Thesis Application – Leominster Town Hall

Cardiff University, Fifth Year, 2018


Exploded Axo | Sheet Steel Structural  System

The Final Thesis project was displayed at the end of the WSA end of year show in 2018. During Sean’s next period of employement this work would aso be displayed and presented to Lord Norman Foster during the Foster + Partners graduate show 2019.

Intense Light (Crop).jpg

Constructed Fragment Lighting Qualities

A taxonomy of photographs helped to realize the broad potential for application of the constructed fragement. The qualities of the fragement differ the experiencial experience of spaces. These qualities include, reflectance, transparancy, prefabrication and the abstraction of light to name a few. These translate into architectural ideas of privacy, movement and can be used as mechanisms to enable functionality of space.

Second Image

Conceptual Space | Central Hall

The thesis development looked at understanding the needs of a town hall. This had to both assist the development of the town of Leominister as a town that with steel fabrication capabilities as well as having a sympathetic approach to the local timber framed vernacular. The fragment allowed the bridge between these two vastly different worlds.


Conceptual Model | Spatial Qualities of a Structural Sheet Steel System

The final conceptual model looks at integrating the original timber material palette of Leominister with the future palette of it’s steel fabrication industry. Alongside this, the model helped to represent the strength of such a slender and thin material in a structural capacity. 1:1 models using where also used to test the strength of the steel system.

Thesis Exploration

Cardiff University, FIfth Year, 2017

Fifth Year Presentation.jpgThesis: Exploring the use of contemporary fabrication techniques in transforming the socially associated motifs of historic Leominster

To many, medieval market towns in the UK conjure images of narrow alleys, small street markets, local pubs, parish churches and more. These places make up the social environments in many of these towns and associate with the familiar motifs found in the historic fabric that have occupied these towns for centuries. Perhaps, no motif encompasses many medieval towns more-so than the visually dominant exposed timber framed buildings. This is certainly true for the small rural town of Leominster.

Pen sketches | The Current Leominster Vernacular

Despite Leominster’s timber frame backdrop, the town is now in the unique positon of having the greatest density of steel fabricators in the country. However, this industry has lacked influence or impact within the town’s social centre.

Experimental Models | The Traditional Timber Frame in Steel

My thesis explored the translation of the timber framed vernacular through the technological capabilities of the local steel fabrication industry. In Leominster, the world of traditional fabrication in the local vernacular has been substituted for the globalized world of computerized, mass produced and standardized components and this­ has consequently resulted in vastly contrasting urban landscapes. It has been debated that it is within this process of making that the qualities of intricacy and the translation of beauty have disappeared from design. The thesis ultimately looks to achieve a continuity between the two worlds in the context of Leominster’s central social environment.

Constructed Fragment | 1:1 Steel Model

An explorative 1:1 sheet steel system, derived from the timber frame, harnesses the experiential qualities of the town’s High Street and has informed my projects programmatic decisions. The thesis proposal, a new town hall/ steel fabricators guild, exploits the abilities of the new system which showcases the interactive philosophies of shop front transparency, office privacy and light capture, street movement, and engagement of which all relates to the existing social environment in the town.

Topographical Model of Leominster in Mild Steel

The above model is a topographical model of Leominster which explores the fabrication process available in the town. The model measures around 2 by 2 meters and is comprised of 34 individual pieces. Each front-facing polygon has 4 tabs which are bent back using a press bend and these sit off a surface to provide the topographical variation. Each polygon also has a subtle center fold which provides different lighting qualities. All the perforations have been done by plasma cutting technology.

Wellbeing Centre, Cardiff

Cardiff University, Fourth Year, 2016

Through Cardiff University’s efforts in developing community engagement initiatives in Grangetown, the proposed client, Well-Grangetown, have acknowledged the need to drive social and economic developments in the area. A new facility in Grangetown needs to engage the entire demographic of all ethnic and social backgrounds, specifically young families, and provide a service for the well-being of the Grangetown community.

Northern Route

Northern Park Access Route

Well Grangetown has identified two sites that could be developed for a community engagement hub that promotes well-being and focuses on preventative care and complements nearby existing medical facilities, like the new Grangetown Medical Centre. This new hub should provide areas that can accommodate health services and provide a base for external health visits from local practitioners without being their permanent base.

Cafe render
Public Cafe and Gallery Link

The facility should provide core public services. The facility should also provide public health education through short courses and educational health-related events provided in a flexible environment that can evolve and develop in response to the needs of the community.Section render

Long Section Through the Multi-function Hall

An important strength of this new centre would be its potential for self-sufficiency and the manner in which the community engages with the new facility. This will aim to be through temporary, ‘pop-up’ events designed to accommodate health promotion events and activities. The pop up events space’s attraction is similar to the attraction of a German market in a town or a small festival in a park but the aim in Pop Grangetown is to attract local attention to ‘good health’ through interactive events among Grangetown residents.

Hall Render
Multi-function Hall

The events aim to attract people of all backgrounds in Grangetown and therefore the range of events needs to be versatile. The pop-up events can be anything from extensions of the existing gallery link to individual stands or visiting donation vans or book buses.

Grangepark Well-being Centre Site Model

As a development from the atmospheric studies of the gallery I have started to explore the use of the gallery wall as a component of my architectural promenade.

An experimental exercise investigating lighting options that can be integrated within the wall has started to develop this transitional space. This model uses a light emitting polymer that absorbs natural light from the roof and emits it into the gallery space. The polymer will sit in between a thin larch cladding system and sit flush with the wall. The polymer will however provide depth and texture to the facade as well as providing natural and potentially artificial lighting through the same system.

Model Photo
Sectional Model Through Public Gallery

Final Pin Up

Old Haymarket, Liverpool

University of Liverpool, Third Year, 2014

The roads and pathways were vital to drive the design from its abstraction into a functional space as a market. The speed of the sites surroundings created the paremetric relationship with the wider context. The passing traffic and movement, which is integral to the site, also manages to twist and turn this monolithic structure away from the opening of Queensway Tunnel into Liverpool city centre. The form rises to a rectangular peak through stepped levels, created by stacked orthogonal layers where it squares off to face some of Liverpool’s greatest architecture.


Long Section Through Domed Spaces


South Elevation


Cross Section Through Main Market Hall


East Elevation


Roof Plan

The twisted volume creates the need for the interior spaces to be domed. The repetition of these domed spaces divide up the market into its different areas. These areas make up the combination of exhibition and gallery space, as well as the space for the market stalls.


Liverpool Old Haymarket | Interior Render

Morphogenesis Part 2

University of Liverpool, Third Year, 2014

This project generated my Old Haymarket design. The idea was to create a form inspired by an existing precedent. This abstraction took its inspiration from Dresden’s New Synagogue where twists have been formed with a heavy material. The morphogenesis focuses on twisted forms and light qualities in a perforated shell. The model at this stage exists only as an abstraction.


Interior Render Concept | Twisting Volumes

Below are a few photos of the final concept model formed by rotating orthoganal layers up from a rectangular base to square top.

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Rumford Street, Liverpool

University of Liverpool, Third Year, 2013

The projects concept was inspired by various pathways through the City of Liverpool.

The intersecting planes morphogenesis phase evolved into ideas of floating walkways and bridges. These serve individual apartments whilst maintaining a high light quality throughout the form.

These floating walkways are set within what I saw as an important pathway through the city, thus allowing the ‘connectedness’ of the city to  evolve three dimensionally.


Rumford Street exterior render

Site model showing the location of the housing development

Morphogenesis Part 1

University of Liverpool, Third Year, 2013

Intersecting planes and modularization inspired the strategy for finding the form of this morphogenesis model. A set of modularized elements make up the ‘kit of parts’ that assemble these models.

Each model creates its own unique variation on subtraction of space. These subtractions can be highlighted with different light intensities set within the form. The final model was created in acrylic allowing the spatial clarity to evolve through the planes almost as if it transcended the third dimension.

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Above are a few photos of the final concept model formed by puting together a kit of parts in a completely random way. The intention of this was to see the spaces they created and how they intereacted with light.


Final Acrylic Abstract Model | Intersecting Planes


Primary School, Liverpool

University of Liverpool, Second Year, 2013

This project developed with the use of a linear typologies and the concept of modularized space.

The layout of the primary school is set out on a grid of timber columns. The main driver for the design was to introduce academic inspiration through the circulation routes.

The gallery circulation was an important part of my design to connect teaching and play, a vital aspect to primary school design.

Exterior visual of external play space

The classrooms are designed as modules that fit within the teaching block. Each classroom is fitted with a store cupboard, a toilet, sufficient classroom equipment and an entrance cloakroom.

Key Gallery Section