Vanessa is an Architect who is part of the Purcell team working on the refurbishment of Grade I Listed Manchester Town Hall, where she is also responsible for several educational outreach programmes that add social value to the project, alongside work as a visiting tutor at Manchester School of Architecture.
Prior to her involvement with the Town Hall project, Vanessa worked on a variety of projects spanning across different sectors, specialising in large cultural schemes such as Battersea Power Station and Drapers’ Hall, and smaller scale residential/mixed use projects before relocating to Manchester to undertake her Masters degree, where her joint thesis project was nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal Award (2017).
Posted 1 Mar 2021 22:51
As the core of our project is focused on the recycling of materials, our ambitions are to negate the long-term effects of waste, impacting our natural environment.
We look to alter the existing trends of the wasteful disposal from construction sites, often leading to nothing more than landfill. These materials then act as a pollutant to the built environment, and we no longer benefit from the embodied carbon of past construction. By eliminating construction waste, and researching and developing methods in how to sustainably re-use them, we can contribute to the circular economy and look after our planet.
We aim to promote the reuse of seemingly redundant material and foster a dialogue with the community, to encourage others to think beyond day to day recycling.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 23:59
Matthew previously studied at the School of Architecture in Leeds, he has worked in practices throughout England whilst moving cities, from Exeter, to Sheffield, to Leeds. He has joined the Manchester School of Architecture and is in the &rchitecture Atelier. Matthew is passionate about reclaiming, reusing, and recycling materials to continue his interest into sustainable design. His skills involve, Drawing, 3d Modelling, Visual Rendering.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:28
Hello! Welcome to our RE-USE project in collaboration with Purcell architects.
The past two years I have worked in a small practice in St. Ives, Cornwall... where flip flops in the winter is a thing! I have gained experience working with projects such as the renovation of a 52-room victorian hotel, as well as working with larger community driven regeneration schemes.
I have developed over the years, an appreciation for how data management can greatly enhance resilience of architectures. By understanding, and utilising information management, one can begin to predict and design systesms that offer the architect a new stream of design possibilities. It is of the up most importannce in these times to use the tools we have available to be able to design unrestricted, whilst ensuring the industry commits to increasing the sustainability of our growing built environment.
Away from from design, I enjoy reading, learning new languages and getting out and about traveling the world for art and culture. What's your favourite gallery?
Posted 2 Mar 2021 02:12
For the first day, we set the task to introduce ourselves by letting an object that we own do most of the talking. Each student then entered into a fun conversation about all of the fun and interesting backgrounds that we all bring to the group.
Posted 11 May 2021 11:10
The first day of the MSA LIVE event saw the MArch and the BA look into and research the possibilities for architecures that incorporate reused elements. Such examples include discarded pallets, plastic chairs and even ceramic tiles.
The aim of this task was to investigate possible areas for further exploration, to help answer the question as to how we can be more sustainable as future architects.
Posted 11 May 2021 11:10
Today, we researched and discussed the impacts that construction and building material waste has on the environment. We set ourselves some key questions to answer about existing material waste in construction to help reason as to why this area of research is needed and to help guide the project.
It became evident that waste from the construction and demolition of buildings is a large contributor to our landfills. This became a key area of concern, as architecture student we believe that we should be trying to not only produce sustainable designs but make the whole life-cycle of a building sustainable, from concept to construction and into its future or re-use.
Posted 11 May 2021 22:56
We followed this up by researching specific materials and how they can be re-used, and the issues that occur when trying to re-incorporate them, such as; damage, contamination and redundancy. This will inform our continued research of the Manchester Town Hall conservation project, and the material waste that has been produced during its development.
Posted 11 May 2021 22:56
DID YOU KNOW?
400 million tonnes of material is used every year in the construction industry, with over 100 million being produced as wasted.
With the BA, we looked into the affects of material consumption within the UK. Although considered one of the leaders in the world for sustainable building, there is still a significant waste problem.
Posted 11 May 2021 23:33
The MArch introduced to the BA the concept of 'cradle to cradle' and the RIBA 'retro-fit for the future' schemes. Both of these ideas intend to provoke the questions of material waste and ultimate long terms sustainability of our built environment.
'Cradle to Cradle' the primary source for the BA seeks to illustrate the full life cycle of materials and products. It questions, how can items be disassemble, and how easily can they be re used. The concept introduces the sentiment that for all of the objects that we use, their materials should be seen as 'borrowed' rather than use. If you cannot return the materials back to the earth, is it really susstainable?
Posted 13 May 2021 11:15
DID YOU KNOW?
Material consumption alone in architecture accounts for appoximately 55% of total produced emissions in the UK, and contributes to 50% of the total C02 emissions globally.
Our built environment is demandind more of our planet. We are using materials at an accelerating rate, however, it is still often cheaper to scrap the old and buy in the new. where would we put all of our waste if this were to continue?
Posted 13 May 2021 13:20
DID YOU KNOW?
Posted 14 May 2021 12:10
We should be designing for demolition, and planning for a systematic sorting of materials during disassembly to make it easier to repurpose them.
Here we found that often the architectural design process is rewarded if the product is deemed sustainable at the point of completion. However, we see many buildings laden with tonnes of plastics and non re-usable materials. This should be factored into whether a building can be deemed sustainable in the full lifecycle of the building, and its materials.
Posted 17 May 2021 22:08
The second week sees the BA work toward implementing their material frameworks in designing a temporary pavilion for outside of the Town Hall, utilising Albert Square.
Both teams set out to brainstorm and gather precedent, with the help of the MArch, to create a brief, a material pallet, and a flow diagram for how their pavilions can be built, and how the materials are then re used thereafter.
Posted 17 May 2021 23:12
The MArch students turned their attentions toward setting the basis for the MSA LIVE publication. The discussion revolved around what was the message that we wanted to send.
Check back later in the week to see how we got on!
Posted 18 May 2021 13:08
The penultimate day saw both of the BA teams ready their final designs for thier temporary pavilions. Both teams chose to base their designs on materials reclaimed from the town hall.
Posted 20 May 2021 12:05
'Architects know this stuff, but those down the line will tend to resist it, we have a lot of work to do'
In essence, the findings are that architects need to equip themeself with the knowledge to persuade and enforce sustainability in their designs. Not just in the construction, but also in their inevitable deconstruction.
Posted 20 May 2021 14:26
As we bring the two weeks to a close, we want to share three key points to remember when thinking about designing more sustainably, without resorting to tick box excersises or greenwashing.
1. Reuse - Seek to design with the end demoltion in mind. The building materials should be re-usable after the building no longer suits the future living requirements.
2. Reclaim - In any retrofit, seek to use any material you may find suitable before any demolition. Any usuable items of materials value can be used within the new project. Floor boards, bricks, roofing tiles to name a few.
3. Recycle - Often the most used, but ensure what can be recycled does infact get recycled. Limit the processes required in order to seperate materials. Plastics may be recyclable, but often never are.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:48
To conclude, here we share a copy of our final publication submission to bring this event to a close. We that everyone who has worked toward this, and hope that all the insight gained will be carried forward.