New Storage Stories

Proposal Description, Programme Narrative.

Pat’s new story…

How her role might change through the new proposal building…

How to replace the view?

‘The view from the window of the new school prep room would never have been as spectacular.

The proposal strategy opens up many possibilities about how the most spectacular store and prep room in Edinburgh might be replaced by an interactive meaningful space that uses the objects within to capture and store memories as well as objects. Adolf Loos’ domestic spaces focused on the exclusion of the window, literally obscuring any view and internalising the gaze within the building, heightening the relationships between the inhabitant, the ‘spectator’ and the surface areas and objects that framed the activities. His clever spatial arrangements are analysed in the sketches. The voids and passages put observation and participation at the centre of the house. Similarly, the proposal offers and opportunity for Pat’s job to evolve and become increasingly significant as the new Home Economics department becomes more complex and the relationships between objects, ingredients and people grow stronger. The interest would be shifted from the exterior to observation and participation in the interior.

Pat’s New Role

Pat’s role might become more of a supervisor for the entire area throughout the day as pupils and teachers use different spaces throughout the day. Cooking units are open for use throughout the day, providing the supervisor is alerted and pupils can eat together in areas that aren’t being used, using cooking units set away from the main class areas.

The store room and preparation areas are situated in the wide number of cupboards and shelf space that greatly increase the store surface area available. The level changes and spatial arrangements mean Pat could choose a new favourite location to prep the vegetables. As interesting and changeable on a day to day basis as the Firth of Forth, the different classes and pupils that use the space throughout the day mean the windows could be all but forgotten.

Preparation and tagging become crucial jobs. Referring to previous lessons to help teacher’s plan lessons and ingredient requirements, helping tag and record new stories and activities in their respected locations and updating the tag recipe book are all important to the smooth functioning of the space.


New Storage Stories Narrative:

It is noticeable from the analysis of the sections and the plans that activities in the classroom are more or less concentrated, but the activities across the department are dispersed over a wider area. Of course, the movements are determined by their locality and the fact that some happen in one room, whereas others cross several spaces.

However, a re-proposal of the strategy enables these common activities to be concentrated in the space, socio-object relationships become the heart and focal point in the space, from leaving bags in lockers, putting aprons on to the preparation of vegetables and storing pots.

Tagging and recording the interactions with objects as part of a lesson or routine adds a depth of information to the spaces, that can inform future use.

The proposal of new space design puts the cooking and preparation together in learning areas, whilst allowing a communal engagement between the cooking of food, the enjoyment of providing and eating together and heightening awareness of consumption.

Architecturally, the space is opened up, the large volume over the dining hall is used, expanding the volume of the space used and allowing the majority of the first floor of the home economics department to be removed and situated elsewhere within the site.

Cabinets, that could be produced by Design Technology students, partition stud-walls and scaffolding based structures provide solid structures for the first floor. The form and locations of the units are determined by the evolutionary and recorded use of space and interactions with objects between the pupils and the staff within the dining hall and the home economics classes. The analysis of the stories and spatial diagrams give the user and architect a means to focus design and aid discussions to concentrate activities together to create an effective space. The space has the potential to be altered during holidays if alterations or changes need to be made, perhaps depending on the topics the students are studying.

Architectural/Educational relationship:

Architectural space derived on a semi-permanent floor, partition and storage areas.

Educational and Spatial Policy

User-led programmatic space design through socio-material relationships and the social nature of cooking and consumption.  Self-sufficient (autonomous supply). Removal of commercial kitchen in place of space to provide and cook own produce, communally.

Extended/Increased awareness of consumption, able to affect and influence the journey of consumptive products. Recording use in space, storing events and memories on location influences future use and analysis. Extended learning, with the student’s ability to cook for themselves.

Hospitality for public events. Adolf Loos, influence of surfaces, voids and elevation changes in domesticated spaces.

Use of space determined by user, semi-permanent structures. Change in permanence of structures in dining hall, evolved storage room function.

Meaningful interactions between people, objects and space, visible and at the heart of the school philosophy. Re-positioned fabric classrooms.

Separate spaces for less experienced cooks and theory lessons on upper level. Increasing complexity and improved functionality through a didactic, gradual functional evolution.

Context/Symbolic/Semiotic relationship:

Volume extended, Home economics integrated to domesticate communal space, free and open policy of use and interpretation. Views are internalised. The secondary functions of objects is at the forefront of spatial rememberence, function and arrangement.

Object relationship:

More permanent function of dining hall leads to evolution of storage to provide for individual cooking areas. Increased surface area for objects and integrated influence on spatial/programmatic use.

Recorded use aid revision and learning process in a stimulating environment. Store room managers employed instead of catering staff, to maintain stores and supervise use during lunch times.

Socio-material relationship:

Visible, active participatory use, recording of use and interaction between space, objects, products and people. Hospitality and social relations improved and become part of school environment.

Evolving relationship of preparation/store room assistant, recording and providing items in a wider area outside of store room. Increased surface area and incidental positioning



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