Design takes it form in many ways depending on the needs of the project. Sometimes it is all about the major planning arrangement of space and function, sometimes a project requires careful consideration of form/material and how they meet; then sometimes you have a project where the typology or budget limit the means to input expression that goes beyond the easiest/cheapest solution.
Recent projects have led us to explore design consideration in all areas of the project, regardless of scale, material, function and budget. An example of this was the recent sports hall in Normanton. Functionally, the space required a robust steel portal frame - a building typology that that has been done thousands of times before in sheds across the country. How can we add ‘design’ to an already proven industrial model?
The answer was to look at the steel detailing, and establish hierarchy. There are many architects who choose to highlight structural steel with colour, which we did in this case - but limited it to just the portal frames giving them visual significance over the other steel. The next move was to shift the plane of the purlin louvers to outside the line of the portal frame. This reinforced the importance of the portal, and creates the impression of a continuous external facade where one does not exist.