What inspired you to create your proposal?

Part of the research conducted by unit 2 delved into Orkneys past and speculated upon its potential future. When discussing the island's past, it was evident that they have a significant role in British naval history, being the home of the British fleet during both world wars and forming the last British port of call for the exhibitions that would explore the Arctic region in the 19th century. This appreciation of Orkneys history combined with our speculation on the likely conditions of the artic in the near future, particularly with regard to the opening up of the northern shipping routes, to create a desire to create a proposal that could reestablish Ornkeys links to maritime activity and the Arctic. 

With this desire in mind, I felt that Orkneys strategic location could once again be of use on both national and international levels, becoming the home for the Arctic Council. It proposes that by basing the organization in Scotland/UK, a near arctic but neutral country, rather than one of the principal eight nations, which have territorial, environmental and economic stakes in the region, that Scotland/UK could act as an impartial broker and mediator between members. The proposal to base this Orkney comes from the fact that much of the shipping activity will have to pass through the waters around the islands and the existing historical ties between Orkney and the Arctic since the time of exploration in the 19th century. 

 

What is your best memory of the MArch course?

The study trips that we went on throughout our studies were a particular highlight. They provided students with the opportunity to experience world-renowned examples of architecture, which would serve as vital sources of inspiration when undertaking our studio projects. I would have to say that personally, the Berlin study trip was the most enjoyable, as we had the privilege of experiencing a myriad of examples of architecture, ranging from Baroque to contemporary buildings. As someone who places an enormous value on understanding and appreciating history and where possible allowing that to inform design, there were examples in  Berlin which served as masterclasses in doing this, most notably David Chipperfield's Neues Museum.

What is your architectural philosophy?

I would say that I believe that a sound understanding of the physical and historical context in which an architect may be designing can be vital to the success of a project. I think that through developing an understanding and appreciation for how the area around a site has evolved and changed throughout time is key in creating designs which respond respectfully to their surroundings, working harmoniously with them rather than in stark juxtaposition. Through the designer developing this respect awareness of contextual development, they can still employ new technologies and materials that will drive forword and evolve the techniques used in practice, while retaining a sense of belonging and appropriateness for the site. 
 

Why did you choose to study architecture?

I have always been a creative person from a young age, and this has manifested itself through my love of drawing, playing music and problem-solving. Throughout my education, I had an enthusiasm for engineering subjects, where my knowledge was tested and put to use developing solutions to a range of problems. Simultaneously, I also developed an equal passion the skill required to create images that graphically represent an object,idea or atmosphere, whether through technical drawings or more artistic means.

By the time I left school, Architecture seems to be a natural fit for me, as I saw the field as one that would challenge me and force me to develop new skills that I would need to employ to meet the needs of the project at hand, whilst putting into practice my love of creating and making. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Hopefully, I will be a fully qualified architect working in Scotland. I aim to continue to grow and develop my skillset over this time, that will benefit my employer and the clients I will be working for. I am eager to face new challenges and continue to grow as an architect, gaining experience designing buildings for a range of uses, effectively allowing me to create designs that satisfy the client's needs and form spaces that will be enjoyed for years to come. 

What was the most challenging part of your project?

I would say the overall planning of the project was the most time-consuming and challenging part. My master's project represents a departure from the approach I have taken in the past towards my designs. Previously I have made more structured and orthogonal approaches the planning and massing of my projects, which would allow me to more efficiently design the layout,  structural and construction elements of the project. However, this departure provided me with an interesting challenge of planning the building around a series of vertical cores. This meant that any change of planning made on one floor that would impact the positioning of the cores would have fundamental effects on the layout on other levels. To overcome this, it required a long process of going back and forth between the different levels of the building, making increasingly smaller tweaks and refinements until all floor plans worked coherently together.

Ross Munro

Unit Two

2020

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What inspired you to create your proposal?

Part of the research conducted by unit 2 delved into Orkneys past and speculated upon its potential future. When discussing the island's past, it was evident that they have a significant role in British naval history, being the home of the British fleet during both world wars and forming the last British port of call for the exhibitions that would explore the Arctic region in the 19th century. This appreciation of Orkneys history combined with our speculation on the likely conditions of the artic in the near future, particularly with regard to the opening up of the northern shipping routes, to create a desire to create a proposal that could reestablish Ornkeys links to maritime activity and the Arctic. 

With this desire in mind, I felt that Orkneys strategic location could once again be of use on both national and international levels, becoming the home for the Arctic Council. It proposes that by basing the organization in Scotland/UK, a near arctic but neutral country, rather than one of the principal eight nations, which have territorial, environmental and economic stakes in the region, that Scotland/UK could act as an impartial broker and mediator between members. The proposal to base this Orkney comes from the fact that much of the shipping activity will have to pass through the waters around the islands and the existing historical ties between Orkney and the Arctic since the time of exploration in the 19th century. 

 

What is your best memory of the MArch course?

The study trips that we went on throughout our studies were a particular highlight. They provided students with the opportunity to experience world-renowned examples of architecture, which would serve as vital sources of inspiration when undertaking our studio projects. I would have to say that personally, the Berlin study trip was the most enjoyable, as we had the privilege of experiencing a myriad of examples of architecture, ranging from Baroque to contemporary buildings. As someone who places an enormous value on understanding and appreciating history and where possible allowing that to inform design, there were examples in  Berlin which served as masterclasses in doing this, most notably David Chipperfield's Neues Museum.

What is your architectural philosophy?

I would say that I believe that a sound understanding of the physical and historical context in which an architect may be designing can be vital to the success of a project. I think that through developing an understanding and appreciation for how the area around a site has evolved and changed throughout time is key in creating designs which respond respectfully to their surroundings, working harmoniously with them rather than in stark juxtaposition. Through the designer developing this respect awareness of contextual development, they can still employ new technologies and materials that will drive forword and evolve the techniques used in practice, while retaining a sense of belonging and appropriateness for the site. 
 

Why did you choose to study architecture?

I have always been a creative person from a young age, and this has manifested itself through my love of drawing, playing music and problem-solving. Throughout my education, I had an enthusiasm for engineering subjects, where my knowledge was tested and put to use developing solutions to a range of problems. Simultaneously, I also developed an equal passion the skill required to create images that graphically represent an object,idea or atmosphere, whether through technical drawings or more artistic means.

By the time I left school, Architecture seems to be a natural fit for me, as I saw the field as one that would challenge me and force me to develop new skills that I would need to employ to meet the needs of the project at hand, whilst putting into practice my love of creating and making. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Hopefully, I will be a fully qualified architect working in Scotland. I aim to continue to grow and develop my skillset over this time, that will benefit my employer and the clients I will be working for. I am eager to face new challenges and continue to grow as an architect, gaining experience designing buildings for a range of uses, effectively allowing me to create designs that satisfy the client's needs and form spaces that will be enjoyed for years to come. 

What was the most challenging part of your project?

I would say the overall planning of the project was the most time-consuming and challenging part. My master's project represents a departure from the approach I have taken in the past towards my designs. Previously I have made more structured and orthogonal approaches the planning and massing of my projects, which would allow me to more efficiently design the layout,  structural and construction elements of the project. However, this departure provided me with an interesting challenge of planning the building around a series of vertical cores. This meant that any change of planning made on one floor that would impact the positioning of the cores would have fundamental effects on the layout on other levels. To overcome this, it required a long process of going back and forth between the different levels of the building, making increasingly smaller tweaks and refinements until all floor plans worked coherently together.

Ross Munro

Unit Two

2020

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