Monday, 23 November 2009

The Proposal

After weeks of volunteering at Botton Village and researching different matters, I have pin-pointed a few issues that I think need to be addressed to sustain the community. These issues are:
  • social boundary between the Botton community and other local communities
  • the struggle to attract permanent co-workers and house parents
  • the negative preconception of the community by people not involved with the community
  • the village is perceived as the 'strangest village in Britain'

The voluntary work also gave me insight into how the community works and it seems to me that a routine and equal involvement of each individual is important. Also with the working community, the land and farming is important to the sustainability of the community. Farming follows the principles of Biodynamic Agriculture, and at the moment none of results of following the principles have been proven scientifically because the principles are related to spirits and energy of lunar cycles.

Therefore I propose to design a Institute of Biodynamic Research. This building will be at the forefront of Biodynamic Research which will involve the community. I also plan to generate:

  • a space that can both provide a sterile environment to carry out labaratory tests and provide a workplace for a special community.
  • a place for both the immediate community and surrounding communities to encourage social interaction and sharing of knowledge.
  • to provide a comforting and healthy environment that gives a sense of spirit and energy.
  • a building that portrays the caring and sustainable community as a whole and shows visitors to the village that this community is innovative and inspiring.
  • provides a work and social place for the community.
  • attracts future co-workers and house parents to the village to ensure this is a sustainable community.
  • plays a leading role in the future of sustainable living, building, technology and work.
  • generates an economy that benefits the surrounding communities

Monday, 5 October 2009


I've been on a bike ride today but where am I???????????

Somewhere in Scandinavia you say!!??!! You would think so with the flowing forms and extensive use of timber columns, beams and cladding.
Well actually, if you have read my previous blogs you would of probably guessed Botton Village in the North York Moors, which is of course correct. Although, when I was up there earlier, it did feel very scandinavian. All the most recent buildings that have been built are timber framed and timber clad with slate roofs and discrete photovoltaics and solar hot water panels. I presume that they are discrete to fit with the North York Moors National Parks' conditions as they never like anything to stand proud but to always be hidden away in the context. This way of thinking of course has its pros and cons. There are also some brick buildings from the 1960s-70s and then there's the original stone buildings of the farms and barns in Danby Dale which have now been acquired by the Camphill Community but gladly are still working farms where families live, work and care.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Anthroposophy Architecture

Potentially the home of all the arts, architecture aims to be the unifying element, creating an artistic environment in which human qualities and activities are supported. The challenge is to design a classroom, office, supermarket or airport in such a way that, in addition to providing the necessary material means, the building imparts a sense for the spiritual striving of the community using the building.
Out of such intentions, the organic style has developed and its influence is increasingly seen in mainstream design.

[Above] Botton Village Church which was an award winner by Camphill Architects.

One of the most famous contemporary buildings by an anthroposophical architect is ING House, an ING Bank building in Amsterdam, which was designed by Amsterdam-based Meyer and Van Schooten Architects. This building has been given many awards for its ecological design and approach to a self-sustaining ecology as an autonomous building.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The First Blog.......................

So here we go my 1st blog.

What do I write about? Am I meant to be saying what I've been doing? or am doing? going to do? thinking about? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Ok I've got it.
  • Been doing - Work
  • Doing now - Work
  • Going to do - Work
  • Thinking about - Work

The life of an Architecture Student.

I am currently doing some research for my final year in Grad. Dip. Architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University where I am thinking about doing a project for a Camphill Community in the North York Moors. I am hoping to tackle the difficulties of designing within a National Park, jobs for the local community, providing a sustainable building for a sustainable community and other design issues like disabled access.

The Camphill Community is Botton Village, some of you may of seen it on Britains Wierdest Villages, which was a bad portrayal of the caring community. They currently provide adults who have learning disabilities and mental health problems and other special needs with the support needed to build a fulfilling life which includes home, work, education, friendship, social and cultural opportunities and spiritual inspiration.

What I would like to introduce into this community is a specialist college for young adults aged 16+ with moderate to severe learning disabilities. There are currently 4 Camphill Communities in England and Wales with specialist colleges. Each college has its own atmosphere and approach to education. All aim to develop practical skills for everyday life and stimulate creativity, building confidence and achievement so that students are motivated and in control of themselves. The students develop an established identity, a greater ability to communicate and the self confidence to cope with adult life. Which is important everyone and more so for those with learning disabilities.

A bit of babble, but what does everyone think?