I am a recent masters of Architecture student graduating from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment in Aberdeen. From a young age I’ve always been quite crafty and creative, drawing, painting, embroidery. Studying Art and Graphic Communications at St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston encouraged me to pursue studying architecture at university.

 

During my time at RGU I have become quite interested in sustainability and how to maximise this through design, creating sustainable environments not just sustainable architecture. I also have an interest in adaptive reuse after a project we did in Stage 3. I love the idea of redesigning a structure and giving an old building new life. At RGU I have worked on many projects, mostly residential schemes, however I would be keen to work on more commercial projects in the future as well.

 

What inspired you to create your proposal?

I knew from our visit to the Orkney Isles that I wanted my project to be based in Stromness. I loved the townscape of Stromness and the way that the buildings are huddled together with tight winding streets. As a unit we identified that there was a lack of housing on the islands and that people were having to move on average four times. I wanted to design a scheme where the floor plans had the ability to be adaptable and flexible for each occupants needs to reduce the amount of times people were moving and create a floor plan able to change as per each individual.

 

I was first inspired by Elemental’s Half a House, the concept of a shell with half of a house inside, but with the space to build the other half when the user was able to. From here I started looking at how I could provide enough space to allow flexibility within, while also continuing the street pattern of the townscape of Stromness. I then looked at Adaptable House by GXN + Henning Larson, and how the shell remained the same but the internal layouts created many different possibilities. From here I started to develop my scheme, each unit had two doors which meant that if necessary, the downstairs could be closed off from the staircase and the unit would be split into two separate flats. A thin service strip that housed the kitchens and bathrooms allowed for a large open living space, and the window arrangements allowed for multiple different layouts within each floor.

 

What was the most challenging part of your project?

The most challenging part of my project was how to introduce individuality and character into the scheme as I was trying to create a scheme that would work for all without looking like the same unit repeated. I developed this idea a lot through my thesis work in Stage 6, altering features of the design like the roof pitches and use of the spaces. In doing so I managed to create more interesting spaces and a better quality of space within each unit.

 

What is your best memory of the M.Arch course?

My favourite memory has to be our trip away to Barcelona in Stage 2. Good weather, great architecture and even better company. Spending hours walking and cycling through the city embracing the culture and architecture. Walking into the Sagrada Familia was such an extraordinary experience that I’ll never forget.

Melissa Bell

Unit Two

2020

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I am a recent masters of Architecture student graduating from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment in Aberdeen. From a young age I’ve always been quite crafty and creative, drawing, painting, embroidery. Studying Art and Graphic Communications at St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston encouraged me to pursue studying architecture at university.

 

During my time at RGU I have become quite interested in sustainability and how to maximise this through design, creating sustainable environments not just sustainable architecture. I also have an interest in adaptive reuse after a project we did in Stage 3. I love the idea of redesigning a structure and giving an old building new life. At RGU I have worked on many projects, mostly residential schemes, however I would be keen to work on more commercial projects in the future as well.

 

What inspired you to create your proposal?

I knew from our visit to the Orkney Isles that I wanted my project to be based in Stromness. I loved the townscape of Stromness and the way that the buildings are huddled together with tight winding streets. As a unit we identified that there was a lack of housing on the islands and that people were having to move on average four times. I wanted to design a scheme where the floor plans had the ability to be adaptable and flexible for each occupants needs to reduce the amount of times people were moving and create a floor plan able to change as per each individual.

 

I was first inspired by Elemental’s Half a House, the concept of a shell with half of a house inside, but with the space to build the other half when the user was able to. From here I started looking at how I could provide enough space to allow flexibility within, while also continuing the street pattern of the townscape of Stromness. I then looked at Adaptable House by GXN + Henning Larson, and how the shell remained the same but the internal layouts created many different possibilities. From here I started to develop my scheme, each unit had two doors which meant that if necessary, the downstairs could be closed off from the staircase and the unit would be split into two separate flats. A thin service strip that housed the kitchens and bathrooms allowed for a large open living space, and the window arrangements allowed for multiple different layouts within each floor.

 

What was the most challenging part of your project?

The most challenging part of my project was how to introduce individuality and character into the scheme as I was trying to create a scheme that would work for all without looking like the same unit repeated. I developed this idea a lot through my thesis work in Stage 6, altering features of the design like the roof pitches and use of the spaces. In doing so I managed to create more interesting spaces and a better quality of space within each unit.

 

What is your best memory of the M.Arch course?

My favourite memory has to be our trip away to Barcelona in Stage 2. Good weather, great architecture and even better company. Spending hours walking and cycling through the city embracing the culture and architecture. Walking into the Sagrada Familia was such an extraordinary experience that I’ll never forget.

Melissa Bell

Unit Two

2020

  • LinkedIn