Researching and Analysing a Medium or Human Scale Case Study
I created a document that illustrates my understanding of the concept of medium scale in relation to a built interior space. As previously documented, I chose a building local to me which I researched both in person and online. I took photographs and found images online to back up my research. That building is a restaurant and farm shop called The Trough. I have analysed the space, researched information about when the building was made and the materials used both externally and internally. Whilst researching the building I made notes to remind myself of what information I would need to compile my presentation document. I have then applied by constructive criticism of the spaces and presented the work in an A3 document format.
I have carried out some research of a building that is local to me. The building is a restaurant and farm shop called The Trough, it illustrates my understanding of medium scale. The Trough was designed and built in 2016 by local Architects BoonBrown. Constructed in a rustic palette of ham stone, reclaimed roofing tiles and untreated timber boarding, the building sits sympathetically alongside the traditional farm. The Trough is part of a continuous farm diversification project and involved constructing a new farm shop and cafe within the land area of the existing working Longcroft Farm. The development has been created to provide the local area with a permanent and uniquely beautiful venue in the heart of the Somerset countryside to sell local farm produce and a restaurant for bespoke event parties and function. Alongside the family run restaurant is The Farmyard, an ideal place to enjoy peace and beauty of the countryside without forsaking the comforts of modern living. The architect designed apartments sit in a quiet spot a stones throw away from The Trough and enjoy the same beautiful surroundings.
The original building was built in 2016 and consisted of one open plan restaurant and bar space, a kitchen for preparing the food and WC’s all within the same building, externally finished with a mixture of timber cladding and stone.
A Glass box was then added to the existing building in 2022 enlarging the space to include a dining area, adding an extra 5m2, made up of a mixture of timber cladding, modern glass panels and brick, which sculpt the exterior. Internally clad walls with up-cycled timber and polished concrete floors add to the character alongside a cast concrete bar with polished top.
The owner’s family have been farming in Somerset for seven generations and each generation has shared the passion for farming. Over the years they have developed and added diversity to the farm of which their grass fed Longhorn cross Devon herd live and in turn produce incredibly flavoursome and naturally lean meat which they serve at The Trough.
As I approach the building, my first impression is how the design has considered the landscape that it sits within. The palette and materials of natural colours in the building sit pleasantly in its surroundings. The views around the building are breathtaking, you can see open countryside for miles. It is no surprise that the interior has a wonderful mix of earthy tones alongside rich greens and yellows. Floral patterns and moody lighting amplify the rich atmosphere. There is a variety of seating, they are functional and inter changeable. The venue offers a space for parties and functions and so the seating and tables can be moved around to suit. This is a clever idea, they are not limiting themselves to a certain clientele and pride themselves on offering a warm welcome and a delicious dining experience to whoever books or pops by.
Human scale is fully illustrated in the design interior and exterior of The Trough. If I start with the exterior, as you drive into the carpark area, there is so much space for parking, which I think is a really important factor when creating a building for visitors. It can be so frustrating when you turn up to a cafe or restaurant and you need to consider parking further away.
The interior, starting with the entrance double doors, have been designed for wheelchair access with a flat pathway leading up to them. Once inside, you can either turn left to enter the huge dining room area or turn right to the cafe/bar area, farm shop and toilets. The concrete serving bar wraps around to include both spaces, which is accessed via a polished concrete floor. Everywhere you look there is colour and style, warmth in the wood panelling and black casement windows to capture the panoramic view. The variety in seating offers lounge chairs, upright leather seating, velour upholstered chairs and comfy relaxing snug areas, something for everyone. The black casement doors open up on to a patio area where you can enjoy dining al fresco in the warmer months.
The space is functional and has been designed to cater for a high volume of visitors. The polished concrete floor runs throughout the whole building, there is even polished concrete sinks in the WC’s with the Trough emblem engraved on them, the attention to detail is evident throughout.
Yes, my understanding of scale has changed since completing Unit One. After receiving feedback from my tutor, it became clear that I didn’t fully understand the meaning of each scale. For micro scale, I was researching miniature scale, whereas I needed to be looking at the detail of how part of a space is made. I understand human scale much better, but I still continued to refer to my tutor’s recommendations. As for macro scale, I understand now that it’s looking at how the space sits within its environment, as I’m studying interior spaces this would take into account a space within a space. I looked back at my findings and read my work to refresh my memory on my findings and reflection.
Before starting Unit Two, this process was really helpful to do, it reminded me how I misunderstood micro scale and how to understand it properly.
On Monday I attended a design sketching workshop with the OCA, I am hoping to attend the majority of these as they are a brilliant way of building my confidence with sketching. My tutor was leading the workshop and explained every step brilliantly.
We started with mark making and specifically learning to use the same pencil but making lighter and darker lines, this will help when drawing interior spaces. For this exercise I used a 2B pencil, it was an interesting workshop. We sketched an image of an interior in a few minutes, panic usually sets in but I attempted to keep everything to scale, a few areas to work on.
We were then guided through sketching a plan and a section of the Pantheon in Rome, an architectural wonder. My drawings are not to scale or even near perfect but the workshop helped me reinforce my understanding of drawing a building and a section.
Lastly, we practised one point perspective. I haven’t needed to draw a room for a while so this was good practise, a reminder to make those lighter pencil marks to guide you when adding walls, flooring and furniture. Adding fine liner pen adds depth and brings the image to life.
My third image that represents LARGE scale is of the courtyard interior at the British Museum. I was reading a book that I ordered, Form & Structure, Basics Interior Architecture and this image caught my eye. On further investigation online, I read that an architectural competition to redesign the courtyard space was launched with the aim of revealing hidden spaces, revising old spaces and creating new spaces. There was more than 130 entries, the eventual winner was Foster and Partners.
The British Museum was constructed between 1823 and 1859 by Sir Robert Smirke and is today one of London’s main tourist attractions.
The redesign of the Great Court with it’s magnificent glass and steel roof –made from 3,212 panes of glass (no two of which are the same) – began in September 1999 and was opened to the public in 2000. The space now allows the previously hidden space to be seen once again, no longer lost to the general public. His design was loosely based on the Reichstag copula design, his main aim was for the public to take every step in the Great Court offering a different view of the surroundings. The two elliptical staircases that surround the great circular reading room provide access to the restaurant and gallery, whilst offering visitors the chance to observe the activities in the courtyard. Once completed it gave visitors the chance to move freely around the main floor of the Museum, offering a covered public space featuring as a crucial component part of a pedestrian route from the new British Library at St. Pancras, down through the Great Court, and on to Trafalgar Square.
I found a great sketch online, showing where two worlds of designs collide, in an amazing way. The roof stands 26.3 metres above the floor at its highest point, to give it a little more context it’s nearly as tall as six of London’s double-decker buses. The Great Court is a two-acre space enclosed by a spectacular glass roof with the world-famous Reading Room in the middle enjoyed by thousands of people each year. A great large scale example of how good design of buildings within a space really does work.
My second image that represents MEDIUM scale is of a living room in a top floor duplex with views overlooking a trendy part of Paris. A three floor to ceiling property where Felipe Oliveira Baptista, a fashion executive and his wife, Severine, reside. When they were hunting for a flat in the city of Paris, they wanted a panorama view, this property was perfect for them.
The view overlooks the Saint Georges neighbourhood in Paris. The tall glazed windows and doors lead out to a wrap around balcony overlooking Neoclassical buildings. It is a beautiful setting by day but a real spectacle by night. Austrian blinds dress the enormous windows, framing the view, the room offers comfortable seating alongside different styles of side tables. The seating is modular which means it can be configured differently with ease, perfect in the size of the space.
The neoclassical colour palette has been used well amongst the furniture and paint, very in keeping with the style of property. I love their names, Jelly Bean Blue, Independence, Spicy Mix, Terra Cotta and Peach-Orange.
This image represents medium scale compared to the other two because the space has been designed and considered around people, the room is filled with the furniture that allows people to sit on the seating facing either the window view, the chimney breast or the entrance to another room whilst still being able to interact with another person who might also be seated. The combination and layout of seating allows people to relax and chat to one another. The high ceiling promotes a sense of spaciousness complimented by the elegance of the Austrian blinds. The floor space opens up around the seating to the double doors before taking in the panoramic view. There are different options of where to sit, whether it’s with the sun shining in or in the cool of the shade. The seating style caters for all sizes of humans whilst offering style and sophistication. Around the seating area is carpet, a soft feeling under foot would give the visitor a calm experience.
For this exercise I have found three different interior images that illustrate a different idea of scale in small, medium and large. In the previous unit I found three images on the internet but this time I chose to find three images in books and magazines instead. This way I’m taking the time to look at other mediums and I feel this will encourage me to examine and analyse differently. The internet definitely has its uses but I’m finding more recently that I also enjoy flicking through a magazine and researching by reading books. The knowledge that I have already built whilst doing this course has helped me understand the concepts of scale and I find myself looking at interior images differently, I’m seeing past the objects and furniture in the space, although these items have an important part to play in the space, I analyse spaces in a way that I’ve never done before. I take into account the way the designer has considered different challenges or not considered them very well and how the space functions.
My first image that represents SMALL scale is of a pebble mosaic floor. I found this image whilst reading an issue of The World of Interiors, my go to for daily inspiration. The hexagonal vestibule with a pebble mosaic floor is centred on a compass with belongs to La Colle Noire, a chateaux in Provence, owned and designed by Christian Dior.
Dior had a fascination for the mystical world and when he was aged 14, a palm reader predicted he would go from rags to riches, with women being the source of his success. Before his first meeting with an investor, he tripped on a star shaped metal trinket that was discarded on a street in Paris. He took this as a signal to start his own label, this then led to Dior’s mystical world fascination, which is evident in his designs.
The interior space is hexagonal in shape which immediately evokes feelings connected to nature and balance. The walls have pilastered architecture elements, which give the appearance of supported columns. Your eyes are then drawn to the calade floor. Dior designed the pebble mosaic in the form of a pink and grey compass, which also refers to the colours of his childhood home, Les Rhumbs in Granville, Normandy. I like to think that he would have acquired the pebbles from the local river valleys, gorges and coastland that Provence is known for.
Micro scale applies to this image because it’s showing how multiple smaller items have been added to create the floor. It was designed by Christian Dior purposely in the style of a compass because of his fascination for the mystical world. Stone dust is a byproduct of crushed stone, limestone being the local stone in Provence, which would be a layer on top of gravel and sand, then cement is mixed for the pebbles to sit in and once firm will set around them. This diagram shows how fine mist water is added and brushed using a paint brush to smooth out areas, a piece of timber or spirit level will be used to make sure the pebbles are level.
The floor is a stand out piece, it sits in the entrance to the chateaux which will be met immediately by visitors. It sets a precedent for the rest of the property which is equally beautiful. I love how the floor is of huge scale and speaks for itself, the space doesn’t need pieces of furniture or colour to shape or contain it, it’s doing its job, making an impression all on it’s own. It’s also such a natural material, it can remain a statement for many years to come without much looking after, it won’t need cleaning regularly as the materials are natural and will wear over time, a very sustainable interior space.
Having completed the assessment process for Unit One, I then took a break from my studies for a couple of weeks, during which time I enrolled and spoke with my new tutor to get a heads up on what to expect within unit two. It was a really helpful conversation and I also found out what is on the reading list for this unit, I have ordered the books from a used book site online, all three books at a fraction of the price you would pay for brand new, absolute bargains! There’s something valuable in buying a used book, somebody else has used it for similar reasons, I’m now giving it a new home and in time will pass it on for another person to do the same. So I’m looking forward to receiving them in the post this week, I’m excited to have books to refer to, something I can carry around from place to place, which will be a light relief from the computer screen. I find that reading books helps me relax and calms my mind. More books to add to my collection since doing this course, my bookshelf is looking very colourful and cultural.
I know that the next unit is called Medium – Design at a Human Scale and I’m hoping that it will be made up of similar exercises to unit one but looking at how human scale works within a space. I’m looking forward to digging deeper when it comes to my research. Once I had gathered my research for the last unit for assessment, I realised that my research wasn’t as in-depth as maybe I would have liked. For this unit I will learn to slow down and try and exhaust all avenues of research before moving on to the next exercise. I have written reminders on post-it notes and put them on the wall, this way I will get in to the habit of reading them, a bit like a check list. When I’m gathering research I will also remember to give my reasons, which I know will expand my knowledge. My own thoughts and analysis will continue to help me understand and think critically, I must build on this area too as I work through this part of the course.
I’m also hoping to expand my research by visiting interior spaces, exhibitions, galleries and meeting like minded people. It would be great to connect with more students too, hopefully there will be some more organised events that we can attend this year. Alongside my studies I am finding ways of creating a professional social media platform where I can share my work and improve my skills in readiness for working in the design field, I am looking forward to diving in!
This was my final assignment of the unit, I will reflect on the feedback from my tutor.
My tutor was pleased to see the culmination of the project and how there is evidence of a push in considering the graphic presentation of my work, the fonts/colours are stylish and well-suited. There are still areas for improvement, in-particular the layout, I will consider these and make the relevant changes.
My tutor would have liked to have seen my images presented larger and more structured. I didn’t add the 3D exploded diagram image, which I will add as it explains the laser cut panel assembly. My tutor noted that I have considered the colour, font and layout throughout my booklet. She has given me some guidance with how to sequence my document in a better way, which I will look at doing also. I must also consider how the research can be documented in more depth with further drawings and annotations.
As a whole, this unit was fun to do. I have been on a journey learning how to present work at a more professional level starting with creating my own model village brochure. From the title of the unit I was expecting to learn more about detail in design, which I have done, from researching and visiting a model village gave me a better understanding of scale. My second assignment, I looked at more detail of a light fitting. I still struggled at this point drawing a section and so I revisited the drawing and gained a better understanding of how to draw a section, this will help as I continue to communicate my design ideas throughout the course. Assignment four was definitely the best one yet. I feel that I have been given all of the tools to research and create my own 3D model. My tutor was pleased with my presentation and encouraged me to continue to build upon my knowledge and research skills.
Now time to collate the information for Assessment, wish me luck!
I gained access to text from An Essential Guide for Understanding and Applying Page Design Principles (2012) Quarto Publishing Group by Amy Graver and Ben Jura, Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Grids and Page Layouts. It was a really helpful document, it helped me to understand grids and page structure and how to organise content and images. It showed me how to be consistent with layouts and how to create focal points.
Having read this publication and referring to the text, I made notes in my notebook to help me with a starting point in creating my design layout. I also referred to a website that was in one of my earlier exercises, ISSUU.com, a very helpful site where anyone can upload their work and it gets transformed into a digital publication. I uploaded my final assignment and can see how it looks as a booklet, you can turn the pages, digitally and gauge how it looks with regards to borders and margins. It gives you a much better understanding of how the reader will see your work. There are areas I need to brush up on, which I will do before assessment.
My project book will be A3 landscape format, it will include a title page, a contents page and conclude with a comprehensive communication of the finished final design of my piece of fitted furniture. Within this book I will include my research of design precedents, my inspiration behind the design, the site analysis, the design development through sketches and drawings, photographs and my emotional 3D model. I must also try and use several different media to communicate my design, this way I am demonstrating my design development over the course of this particular unit.
I used Indesign to create my project book, but not before researching other designers project books. I was initially looking for similar colours and shapes that I have within my own design i.e. brickwork wall and organic shapes. I needed to consider page layout, typography, colour and how I would create a flawless page of images taken on my camera? I set to researching that very question. I then remembered we had research other students project books and portfolios a few exercises back. I referred back to this link and set about searching for pages with flawless images on, I wanted to create a page where images from another piece of software were placed without seeing a frame or box around them. It took me some time to find out how to achieve this look, but eventually I did!
This example below shows how the edges almost sit on the page without too much of a colour difference. I worked on changing the images within my iPhone via the Notes App, within this app you can scan your work in your notebook and then adjust the image by changing the contrast, brightness and saturation, producing translucent images, that look much more professional.
I found a template that I liked the colour combination of and set about adding my work to the relevant pages. I played about with different fonts and eventually found one I loved, there are so many to choose from! I was also keeping in mind hierarchy, something my tutor has noted was missing in a few areas of my work. I changed some of the pages to a brick colour and decided to alternate the pages, to add some interest, I didn’t want every page to have the same theme of colour, but I knew that I wanted the text the same size, to give it some consistency. By creating this look hopefully my booklet will look coherent. My book contains 8 pages that are made up as follows;
A title page
A table of contents
Emotional connection in 3D form
Throughout this process I was conscious of trying different mediums to present my work. I sketched with pencil on paper. I took photographs. I used Autocad to create technical drawings. I also used Autocad for my finished design, which I was not happy with. I attempted drawing my design using Procreate on the iPad, I’m just not comfortable with this way of drawing. I then decided to sketch with a pencil on paper and use black fine liner to make it stand out before adding colour using pencils.
After adjusting each image that I sketched on paper, to remove the edges, I added them to the relevant page and gave them a title. My tutor noted that I should present the images in a way that the reader can understand, show the journey and improvement of ideas. When adding photographs of my 3D model I felt the need to add a poem, I’ve never done this before but for some reason it felt right to do so. The poem confirms my thoughts and ideas behind the 3D design.