Client: Muslim Council of Britain - MCB (proposed)
Location: Trafalgar Square, London, U.K.
Dates: 27th June - 28th July 2014
Description: The Pop-Up mosque is a concept piece exploring the potential for expanding the techniques used in the Hayam Sun Temple into an urban scale and context.
The structure would emerge on site in Trafalgar Square, Central London, over the course of the month of Ramadan and end with the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr.
Ramadan is a time of heightened spirituality for people of Islamic faith and during this period the building would serve as a place of worship for London’s expanding Muslim population. While the building’s creation is for a religious purpose the site would be open to all faiths and it is hoped the structure would bring people of all walks of life together through the magnificent beauty of Islamic geometry.
Client: Black Rock City LLC (proposed)
Location: Black Rock City, Nevada, U.S.A
Dates: 25th August – 3rd September 2013
Description: The Liquid Crystal concept is a wall of water prisms that creates a time based experience by dispersing the light of the sun as it travels through the sky into fantastic awe-inspiring rainbow patterns that move across the desert floor from sunrise to sunset.
During the night a simple lighting rig is used to project moving beams of light onto the wall to produce specific refraction patterns across the Playa. At night these light patterns can involve human interaction by the inclusion of movement sensors to create a responsive crystal wall that lights up and projects rainbows based on the movement of people around it.
This installation has been inspired by the phenomenon of the 'Ice Halo' - when tiny crystals of ice in the sky create huge halos of light and rainbows across the sky . The original starting point had been the study of snowflakes and their formation and extreme diversity, their magical quality and luminescence. This led to a closer study of prism shaped crystals and the refraction of light.
The intention of the crystal wall is to bring the halos and rainbows 'from the stars down to the sand' - to make that ethereal and ephemeral experience into something more tangible and longer lasting yet equally beautiful and on a human scale. Ice halos and rainbows are elusive and out of reach; this installation is designed to make them accessible, to immerse the spectator and participant in a mystical experience, to place them within the rainbow.
Sacred Prison - Concept
Description:This project explores the idea of a spiritual prison.
The architecture of a prison can be likened to that of the medieval monastery; the monastery sought to remove all private and material distractions in order to focus on spiritual enrichment. ‘A plain cell and minimal possessions encouraged meditation on the transcendent, while intricate rituals involving precious objects, the enactment of mysteries and the communion of prayer, asserted the triumph of the spiritual over the temporal... ...from the solitude of the plain cell the monk or nun came to this in a setting of magnificent and soaring architecture’.
However in a prison a plain cell is rarely in a magnificent setting, and is unlikely to stimulate spiritual enrichment, rather the opposite: ‘a cell whose plainness emphasizes exclusion, social stigma and lack of trust’. In other words the typical prison cell is a place that is stripped of anything that might be aesthetically pleasing, a soulless space which negatively affects personal relations and self perception and increases alienation. This kind of environment is unlikely to be conducive to penal reform.
There appears to have always been a relationship between the reformation of character and finding ‘God' and repenting for your sins. This combination of enlightenment and repentance has often been used as a factor in releasing a convict back into society, as if in finding God - ‘seeing the light’ - they have become a different person, one with high moral value.
Perhaps in designing a prison as a sacred place we can help encourage spiritual awakening and in turn reformation of character in those deemed unfit for society.
N.B. The sacred prison concept is a fictional project imagined in a dystopian society and does not necessarily reflect the views of the designer towards penal reform.
Lyford Road - Residential
Description: Visualisation of a 400 sq m contemporary home situated in Wandsworth, London.
St. Margarets - Residential
Client: GH Developers
Location: St.Margarets, Surrey, U.K.
Description: Redevelopment of a category C1 office space into high end residential housing. The redevelopment consists of 7 new 2 bedroom apartments.