My Review of the Year

My year began on a mission to engage with a particular social group I felt strongly about, uncover their issues and work with them to provide an architectural response. After being introduced to 'Out In The City' a 50+ LGBT support group I explored the excluded LGBT minorities within Manchester. Recognising that the 'Gay Village' is in fact a commercial space dominated by young white males, whilst the transgendered, elderly, youth and ethnic minorities are excluded from this space and in many ways from the city as a whole. I felt these vulnerable groups deserve to be accommodated and represented, resulting in a more diverse LGBT community. My project developed through embracing this community and the area, through holding workshops, engagement events and by exploring and drawing the queer spaces within the area. I had to understand the complexities which LGBT face when navigating space and their issues and desires which this project could address. The final proposal, located in the heart of the Gay Village, is a mixed use development consisting of apartments, commercial use, community amenities and ambiguous space. The design strategy recognises that diverse users engage with space differently, that thresholds will either prevent of encourage certain use and users. However I wanted the transvestite, the out and proud man and the closeted lesbian etc... to all feel comfortable and accommodated when accessing the space. Thus a collection of different thresholds were generated and corresponding programme in order to encourage a diverse and inclusive use.


6th Year
Aged 24
Student Biography:

I grew up in the small village of Belleeks (Population 150) in the Irish Countryside, I was inspired to study architecture as most of my family is involved in the building trade, and I myself worked as a labourer on sites from the age of 14. Realising my passion was designing rather than building, I moved to Manchester in 2004 to begin my studies. I decided to join the MSA-P unit in 5th year as I strongly believe that the social context of a building and its users is key to successful architecture. An ideal realised when working on a regeneration project in the politically divided Falls Road in Belfast during my placement year, and investigated further through my 6th year studio and dissertation. I also like the odd adventure, and have moved to work as a Roofer in Vancouver, an Art Teacher in Venice and hitch-hiked from Manchester to Morocco. Now that I have finished my Barch I aim to continue exploring the relationship between the social and architecture in every design project.

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