Whilst progressing through my designs, an idea struck to open the school up into being more like a campus. I am investigating the potential of spreading buildings out and removing barriers from the public to make the school more of a social destination for all.
Throughout all of my design processes I am constantly considering form and design in the back of my mind. At this point in time I am only working diagrammatically in order to establish appropriate atmospheres, connections and hierarchy of spaces. However, I remembered the existence of two buildings in Nottingham which partly fit with the separating idea, and fit even more with industrial/ factory theme in the back of my mind.
The buildings in question are the Virgin Active Gym and the adjacent abandoned building behind it, marked on the map below.
The Virgin Active Gym is located inside an old train station and has kept hold of all the architectural features which suggest this. It is a beautiful brick building in which the modern equipment has been carefully juxtaposed to create a wonderful repurposing of the spaces. It shows that the industrial era architecture can transfer very well into the present day and take on new purposes with beauty. This is an inspiring work of renovation which would work with appropriate significance in regards to the history of the school's site.
Below: Photos Or Virgin Active Gym, Nottingham. www.virginactive.co.uk and www.google.com/maps.
This building has been a fascination for me a long time. It is probably one of the most run down buildings in the city, if not the most, but it possesses an immense beauty to it that can't be found elsewhere. The contrast of old brick being supported by modern metal to ultimately house nature is amazing to me. I adore the repeating patterns of the scaffolding and the way that it never breaks outside the shell, as if respecting the building that once was.
This building proves to me how well the combination of old, new and natural works and symbolises this combination in perfection to me. Despite this, for most people it is a forgotten silhouette which sits in the background of the city. From the outside it still fits in perfectly well with the industrial heritage of Nottingham, but the inside tells a completely different story. It is this which I am finding to be such an inspirational connection between my current design ideas and this particular building.
Below are several photos taken by myself of the abandoned building.