The Honours Project is the most advanced and in-depth project I have encountered at undergraduate level. In this project, I had to design an interior environment in an existing site, taking control of all decision making, from the choice of site to the building programme, through to detailed design and presentation. n nThe project drew together specialist and supporting studies into a comprehensive, integrated project based upon a site and programme chosen by myself. Successful completion of the project required a close reading of the existing site to inform design initiatives in response to the brief. Careful choice of subject and good research into users and their requirements was crucial in creating a project that enabled myself to display my skills and design capabilities. The project has provided me with a unique chance to represent my ambition and aspirations at this crucial stage in my career
An imposing walkway gives access to the entire Abbey. Climbing over three levels and interacting in a perpetual belt. The three levels represent the three stations within the original daily life of the abbey. The paths on the ground level, leading to the first level, represents the lay-brothers (members of the regular community who would take care of the day to day upkeep of the abbey). The First floor symbolises the abbey monks, like the lay-brothers, the monks used pathways along the ground floor. However, only the Monks were permitted access to the first level, which housed their dormitory. The third level represents the Abbott. The Abbott had permission to use all the paths of Valle Crucis, his route was not restricted. The third floor contained the Abbott’s residence this room was the upper most room of the Abbey and was symbolic of the Abbott’s closeness to God. The continuous flow of the walkway design symbolises how the Abbey was able to run as one entity through the different paths and roles of the inhabitants. Viewing Platforms arcing out through the ruined walls make it possible for visitors to experience the Abbey up close and personal. The Curves of these platforms where made by tracing the path of the River Dee.
During the dissolution of the monastery’s by henry VIII, many religious houses were assessed on their piousness and profitability and if found lacking, were closed down. nThis suppression of Valle Crucis solidified its fate as a crumbling ruin. Cistercian Abbey’s were known for being self-sufficient and Valle Crucis was no exception. Granaries, barns, stables, breweries and vegetable gardens were all facilities on site at Valle Crucis. nThe monks once made a promise to look after the Abbey and its surrounding lands. I wanted to promise to bring life and activity back to this once inhabited place
None of the windows in Abbey have glass. I decided not to reinstall the glass, instead, dwelling within the greenhouses are prisms. These prisms will cast enchanting, muted rainbows throughout the Abbey, becoming reminiscent of the stained glass once displayed throughout. nThe Larger greenhouse, which acts as a transitional space, will grow fruit and vegetables, and can be used to educate visitors on how to cultivate and harvest their own produce. nThe smaller greenhouse will grow medicines and incense plants like ginger and chamomile which have anti-bacterial qualities. Flowers and herbs such as Lavender and Juniper provide a heady, perfume scent, causing traces of incense to permeate the Abbey
The Outer Buildings are to be used for community projects, where skills like stone carving and blacksmithing classes can be taught and when not in use, it can be used as a picnic area. The roofs of the outer buildings are clad in cedar wood and copper with glas allowing light to filter through the structures. Using these materials means that as the Abbey grows old and changes with time so will the structure of the outer building.