The proposal aims to adapt the traditional university typology, usually found inland and formed as dense clusters of buildings, to a more Venetian type arrangement. The first move was to assess what Poveglia is in its own right, an island in the Venetian lagoon with a rich history, and then address how a university could be inserted while maintaining that history.
We approached the concept for the design as a destination, a place where people travel to study whether they live on Poveglia or not. This led to the ‘ribbon’, a wide promenade that wraps itself around the island where various programs can ‘plug-in’ to and people can arrive.
We then ‘plug-in’ the program of the university classrooms, each providing expansive study and classroom spaces.
The classrooms then form clusters. Each cluster symbolises a faculty of the university; art, science, humanities, social sciences, etc.
We linked the ‘ribbon’ + ‘the plug-in’ classroom clusters with a vaporetto transport for the sole use of the Poveglia University, allowing a diverse and dynamic use of space for the students to circulate and use the island. Each classroom cluster benefits from individual arrival points for the university vaporetto to drop off students at different faculties.
Links to Venice and the rest of the lagoon are provided by the existing transport network that links to the public square next to the administration facilities and student accommodation.
The current proposal is the natural evolution of a project that started as an investigation of the richness of Portuguese culture of commerce beyond the financial aspects as a reaction to the current political, social and economic crisis. This research and proposal started at the end of 2012 and its first outcome was in May 2013 when the proposal “The construction of the Unknown Island” was presented for Lisbon Architecture Trienal 2013.
“The construction of the Unknown Island” was a street installation to be located in Plaza do Comercio, Lisbon. It consisted of a boat created by 600 poles of 8m high that hold a block of cork at the top. The configuration of these vertical elements created the shape of a boat of 50m long and 18m wide. The concept of the project followed the narrative of Jose Saramago’s tale “ The Unknown Island”, where a boat evoques the necessary journey to the unknown in order to discover new territories, in this particular case, new territories of architectural creation, production and representation.
The Treehouse was developed for an open competition for a series of beach resorts in three remote locations around the world. The constraints of the program meant that the structure could not have permanent foundations and would have to depend on palm trees for stability. Steel collars are used to tie the vertical structure to the tree with additional stability cables tied to the adjacent trees.
The formal language was inspired by nature creating a deceptively simple and elegant design; the structure consists of 2 interwoven ‘shells’ consisting of woven timber lattices, connected together through a series of ring beams at key intervals. A central spiral stair connects a series of platforms that provide living accommodation and vantage point over the surrounding landscape.
In 2009, Luis Reis and Laurence Dudeney set up Enigmatic Interfaces, a design studio that focused on creating new types of spaces that engaged with the public through the use of both emerging digital fabrication methods and the realisation of narratives explored and developed throughout their architectural studies.
The physical representation of these narratives would not be possible without emerging digital fabrication methods; this twofold experimental design strategy begins to deform and warp common conceptions of space and weaves together a mesh of tectonic and semiotic forms that create a relationship with its users and the built environment that can only be experienced through the inhabitation of the architecture.
The title ‘Enigmatic Interfaces’ is an ambiguous concept that gives name to a series of spacial experiments that puzzle and baffle its users and its only through inhabing these spaces, ‘the interface’ can the puzzle make sense and become meaningful. The first in this series of experiments is a pavilion, an archytype often used to experiment in architecture, is aimed at the isolation of the users of the city and there reluctance to engage with one another.
Through this first project, a pavilion, the hyper dynamic convoluted form creates both a visual interface as well as an actual one that is designed for the users to ‘plug in’ and engage with one another.
This Pylon design was part of an open competition, the aim was to create a sculptural design that harmonises with the environment. The design was developed through the rigid requirements of the brief creating a form that is deceptively simple and elegant in its symbiosis of functions and in turn liberating the pylon from its rigid form through the illusion of movement.
Cake Stand developed with Graham Thompson for his wedding in 2012 to Sarah Thompson.
The form was inspired by 3 flower petals coming together at different heights to hold 3 separate cakes and the need to create a visually striking centre piece for the reception.
Masterplan for Turin, Italy
MRI Research Facility
Private spaces are interwoven within the fabric of public space, one doesn’t exist with out the other.
The promonade plays with an abstract rectilinear landscape that contrasts the fluid structural form of the private spaces. Water runs parallel to the promenade flowing under the structural logic of the private space illustrating a clear understanding between public and private.
The result is an architecture that illustrates the fine line between public and private, a contrast of forms, a conflict unresolved always fighting to define and the environment providing a context in which the two can co-exist in a juxtaposed inhabitation.
There is a certain melancholic abstract quality which is due to the inspiration of the quality of the light on the site and a very sensitive approach and clear focus to the process informing the formal research.
The Thames study center takes full advantage of its position between two arms of the river, it maintains a clear focus on site, technology, function and realisation, The proposal aims to create an exceptional place both as a building and as a contextual landscape.
Royal Academy Summer Show
Model of the Tree House competition was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show in 2012