Why is Brad's work so good?

From a lecturer's perspective, Brad's work is excellent because the concepts are rich and are expressed well in a number of ways and scales. Importantly, the project is both structurally and representationally very well resolved. He addresses relevant site issues and demonstrates a clear understanding of the studio brief and themes.

Key Concepts

1. The bent arm form and connection

The bending arm, reaching out to connect two different urban conditions and physical experiences, is a sophisticated beginning because it allowed Brad to address the differing site conditions that he discovered at Docklands. At one level, the arm works as a conceptually appropriate analogy: it reaches across and makes connection between two different urban conditions.

In its bent form the arm creates a variety of spatial experiences that allows the differences of the river edge conditions to be highlighted and at the same time reconciled. In addition, we are given two views of each river bank: one view looks towards the city, whilst the other looks towards the Bay.

2. The structure of the arm

Brad used the arm as a model of a highly resolved, structurally complex system to develop a structurally rich architecture for his bridge, at the same time ensuring that it was possible as an engineering exercise.

The danger of metaphors

Tutors often discourage students from using metaphors or analogies for their design form because the danger is that the design and idea will be simplistic, offering nothing more than the metaphor and not address architectural issues.

Brad has used his metaphor though to generate many ideas, both conceptual (about connection) and structural (about resolution). He has found the architectural equivalent of the arm, that is, he translated all the interesting and potentially useful qualities about the arm into structure, space and form.

3. Resolution

Brad’s scheme is extremely well resolved, drawn and modelled and presents a variety of spatial and formal conditions.  His project is resolved at three scales.

1:200, 1:50 The larger scale shows the project’s relationship to the surrounding condition
1:100, 1: 50 The intermediate scale works as a formal spatial gesture
1: 20, 1:10, 1:1 The detailed scale allows us to understand how the project goes together structurally, and importantly we get a strong sense of what the project feels like to be in, to experience and to touch

The structural system, the program and the materiality are very well resolved, making us believe in his idea and scheme. This level of resolution and detail should be your aim from your first Studio 1 onwards. Your drawings can communicate the feel of a design. You might not know exactly how a building goes together; however, like Brad's, your drawings and models can communicate materiality, texture and structural systems.

4. Representation

Brad's design responses are laid out in a logical way that enable us to see relationships between the various stages of his process and research. Importantly he has also shown us some relevant examples of these stages. We understand where his ideas and form came from and then how he resolved them. 

Next

Checklist for project development and presentation