Group 31

An empty plot in the middle of the city provides those involved with Plot Twist the opportunity to rethink the urban environment. In conjunction with the Bradford Civic Society and the bid for City of Culture 2025, we will explore themes of community and agriculture in rejuvenating this area of Bradford into space unlike any other in the city. We will be designing pavilions in teams, mainly through modelmaking and charrettes, as part of a wider masterplan of the site. For this we need you, for your outside the box thinking, to help with the possibility of this real-world application.

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Adam V / Daniel W / Oliver R / Robert CM / Conor J / Hayden M

Meet the team: Dan

Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Manchester School of Architecture
Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

About Me: After my undergrad at MSA I worked at a small practice called 'Triangle Architects' in Manchester during my part 1 experience last year. I was mainly working on different social housing and healthcare schemes but I also helped with promotional aspects and a few other projects. Outside of university I've always enjoyed playing sports, in particular football, and doing some sketching too! We're all excited for the upcoming project 'Plot Twist' and can't wait to meet everyone!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 21:40
Meet the team: Ollie
Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Manchester School of Architecture
Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

About Me: This is my second period of study at MSA having previously completed my BA here before spending a year in practice at OMI architects where I worked on a mixture of new build and heritage projects as a part1. My interests in architecture are for the study of buildings at the macro scale with strong passions for detailing, materiality and the crafting of spaces and forms - thankfully, all really fitting for the CiA Atelier I work within. Similarly to the other guys in the group, I can’t wait to see everyone else’s passions and how we can apply these to reimagine the archetype of city building on a vacant site in the historic city of Bradford.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 21:54
Meet the team: Rob

Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Manchester School of Architecture
Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

About Me: I studied at MSA for my undergraduate degree before working for a small practice called Randle White prior to coming back to MSA for my masters. I worked mainly on small scale, residential projects and loved the opportunity this provided to meet and engage with the people who we designed for. Outside of Uni I love all things food related, a mix of sports, and a good TV drama. Can’t wait for Plot Twist to get underway and I’m excited to see how we can reinvent the urban landscape for the better.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 22:42
Meet the team: Hayden

Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Manchester School of Architecture
Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

About Me: Following my undergrad at MSA I spent a year in a multidisciplinary practice. During my year out I gained some valuable experience working mainly on airport projects for Atkins. I usually prefer smaller projects and the ‘nitty gritty’ but took a risk at something different and ended up enjoying working as part of a larger team. Outside of architecture I enjoy hiking and drawing, all other hobbies have unfortunately been put on hold since studying architecture. I am excited to get stuck into the project we’ve been organising and look forward to seeing where our hard work takes us and exploring ways to resolve the all too common 'vacant land' issues of Bradford.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 22:42
Meet the team: Adam

Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Portsmouth University
Atelier: Continuity in Architecture

About Me: Post graduation, I completed my Part 1 at a small firm in Oxfordshire called Anderson Orr Architects. Helping to design and develop a variety projects from super car showrooms to lavish homes, I experienced a lot of what architecture has to deliver! Throughout my studies, I have always aimed my interests at creating multi-purpose housing schemes that are deemed successful by all walks of life. We've had a lot of discussions about what we would have found exciting and useful as undergraduates ourselves and so we're looking forward to offering a huge amount of freedom and space to see how BA students can express themselves. We also can't wait to see how the MLA students utilise he large site to bring out their flare and tie the whole masterplan together!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 23:07
Skills and Activities:

Plot Twist will encompass a wide variety of skills and activities, and although the experience will be entirely online, we hope to make for a fun and productive working environment. Our team of MArch students will be working alongside MLA and BA students to provide a smooth, productive workflow. Our two weeks will consist of workshops, lectures, and group activities. The first week will be focussed around getting to know one another, site research and design preparation. We will then split into smaller groups and begin the design process within the second week, leading to a final proposal. The main programmes we will be using are the Adobe Suite (including Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator), 3D Modelling software (including Sketchup and Revit) and AutoCAD. We also hope to do some ‘at home’ physical modelling where possible.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 23:35
Social Values:

In Plot Twist, we are rethinking what an urban space can be. The city of Bradford offers a rich history and diverse range of cultures we wish to celebrate through the proposal of an urban farm. The scheme will bring together and promote concepts of health and wellbeing, creating valuable communities, and reassessing urban infrastructure.
The reinterpretation of this empty plot in Bradford will address these ideas through research, design, and collaboration of the members of Plot Twist. We hope to draw on a diverse range of backgrounds and education to create a unique proposal to rebalance the city space in favour of our social values.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 23:36
Meet the team: Conor

Location: Manchester, UK
MArch Year 5
BArch: Manchester School of Architecture
Atelier: Infra.Space

About Me: After graduating from MSA, I began working at a practice based in Manchester that specialise in residential housing. The small size of the practice meant I was involved with all aspects of the building process, from design and planning through to construction and handover. As an architect, I am most interested in the interface between users and buildings. My aim is to provide quality spaces that are easy to use and great to be in. In my atelier, I am currently designing a multi-purpose arts and live events space for a reuse and redevelopment scheme at the Tate & Lyle sugar silo situated in the Liverpool docklands. In our events group we want to provide a platform where all members have the freedom to create some impactful architecture at an important site in the centre of Bradford, with the potential of real-world consequences as part of the city's 2025 City of Culture bid.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 23:42
Collaborator: Plot-Twist will be working in live collaboration with Kieran Thompson from Bradford Civic Society. Since 1942, the organisation has championed Bradford’s heritage and built environment, with the mission to inspire Bradfordians to love where they live. They are striving to win the 2025 bid for City of Culture and the collaborative vision for Forster Square ties in perfectly with these values. Find out more about Bradford Civic Society and the work they do at:
Twitter & Instagram @Bradfordcivic
Posted 3 Mar 2021 00:04
Yesterday we launched PLOT-TWIST with a group introduction before joining the ‘Inspire Bradford (21)’ group in a virtual Tour and Q&A of Bradford City Centre by two of our collaborators, Kieran Thompson and Simon Cunningham. Our Ba students followed this by joining the Masters students in looking at how we may want to first map out the masterplan of the site over the following two weeks before presenting their initial interests in both types of pavilions and buildings of cultural significance. The afternoon was spent modelling these, both digitally and physically in a task which aims to try and capture the essence of these early precedents as a way of inspiring this masterplan and new cultural hub in the centre of Bradford. we can’t wait to see where the project ends up!
Posted 11 May 2021 15:49
We followed up from yesterday afternoon’s initial sketch models by beginning to form groups in which the main cultural pavilions could be formed, with an aim to begin conversations on accommodation schedules, function requirements, cultural representation and plot position. The main tasks involved jumping into some quick digital designs as well continuing to refine some conceptual physical models to inspire the concepts that are evolving. The ideas are loose and expressive here and we’re loving the mixed media approach by all the guys involved!
Posted 11 May 2021 20:58
Within group 1's cultural pavilion, led by Adam & Hayden, they sought to represent the percentage of Gypsy culture that makes up Bradford and aim to educate the public and prevent racist issues they encounter. By creating a tower with the design based off of gypsy culture and their 'travelling wagons', they could set a landmark for the train station, supplying views from the sky for visitors to Bradford before experiencing the ground level. Here they have shown initial sketched conceptual designs for this cultural tower.
Posted 13 May 2021 11:09
Within group 1's cultural pavilion, led by Adam & Hayden, they sought to represent the percentage of Gypsy culture that makes up Bradford and aim to educate the public and prevent racist issues they encounter. By creating a tower with the design based off of gypsy culture and their 'travelling wagons', they could set a landmark for the train station, supplying views from the sky for visitors to Bradford before experiencing the ground level. Here they have shown initial sketched conceptual designs for this cultural tower.
Posted 13 May 2021 12:10
Group 2 have been looking at links and patterns to the Pakistani culture, focusing in on their amazing food markets and trying to re-create a 'path' of unique spaces for these to flourish. They're experimenting on utilising the existing wall and contrasting it with parametric timber fabrications as seen above to house this. Creating large and small spaces from these designs to contain well programmed ideals for the market to successfully operate.
Posted 17 May 2021 10:44
Group 2 have been experimenting with these cultural patterns to create spaces seen from above to represent this pattern but when experienced, users wouldn't be instantly aware, almost like an easter egg to the design. They have been using these experiments to understand how the design originated and what aspects of symmetry, form and shape highlight it's attributes. On the site, they're using this plan to begin to push and pull areas to create individual cultural spaces within the landscape, almost as an open exhibition.
Posted 17 May 2021 10:49
Friday was used to show tutorials on programs the undergrads had specified they had trouble with or wanted to learn the basics from. As masters students, we were aware that learning programs was difficult and doesn't receive much support due to the range of them and although there are a million tutorials online, part of the task is finding what tutorial you need. From the undergrads choice, we have gone through Autocad/Sketchup and Illustrator with Photoshop/Vray to come on Monday. The undergrads were extremely appreciative and gave feedback on how useful they found these sessions, leaving with cheat sheets to refer back to and recorded sessions to support them throughout their degree.
Posted 17 May 2021 10:53
Group 2 continue studying how their parametric shapes interact with the existing wall and arches cut out from it. By creating 3D models within Sketchup and using Vray to export, they could understand how the junction between the two entities appears and how they contrast in styles.
Posted 18 May 2021 10:59
Visuals are starting to be produced for our presentation to Bradford Civic Council tomorrow. We're trying to really capture the essence of how it would feel to walk through our pavilions and experience the different elements & uses from different cultures.
Posted 19 May 2021 10:43
With one day before the presentations, every group started developing our outputs to showcase the designs and intentions behind the uses of our pavilions. This 3D masterplan was also stitched together to give our client the overall view of the sites amendments as well as how each pavilion links between each other.
Posted 20 May 2021 14:59
Today we met with Kieran and Si from Bradford Civic Council to showcase our ideas and developed images. It was great to have the opportunity for us to sell the designs to them and explain our thought processes as well as the undergrads getting to present work. The feedback we received was great and the clients were really happy in the reaches we made to create a radicalised design!
Posted 20 May 2021 15:05
As the 2 weeks of an Events comes to an end, we have a day to reflect on what we have achieved and the progress we have made with the undergrads. By discussing with them how far we have come and to get to hear their thoughts on the project, we could be proud to see how much they had enjoyed and valued the sessions. We used this time to show the undergrads any other programmes that they had questions about and various queries about architecture school. In addition to this, we had time as masters students to go through the publication and consolidate on decisions made within the booklet.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:15
We have decided to further use the blog to display a variety of processes that led to our end results which may not have been as present throughout. Seen here is a clay model completed by Laura Popa, a Ba1 student that showed great aptitude creating conceptual models by hand that reflect the discussions we had been having in our group and collates discussions we had on the Roma Gypsy culture.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:17
From the beginning of the project we used site mapping to introduce the location and aspects to take note from our site for the undergrads. Preparing this file for the start of the 2 weeks helped us quickly educate them on Bradford and things to take into consideration when designing through the weeks.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:05
Beginning to understand how our undergrads wanted to direct their design, these are a selection of precedents from one student that wanted to focus on the culture of Roma gypsies. Specifically studying the ideals of travelling accommodation and accommodations/links that she found to other styles often seen within the media.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:08
In other groups, they started to focus on cultural patterns seen commonly in the middle eastern countries. One of the undergrads ideas was to use patterns such as these as the main drive, possibly implementing them into the plans of the site almost like an easter egg of the design with small aspects of patterns seen within materials. To get to this point, he presented a variety of pattern precedents that he could find online which matched his ideals and proposals.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:10
Getting inspiration from other groups and trying to link the master plan as a whole, the Roma group started brainstorming with the undergrads on how they should carry out the landscaping of the site. By settling on a continued use of patterns which can be seen within Roma fabric patterns, paths could be created, weaving around the new pedestrianised spaces. Between these paths they wanted to plant a field of vibrant flowers, further reflecting some ideals and focuses seen within the gypsy culture.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:13
Group 3 began planning out the uses for their spaces and designated individual blocks for each section. This could then be clearly annotated through an exploded diagram and each space could be zoomed into and 'virtually experienced' by the client through the use of renders created.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:16
It was important that Group 2 could accurately present their ideas of the urban farm to the client for them to fully understand and immerse themselves within their intentions. By pulling up and manipulating existing landscape, it's not something that can be easily conveyed through formal plans and sections. However creating these immersive renders allows people to fully understand and experience what the design would look like and how it would feel to walk around the markets.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:19
Following on from the previous render, creating one with the use of the market stalls included further introduced the ideals behind their design. This render helps convey how the community would be working and helping towards the growth of this cultural space and have the opportunity to get stuck in to the 'producing city'.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:21
To further explain how the design functions, Group 2 made use of simple diagrams which clearly convey how and where the landscape and pulled and manipulated in order to create the forms for the pavilions. Diagrams such as these were taught to the undergrads in the tutorials and explained how vital they can be in revealing your intentions and so it was great to see them make use of what they had learned to create successful outputs!
Posted 21 May 2021 13:25
A series of our outputs presented to the Bradford Civic Council.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:46
Laura Popa -

Plot Twist deserves its intriguing name, as it was nothing of what I expected. I thought it was going to be a project completely dominated by the postgraduate students, in which the little, young, undergraduates would be nothing but spectators, without an opinion to be heard, exploited for their time and obedience by being required to fulfill the most boring tasks. Instead – we were not only part of the process, we were the idea behind it all. We were helped to find ways of transmitting our creative thoughts with interesting tutorials in programs we barely used before, because they sounded too scary for us; we were listened to and encouraged to explore our creativity to the maximum, while being assured that the technical and organisation problems of the design would be taken care of by them; which is something that sadly, simplified all my previous designs. In terms of the actual process of designing these pavilions, the level of inter-helping and collaborating between the members of the group was what made me realise what teamwork means.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:13
Isobel Hawker -

Working on this project has been a nourishing and exciting experience. The masters students have been really supportive, giving us workshops on different software, answering lots of questions and encouraging us to voice and develop our ideas. Overall, it has been a unique opportunity to contribute to a great project and work in an encouraging collaborative environment.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:14
Laura Simonsen -

Working on our pavilion as part of the bigger master plan was a great experience! Never having designed a scheme this big, we as undergrads could really rely on the guidance of the master students who helped us to visualize our ideas and designs through different methods. We started out with sketches, modelling (both digital and physical) and searching for precedents, to inform ourselves and what our key points for the design would be. We then presented our ideas to the whole group and gave each other feedback. Throughout the whole process we paid attention to integrate everyone’s ideas and thinking into the final visualisation of our joined team effort.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:17