Show and Tell

Your proposal, entitled “Show & Tell”, has an interesting open plan design, throughout which an emphasis
is placed on a very spatial connection between making, looking and working. How do you see these spaces
complementing each other in practice?

The act of making, and the sharing of ideas are at the core of our proposal. The satisfaction of making is a necessary part of being human, and modern “flexible working” environments do not always enable the dedicated space, nor time required to do things well. The medieval workshop, nurtured the tradition of craft, allowing scope to care about materials and methods of construction, and the sharing of ideas. Craft is not about quick transactions or easy victories, it requires time for reflection and self critique. Through the development of social skills and co-operation, our social relations can help us pay attention to what we are doing. Ideas and ways of making flourish more easily in
settled social spaces, therefore tangible anchors are required. The sculptured timber prototype and presentation structure is the fulcrum, providing a workshop with shared fabrication facilities, that most start-ups would not normally have access to. There is also an opportunity for Artisan in Residence, such as a local craftsman or artist to occupy and manage the workshop space. They may provide mentoring and assistance to other occupants, draw new visitors to the workshop, or create site specific interventions and exhibitions.

The auditorium steps form the workshop structure, providing a forum, not only for outside lectures and presentations, but for teams within the workshop to come together, present and discuss their work. Dedicating time to design review is a valuable discipline, as well as learning and getting feedback from others, especially for small businesses and start-ups which can too often operate in isolation. The dedicated work spaces sit behind the monolithic gallery wall, arranged to create a selection of individual secure spaces and more flexible areas. Semi translucent screens provide security and acoustic separation between the workspaces, but keep them visually connected. The gallery space wraps around, and through, these actives. Offering a variety of spaces to display art, from painting and sculpture, to soundscapes and video installations. Introducing visitors, not only to the finished artwork on display, but more importantly to the creative process and art of making.

Left Image: NR1 Riverside, Norwich

London-based architectural practice Type3 have been shortlisted for their proposal: “Show & Tell”.

With a bold and spacious floor plan, with glass ceiling revealing auditoria, gallery, workshop, and communal spaces from above, it is a proposal that certainly lends itself to such a name. The design is based on transparency across disciplines and creates a flowing space where gallery and work spaces coexist comfortably with each other and their wider surroundings.