As there are only a few exercises in the Buildings & Spaces section, I’ve been thinking about potential subjects for the assignment pretty much since I started it. At the beginning I was worryingly short of inspiration, and couldn’t initially see how I could find enough subjects for the exercises and the assignment.
So I started a list of ideas that I’ve been adding to and sorting for the last couple of weeks. I started the list in rough draft form even before I’d properly read and absorbed the details of each exercise and the assignment in detail – I think it’s better to at least start with a long list and then refine over time, than to restrict your thinking early on.
- Summer house (in our garden – now used for the light exercise)
- Airport departure lounge
- Train station – but done too many times?!
- King’s Cross departures concourse specifically?
- Pickering station coach-building shed?
- Pickering Castle (specific part – old courtroom?)
- Newbridge Park (cycle park up in woods near where I live)
- Castle Howard – courtyard
- Farm (friend runs a chicken farm nearby)
- Farm shop? a few nearby
- Local museum: Beck Isle? Ryedale Folk Museum? Eden Camp?
- Quaker garden – enclosed ‘tranquility’ garden attached to local Quaker meeting house
- Converted steel foundry (shopping mall) next door to Zurich office
- Shopping centre
- A lighthouse – Whitby nearest?
- Hotel Negresco in Nice – the ‘grande salle’ / ballroom
- The new ‘promenade de paillon’ square / fountains in Nice
- Church – Nice cathedral?
- Pickering Memorial Hall
- Visitors Centre (Dalby Forest?)
- Warehouse (friends run an e-commerce business from a huge warehouse)
- Cafe / bar (White Swan lounge?)
- London landmarks – Covent Garden?
- Kew Gardens? I stay not far away during the week – NB can only get there on an evening?
- Client’s office? (bit intrusive, may have to ask permission?)
I took lots of images at several of these locations as test shots and reviewed them to see how successfully they met the brief. The points in the brief that I particularly want to do justice are:
- For each building, it is important that you conduct some research beforehand, either archival or personal (or both), so that you have:
- a good understanding of how and why it was designed in the way it is
- an opinion on its effectiveness as a usable space.
- Try to encompass variety in your choice of buildings, including in size and purpose.
- In addition, describe briefly how you initially set about showing the important features of each building photographically
With these points in mind, and some test shots in the bag, I whittled the shortlist down to:
- King’s Cross departures concourse
- Pickering station coach-building shed
- Beadlam Grange farm shop
- Quaker tranquility garden
- Giessereihalle – converted steel foundry / shopping mall
- Hotel Negresco ballroom
- Promenade de Paillon fountain
- Pickering Castle
In all cases I either already know a little of the place’s history or know where to look for research.
All of them have got some distinctive features related to their usage.
I think I have enough variety (size, purpose) in the shortlist. The first two are tenuously linked (trains) but one is vast and teeming with people while the other is small and is a workplace for 2-3 people. Most are public whereas one (the coach-building shed) is a private workspace, albeit accessible to visitors, so ‘semi-public’. Two of them (the garden, the fountain) are outside spaces rather than ‘buildings’ per se but they were ‘built’ for a purpose so I am accepting them into the list.
I’ll get this down to five or six when I’ve got enough shots and I’m at the editing stage.