Group 27

We will be running a concept design competition to design a community centre to connect the residents of Hopton Court to one and another and the greater community. Throughout the MSA Live you will be engaging with the clients taking on board their needs and coming up with sketch scheme designs. These designs will be presented to the client and will feed into a real-life future scheme at Hopton Court.

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Hannah B / Wenze X / Jack W / Anna Mary L / Joseph Richard C / Yuxi Y / Tong G

Tong Gao

Hi I’m Tong!

Atelier: Advanced Practice

Hometown: Shaanxi, China

Undergraduate: University of Liverpool

Worked At: Investigation and protection of ancient buildings in Fujian.

Experience: Worked on Suburban housing which included sustainable, open plan and community concept. Currently working on a health neighbourhood community hub at the North Manchester General hospital.

Skills: Rhino, Auto cad, Adobe suite

Architectural Interests: Community Architecture and Sustainable Design

Hobbies & Interests: Outdoor sports such as skiing and rock climbing.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:20
Anna Lavery

Hi I’m Anna!

Atelier: Infra Space

Hometown: Sunderland

Undergraduate: Manchester School of Architecture

Worked At: Blake Architects, Chris Beardshaw Design

Experience: I’ve worked on residential projects, working with barn conversions, listed buildings and new builds, mainly in the Cotswolds AONB. I have also worked as a landscape design assistant and I’m currently working with a charity on a children’s playground in Bangladesh.

Skills: Sketchup, Adobe Suite, Vectorworks and Graphic Illustration

Architectural Interests: Alternative architectures and social housing

Hobbies & Interests: live music, cooking, hiking, art and politics
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:20
Jack Whitehouse

Hi I’m Jack!

Atelier: Advanced Practice

Hometown: Birmingham

Undergraduate: Leeds Beckett University

Worked At: Donald Insall Associates

Experience: I worked for a practice specialising in architecture conservation for 2 years. Based in the Birmingham office I worked solely with Listed Buildings and those of Historic value. Focusing on the care, repair and adaptation as well as designing new buildings for sensitive sites.

Skills: Adobe Suite, Revit, AutoCad, SketchUp

Architectural Interests:

The interaction between people and buildings.

Sustainable design strategies.

Hobbies & Interests: Road Cycling and Racing, Football and Music.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:21
Wenze Xie

Hi I’m Wenze!

Atelier: Advanced Practice

Undergraduate: University of Liverpool

Hometown: Zhejiang, China

Worked At: Guangxi Rongtai Architectural Design Co., Ltd

Experience: Worked on residential and gallery projects. Currently working on community centre in North Manchester which covers commercial areas, education and activity spaces.

Skills: Adobe suite, AutoCad, Sketchup, Rhino

Architectural Interests: Community project and sustainable design

Hobbies & Interests: swimming, yoga
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:22
Hannah Byrom

Hi I’m Hannah!

Atelier: CPU

Hometown: Bolton

Undergraduate: Manchester School of Architecture

Experience: I have previously worked on residential, commercial and church projects. Also have worked as a trainee site manager on social housing refurbishment sites.

Skills: Adobe suite, ArchiCAD, Revit, Rhino and Grasshopper

Architectural Interests: Community projects and housing for the elderly

Hobbies & Interests: I like bouldering, hiking, live music and cooking
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:25
Yuxi Yang

Hi I’m Yuxi!

Atelier: &rchitecture

Hometown: Sichuan, China

Undergraduate: University of Liverpool

Worked At: Southwest Architectural Design Institute

Experience: Working on community centre and elderly housing in Liverpool and Manchester. At present I am working on a renovated project about a converted an abandoned abattoir in East Manchester into a sustainable community centre.

Skills: Adobe suite, AutoCad, Sketchup, Rhino

Architectural Interests:

Community housing design

Sustainable architecture

Landscape architecture

Hobbies & Interests: Drawing, music and movies
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:25
Joseph Cox

Hi I’m Joseph!

Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

Hometown: Matlock, Derbyshire

Undergraduate: University of Liverpool

Worked At: jmarchitects

Experience: Working on a mix of educational and residential projects in and around Manchester and Sheffield. While in practice I was given the opportunity to be project lead on a primary school project in Sheffield.

Skills: Adobe Suite, Revit, AutoCad, SketchUp, Photography

Architectural Interests:

Sustainable Design

Improving architecture for the unseen disabilities

Hobbies & Interests: I’m really into photography, art, hiking, music and rugby
Posted 2 Mar 2021 11:27
Hi I’m Sophie from CLASS!

Community Led Action and Savings Support (CLASS) is a small, registered charity which provides professional support to savings groups affiliated to Greater Manchester Savers and their associated networks.

CLASS also supports affiliated savings groups in other towns and cities as these emerge through community exchange and mobilisation.

CLASS is committed to supporting and facilitating community-led processes.

CLASS works hard to protect this principle of community leadership.

CLASS also encourages and supports women to take on leadership positions within savings groups and in their communities.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 12:32
Connected Community is working with GM Savers to provide a community centre for Hopton Hopefuls, the residents of Hopton Court. Hopton Hopefuls will be engaged throughout the design process, reflecting the community-focused ethos of the project.

Hopton Court is a social housing block. The design will be sympathetic to the aging population, ensuring it is fully accessible to those with age-related mobility issues.

Community cohesion is key to the project, with the community centre acting as a driver for social interaction. The space will be for residents to meet, host social activities and attend to care needs; the space will be key to improving the resident’s physical and mental health. Overall, the project aims to improve the general social wellbeing of the residents.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 12:46
Connected Community will provide an insight into the world of an architecture practice. Dealing with RIBA stages 1 and 2, we will be looking at how to translate the consultation process into architectural solutions. Dealing with the early stages of design, we will be working closely with our collaborator and client, developing client meeting and presentation skills. The project will be running similar to an architectural competition, providing further experience of in-practice scenarios.

As we are focussing on the early design stages the key skills which will be developed are sketching, digital modelling (Sketchup), Photoshop and Indesign. These skills will be used to produce impactful images for presentations to the client and a design feasibility booklet.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 12:51
Meet The Client!

Hopton Hopefuls are a group of older social housing tenants who live in Hopton Court tower block and are affiliated to the Greater Manchester Savers network.

Hopton Hopefuls came together because they needed change in their community. The gentrification of Hulme and the expanding city centre along mass increase in student accommodation have left older Hulme residents without access to social spaces. This has increased isolation which has impacted on residents physical and mental health. Services in the Hulme area like GPs and dentists, are stretched with the student influx. Most of the residents have lived in Hulme for many years and despite all of this they wish to stay. Hulme has always been a mix of cultures and communities: it is creative political, change-making and its always felt inclusive, until now. They feel forgotten as their neighbours are forced into care homes away from family and friends as there is no supported accommodation for older people in the area.

Hopton Hopefuls and GM Savers are trying to develop something called a ‘Naturally Occurring Retirement Community’ this would include a suitable community space being developed.
Posted 12 Mar 2021 14:37
Guest speaker announcement:

Who: Craig Stott

Practice: Project Office

About: Working and designing for the community, architectural solutions and designing on a low budget.

Project Office is co-directed by Craig Stott and Simon Warren, architects and senior lecturers in Architecture at Leeds Beckett University in which they have undertaken diverse projects within the Leeds City region including ‘The New Wortley Community Centre’ which Craig is going to present and provide discussion on how this was approached and provide a real insight into community driven work.

Find out more information about 'Project Office' here:
Posted 17 Mar 2021 20:13

Connected Community is live! We started the day with introductions and an icebreaker game. Hannah set up a scavenger hunt where the team had to find random household items as fast as they could, it was a fun way to get to know each other!

This afternoon we introduced the wider team to the project. We researched Lifetime Homes Standards, Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities and accessible design precedents to understand the aging well in place ethos of the project. We finished the day with presentations from the team, showing what we have learnt. Some great diagrams were produced!

We are looking forward to Day 2!
Posted 10 May 2021 17:02

The second day of the project kicked off with a talk from our collaborator Sophie, who provided the team with additional information and the positive impact our project will have on the residents of Hopton Court! Later in the morning, Craig Stott from Project Office at Leeds Beckett University gave a talk on his work at ‘New Wortley Community Centre’ and how this was approached by being heavily influenced by student-led design! Very similar to our project at Hopton Court! This provided a real insight into working with communities and working on low budgets.

The afternoon consisted of an introduction to the site (including a site video which can be seen via the link below!) and analysing the opportunities and constraints through various mind maps and diagrams; all were very good! We finished the day by presenting all the great work we have done and learnt throughout the day.

See our site video here!

We are looking forward to Day 3!
Posted 11 May 2021 17:12
Join us on Day 4 for our Guest Speakers and Workshop!

Who: Sophia de Sousa and Elly Mead

Practice: The Glass-House: Community Led Design

About: The Glass-House are a national charity dedicated to connecting people with the design of their places and connecting design with people.

The Glass-House has enabled people and organisations to work collaboratively to improve the design of their buildings, open spaces, homes, and neighbourhoods. They engage with live projects providing hands-on support, training and practical resources and constantly seek to experiment, innovate and inspire new thinking and debate through action research, events and knowledge exchange.

Find out more information about ‘The Glass-House’ here:
Posted 12 May 2021 10:48

The third day started with forming a brief from the tenant’s requirements and wants. The tenants kindly sent us letters expressing what they would like from the community centre. Using these, we produced word clouds and brainstormed the common themes and spatial requirements. These were then translated into spatial adjacency diagrams and then into photomontages of the individual spaces. Some great images were produced.

We are looking forward to Day 4 and seeing how these diagrams and images play out into designs!
Posted 12 May 2021 13:23

The fourth day started off with a talk from Glass-House, who introduced us to the community projects that they are involved in. They set up an interactive activity for us to take part in where we had 20 minutes to think of a social distanced engagement activity to help design an object in a park for the community.
Posted 13 May 2021 18:08
Day 5

The fifth day is BA students' first presentation to the clients from Hopton court. They presented their concept, plan and rendering to the clients and got feedback from them. This has been a very valuable day as we received useful comments and preferences from the tenants. Therefore, we can continue to improve our design scheme next week based on their requirement and needs.
Posted 14 May 2021 20:39

The sixth day BA students conclude the feedback from Hopton court residents and have a new brainstorm about what should be improved. This is very useful for the final design. Through the deep thinking of feedbacks, we can focus on what the residents really looking for and provide the final design. From that, move on to the development of the design plan, elevation.

We look forward to the next few days to see how these initial ideas turn into a complete design concept as the project progresses.
Posted 17 May 2021 17:34

On the seventh day, the improved design from every BA student was introduced first, based on the recommendation given previously. Additionally, in this stage, more detailed information is shown. More students show their design in 3D models with chosen material to further express their ideas. BA students also started to think about the section, elevation drawing.

Looking forward to their final output.
Posted 18 May 2021 16:14

On the eighth day, all BA students almost finished their design and showed their 3D models. Now they start to make the final modifications and try to make PowerPoint for presentation to tenants. Some BA students also showed their election and rendering, which are quite interesting and impressive. We were surprised at what they had done.

Wondering what they will show tomorrow.
Posted 19 May 2021 13:58

Today the group were doing their second client engagement meeting with the Hopton Court residents. Each group member had 5 minutes to present and sell their scheme to the residents. After the presentations the Hopton Court residents gave their feedback on the design concepts. The client was thrilled with all the design and the ideas being showed to them. One of the client’s comments was “you have hit the nail on the head and captured what we asked for”.

Throughout the day the MArch students had meetings to begin finalising the publication and to organise printing out an A3 page of each group members design concept so that this could be given to the Hopton Court residents. This way everyone would be able to see the amazing designs done throughout the last two weeks.
Posted 20 May 2021 16:44
DAY 10

All the designs from BA students were finished, and all were presented to the Hopton Court residents yesterday. And, it is really the last day of the event. We had our last meeting, and took screenshots to commemorate the two weeks we spent together.

We are very happy to have the opportunity that we can meet and communicate with BA students, which give us new ideas of design, and we also gain more experience of working with others and leading a design team.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:04
DAY 10
Posted 21 May 2021 15:05