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1:200 Interactive Site Model

As part of our master planning for Furnace Park, we produced a 1:200 site model of Furnace Park and the surrounding area together with a tool-kit of parts, primarily based on our pallet structures, to help facilitate the planning of this summer’s events programme.

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The tool-kit includes 3 gridded overlays for the site, one based from a pallet-grid, a 4m grid and a 10m grid. The idea behind this is not to suggest stripping the site back or taming the wildscape, but to look at Furnace Park in closer detail, much like the way ecologists use square grids to map plant species or changes in abundance. Once the site is opened, more site specific analysis could be undertaken by University students or interested parties to determine the exact locations of vegetation and hard-standing, and map the permanent elements onto the site model.

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Even without this final level of detail, the kit of parts, including a-frames, benches, tables, market stalls, planters, shipping containers, larger canopies and 1:200 model people for easier understanding of scale, can be used by stakeholders, such as university students and interested local activity groups, workers and residence, with SKINN or Plasticities, to propose events for the summer events programme in March and plan them out spatially.

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Guides to the Pallet Structures

The pdf guides for all our pallet-based designs for Furnace Park are now available online! Work straight from your laptop, or print the pages you require.

The Prop

The Workhorse

The Sloucher

The Mule
These guides aim to provide low cost infrastructure for urban wildscapes. They have been designed for ease of construction and material sourcing. We hope that these guides will provide a starting point for people to construct elements for different events at Furnace Park as and when required, allowing the site to evolve gradually as the community commons develops, with little waste created as a result.

We also hope that these elements will be built upon, with new or more complex designs added through 1:1 testing on site, by interested individuals and through workshop events.

Happy Constructing!

Guide to the Pallet Bench

The pdf guide for the Sloucher bench we constructed for Furnace Park is now available online! Work straight from your laptop, or print the pages you require.

The Sloucher

Come and test out the Sloucher this evening at CADS, and share in our visions for Furnace Park.

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Exhibiting Proposals for Furnace Park

‘Introducing Furnace Park’

Wednesday 31st October 2012

6:00pm onwards

@ CADS, 7 Smithfield, St Vincents, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 7AR

Over the past 6 weeks 13 students from the Sheffield School of Architecture have collaborated with SKINN and plastiCities as part of the School of Architecture’s ‘live project’ innovation to progress the vision for the disused urban wild-space, Furnace Park in Shalesmoor.  Although the focus of these 6 weeks has been primarily on Furnace Park the final output provides a framework for potential other temporary, active spaces that can be implemented across Sheffield’s underused urban wild-scapes.

Overall the Furnace Park project will run for the next 3 years and the site strategy has been designed to evolve over the years as the site becomes increasing more populated and recognised within local communities.

To conclude the 6 week live project there will be an exhibition to introduce the student’s proposed visions for a temporary outdoor creative space to be used by local residents, businesses, students, and arts and community organisations at Furnace Park.

Drinks and refreshments will be available. All welcome.

Invitation to Furnace Park Exhibition – PDF Download of Invitation

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Live Project Update: Information and Intrigue

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Whilst part of the team were working on developing the pallet systems, another group were looking into creating interest on site. Although the finer points of public/university site access are still to be negotiated, we felt it was part of our role to keep the people in the local area interested in the site and informed of its future – and the role they could play in it.

The group began by investigating possible ways of interacting with the fence and developing these ideas into photoshop collages, which they then presented to the Live Project team as a whole on Tuesday. The main ideas moving forward from this were to re-use tin cans as planters and lanterns, to create interest on the fence at varying times of day. Another key idea was to implement the uses of blackboards to be used as a calendar for future events – but we agreed this could be combined with the tin can development with the use of blackboard paint.

However, as these designs developed through the course of the week, it became obvious that we would not be able to collect enough recyclable material for the designs to create a clear vision for the future of the park (we had just missed recycling day, and once the tin cans have reached the recycling centres, they become their property and their responsibility).

We needed a shift in direction, but had established a key manifesto of re-using materials and concentrating on low-cost interventions which could be added to over time. This gave us the ability to address a key issue that had been raised with the tin can designs – how could we provide information on our activities as well as create something with a visual impact?

Using free offcuts of timber board from the Sheffield School of Architecture, we decided to transfer some of our research and photoshop images onto these boards by transfer printing them with cellulose thinner (Instructions can be found here: http://www.ehow.com/how_12021985_print-cellulose-thinners.html ).
This is a low cost and effective method of producing both large and small scale signs – so long as you remember to reverse print any text before transferring it to the boards!

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The large information boards are attached to the Furnace Park fence along Doncaster Street, where they can be seen from a distance, and the smaller boards with the blog and twitter information spread out around Shalesmoor from this point.

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We hope to add to the fence with further site visions and our further progress as the project develops.

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Live Project Update: 3 hours, £3, 1 pallet, 1 bench

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The week began with the realisation that we needed to bring our designs and our focus back to developing interest and intrigue around the Furnace Park site in Shalesmoor. Initially we aimed to host a public development workshop next to the site to test our designs and the build-ability of our ideas. But as our designs developed, so did our knowledge that we would have to test the construction methods amongst ourselves before getting the public involved. This decision gave us time to develop four interventions, a planter, a canopy system, a table and a bench, in closer detail together with step-by-step construction guides for each structure (open-source files coming soon).

On Friday 19/10/12, we tested out the bench construction at CADS. This gave us the ability to update the construction guide simultaneously with building. For example, we had imagined using the blue Euro-pallets, but it soon became evident that they are not easy to de-construct with hand tools!

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The change in pallet type meant separating out the different components required for the bench took around two hours – far longer than any of the group had anticipated! However, once this was done, and we had purchased the correct length of screws and changed the drill battery, construction was quick and simple.

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And as it only required one pallet, we could easily carry it down for a test run by Furnace Park!

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Pop-up Signage

 


Furnace Park signs have popped up around Shalesmoor. For a more informative read, visit Furnace Park on Doncaster Street.Image

Live Project Update: Week 3, Design Charrette

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To push forward with our ideas for Furnace Park, we held an “in-house” design charette on Friday. Occupying a room at CADS, we covered the walls with site photographs, plans and precedents and split into two teams to address the brief we had developed during the week. This aimed to generate ideas for the modular design we had proposed, bringing together considerations such as structure, materiality, environmental and site considerations, assembly/disassembly and the temporary nature of the project. We also aimed to be in a position to start prototyping in Week 4, and to be able to carry out small interventions based on our design in or around the site during that week.

Through this process, both teams developed the idea of overlaying a grid system on the site, one as a way of structuring uses and the other as a way of structuring circulation, but both as a means of allowing future users to introduce their own interventions to Furnace Park. Though this, the idea developed that we could produce a manual of “50 ideas for Furnace Park”, with 50 detailed construction sheets for different modular interventions on the grid ranging from 1sqm planters to 6sqm bars, and space for further ideas to be developed under the same principles. We quickly renamed this “15 ideas for Furnace Park”.

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After a break for lunch, with a talk on last year’s live projects, we regrouped to discuss the thoughts behind our key design decisions of the morning and split into pairs to progress the varying site strategies and modular designs in closer detail, through sketches and models, before a round table review with SKINN at the end of the day.

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This final discussion reiterated the importance of the temporary nature of our interventions, of a light-touch approach which leaves nothing behind at the end of the lease. Through our considerations of available materials, we also decided to start investigating pallet based designs through the breakdown of their component parts rather than as single elements.

Live Project Update: Week 3 (Part1)

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Week 3 brought with it the realisation that although we have been considering design interventions that could be applicable across multiple urban wild-scapes, we needed to understand Furnace Park in greater detail. This thinking began with a meeting with Dr Anna Jorgensen, senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield Landscape Department. Dr Jorgensen suggested establishing an understanding of suitable site uses from the existing site conditions, for example: Where catches the most sunlight? – This is where people are likely to congregate. What plants are growing well and where? She suggested we considered the site as different layers (cultural, historical, topographical, edges, circulation to list a few) and imagine our interventions as another temporary layer. As a starting point for this, she suggested we look at Atelier Le Balto’s work, using raised walkways to set a pedestrian route through existing or supplemented urban wild-scapes.

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http://www.lebalto-archipelago.eu/archipelago.htm

In fact a more rustic version of this approach has already been implemented on a neighbouring site to Furnace Park.

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Another issue raised in the meeting was the role of informal surveillance in helping people feel at ease whilst appropriating the site, and the issue of dead edges. Whilst clearing the vegetation away from the fence may make the site feel safer and more accessible, it would also diminish the sense of garden/wild-scape and of a light-touch approach. However, there can still be informal surveillance from the offices and high-rise residential buildings surrounding the site, and we hope to establish which buildings can directly view the site through 3D modelling.

Live Project Update: Week 2

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After the weekend’s consultation events, we began the second week of the live projects by categorising the public responses and analysing what infrastructure and support systems would need to be in place to make their ideas a reality. We also began a mapping exercise into existing infrastructure and services, such as the location of libraries and cafes in the area. This is to gain a greater understanding of whether the ideas generated for the site would be feasible, suitable and enhance the local area, or if these services already exist and perhaps need to be made more accessible to the general public.

We also learned that there will be a shipping container delivered to the site in the near future, so began thinking about what this could be used for and how it could be integrated with the landscape of Furnace Park by visiting a previous live project at Ecclesall Woods.

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The ‘Gateway to Ecclesall Woods’ project used a shipping container to create a projecting platform and hide, level with the raised education area, with the views out of the shelter controlled by structured openings, bringing the user amongst the trees and focusing their attention on the sawmill below. This integration of the container is highly sight specific, but its use to accentuate the change in levels is an idea that could be played with at Furnace Park.

For the interior uses of the container, we have kindly been donated the shelving and display units from the Festival of the Mind Arrivals Zone after its rented container was collected on Thursday. This also began our thinking into a modular system of key components for events and exhibitions in the park, which could be neatly stacked away into a single volume.