The future of architecture as reflection of the past through traditional materiality.
Influential English painter and art critic, John Ruskin, pushed back against what he saw as the dehumanizing experience of industrial cities. He argued for "objects and buildings that reflected the hand of the craftsman and drew from nature for inspiration". The notion of ‘dehumanizing experience’ fit perfectly in Manchester as one of the earliest industrial cities in the world, hence, this project proposed a rehumanization study on high rise commercial building by taking natural environment as inspiration to present healthy working experience through biophilic design.
Biophilic design is the concept used within the building to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the application of nature by respecting the mind-body systems (cognitive, physiology and psychology) as indicators of health and well-being in the context of appropriateness and responsiveness. To develop the theory into practice, this high rise project implemented extensive network of bamboo as the skin of the building. Bamboo once thought of as the building material of the poor, is used for its structural strength, lightweight, low carbon footprint, economic and aesthetic quality. Each panels of the skin are combination of 10 layers of bamboo façade superimposed on one another and the patterns formed are responsive to the sun angles (azimuth and altitude) in different times a day on every season (temperatures) generated by Grasshopper software. It results in variability of ambience as the complexity of the patterns created dynamic and diffused light throughout the day, which leads the occupants to be more creative, productive and active in their respective space.
Named ‘The Medlock Tower’ as it is located opposite to Medlock Junction, this project is proposed to prove that healthy experience of working environment can be stimulate by traditional materials.