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Ive been trying to use ‘quick’ models to construct an inventory of spaces that need to be included in my building, from the point of view of each its user ‘characters’…

This one is from the point of view of a group of tourists who travel to Heijplaat to go on a cycle tour of the Port – with Nico, the host, acting as guide…

Following the journey from central Rotterdam by water, The tourists arrive at the RDM Campus and walk to Nico’s House along the edge of Heyshaven, an ecologically rich habitat and ‘nature walk’. A sign is probably needed as the visitors pass through the ‘wall’ of the former shipyard buildings to guide visitors; and Nico’s House is about a 5minute walk away. Upon arrival, the tourists see the welcoming public front of Nico’s House, and enter to enquire about the tour.

This public foyer is staffed, and serves many functions. In this case, it is a shop – where prospective cyclists can stock up on snacks and drinks – and an information centre, where maps are available of routes. The foyer has a close relationship to a small workshop and secure storage area where bikes are kept and repaired. Cycle repairs – and managing the cycle-hire operation – are done as part of a training programme for a young person, who probably lives at Nico’s House. The foyer also has access to a WC and to a private access (including disabled access) to the upper stories of Nico’s House where the hostel rooms are.

Upon returning from their guided tour of the ‘Spectacle of the Port’ (big ships, cranes, container mountains, hidden ecology…), the group can relax at Nico’s House, either outside in the rich garden, having a barbecue and bathing in the warmth of the reflected sun on the south facing wall of the building, or if the weather is chilly, inside next to a wood burning stove. They may retire to their dormitory room if they are staying, which although sleeping 4 people, has its own bathroom and secure storage. The hostel rooms face onto the garden and are designed for inclusive access, and in some cases have a view back to the ‘spectacle of the Port’.

I’m going to annotate the above model photographs with a written narrative and ‘zoomed in’ sections to produce a drawing for my portfolio. It may need extending – for example, a vignette showing the ‘apprentice’-style training in the cycle workshop, or a section showing guests of the hostel sharing an evening meal.

I’d like to repeat this exercise for all the user ‘characters’ in my project…but this one has taken 2 and a 1/2 days, and so Im not sure if its possible / feasible with all the other things we have to do! Maybe ill try sketchier versions, aiming to take 1/2 day on each (there are 4 more: Nico (as host) / Resident Family / Resident 16-18 year old / Visiting School group). I think its actually the narrative that is the important tool driving the development of the design.


Annotation to model photographs will be done as below (on A2 sheet)…