-Lyons for the chance to visit and help out.

Stay Creative!
/Matt