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Architectural Language – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

Architectural Language - Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

Monday was hand-in day! It seems I have learnt a whole new way of demonstrating, speaking and presenting through the thorough architectural language of the project report – it nearly beat me!

refracted light - architectural language - reduce, reuse, recycle

Refracted light

Communication Tools

Scaled drawings, sketches, rough models, perfect models (well my class mates managed that last one!) and a bit of Sketchup and 3D modelling all went towards the document that defines my work. In preparing this I learnt some incredible facts about great buildings designed by other architects that provide  a base precedent to my ideas and technical puzzles. It also taught me about the way a building is sourced, built and destroyed; it’s lifecycle.

Life Cycle Analysis

Here is one extract that really enlightened me on the level of waste we create in the process of construction:

…at the end of these insulating glass units’ service lives, which may be as little as 25 years, where is all this glass destined? Some of the numbers are staggering[2]: 9.2 million square metres of glazing was replaced in the UK in 2013 equating to; 107,000 tonnes of glass per year removed during residential refurbishment works and;62,000 tonnes removed from the renovation of tertiary buildings, which includes commercial, retail, leisure, educational buildings and the like. And then more from demolition … you can read more here: Rethinking the Life Cycle of Architectural Glass

Rainbow bank

Rainbow bank by Emmanuelle Moureaux.  ‘Sugamo Shinkin Bank’ is a credit union located in Shimura, Japan and completed in 2011 – one of my technical precedents for getting light into my little writers’ cabin

Moulded cork chair - part of a whole range of products created by Amorim

Moulded cork chair – part of a whole range of products created by Amorim

As said by the definitiion of Life-cycle assessment, or LCA, “is the science of quantifying environmental impacts through the entire process of creating, transporting, using, and disposing of a product or material.”

Choosing Materials

Whilst the world develops more information about different materials and products used in the building industry there are many new ways to lower our energy use and emissions; for example Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs promotes the use of  hemp, one of my favourites is cork (as specified in my latest project for the Writers’ Cabin) and there are many others to consider including bamboo, coconut palm and recycled rubber.

Specialist software now exists for business information modelling that can truly measure the affects of a designer’s choice of materials. These principles of reduction applies to other products too, not just buildings, as illustrated to the right.

Tools of the Trade

So back to the project – I am not entirely happy with my modelling efforts, but at least I now know what not to do. I have provided a copy of each of my project reports below, so far for some light reading and prosperity! It seems they were not up to the standard required although I scraped a pass. Note they are large files and may take a while to download.





Drawing is getting easier which is pleasing…

My mission for the new year will be to improve considerably and extend my research.  Design is only a part of the process albeit the most important element – there are so many other things to be considered and detailed.

A Bit of Fun

I came across this rather over dramatic video produced by some rather cheeky architects that made me laugh. Maybe you will too! I can’t take myself too seriously until I’m half as good as those that teach us.


Not just Ideas

An idea is one thing; communicating it well to others is another! I am only three months into RIBA Part 1 so I have plenty of time to learn a whole new architectural language and get the passion on the paper!

Have a lovely Christmas!

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