IPCUK Convergence site design. Part 3: playing with design options
Later that evening we cut out sections of post it notes and played with some Planning For Real options on the base map of the site.
Gilwell Park is laid out in ways to be able to segregate different groups who may be staying on the site at the same time for different reasons. It is conceivable that 4 different groups could be using the site at one time and not really be aware of each other. This is great when the group sizes are one to two hundred.
We have the exciting remit of designing for an event that could range from 400-900 attendees, depending on ticket sales. This gives us many options for how we could use the site, none of which seem to ‘perfectly’ fit the bill, yet many give some very exciting potential for creative solutions.
Over the evening we came up with 7 different options for general pattern layout utilising different areas of the site and with options to include or exclude certain buildings.
Some of the considerations we had in mind were:
Ease of movements
Non-lit / lit areas
Minimal external noise
Sight lines - perceived distance
Perceived sense of security
Immediate basic needs: eat, drink, poo, sleep (zone radiating out from the accommodation and catering lodges)
Photos were taken of each option and then we played with another. This very much took on the feel of a brain storm, lots of ‘what ifs’ and allowing ourselves the freedom to explore without having to justify or challenge. This allowed us to come up with some wild design solutions that may be some of most fitting options.
Friday was spent reality-checking some of the options: out in the field - measuring tapes in hand, and on the spreadsheet - looking at the budget, exploring what options we could potentially afford with differing ticket sales numbers.
We drew up a list of next steps, further questions for Hannah Morrice (Gilwell Park) and made a plan to meet up at the Inkpot (a LAND centre in Lincolnshire, and Hannah Thorogood’s home farm) to use the office space on Monday.
On Monday we took each of the potential design patterns and considered their suitability, again calling on Edward de Bono - this time in the use of his PMI tool.
Accessible from lodges
Lit at night
Centralised - heart in the physical centre
Away from a lot of kids activities and wedding
Universally understood settlement pattern of main street in centre of residence.
Trees for shade, decoration and tarps, etc
Big space location - can fit 30mx30m space there, not too noisy
Cafe & street food in middle near catered spaces means people can be catered from different spaces and still eat together.
Possibly too close to lodges - noise
On a road - feeling
Market space would need weatherproof stalls?
A high density feeling of elements
Family camping next to big space (loud).
Not sure if we can have exclusive use of the car park section.
High density of the food elements
Cinema would need to be shifted slightly
Kids area next to building site
Crew camping quite far away.
2. Essex Chase
Use of lid - Wifi, existing structure,
Camp square - piazza style hang out space
Use of drink serve over for juice bar potential
Use of existing landscaped fire circles
Lovely feel to Essex chase
No noise from road
Away from building site & wedding
Can hear birds
Lighting and electricity points
Close to swimming pool
Close to view over London
Hard standing track through the middle
Using the Swan & Gidney
Large amount of mature trees
Use of lid - noise levels
Long way from lodges
Only one set of toilets there
Kids activities in the middle of the space
Teen space a long way from activities
Kids space & family camping near bomb hole
Early bird camping vary far from lodges
Worst drainage on site
Long way from vehicle entrance point (north gate)
Crew camping long way from main activities.
People may eat street food rather than walk to lodges
Bar 2 quite far from activities.
3. Training ground lidless
Got a nice feel
Familiar to 2014 participants
Uses Gidney & Swan
Nice village green style of space
Closer to accommodation than Essex
Self catering has the patrol cabin ‘kitchen’
Kids area in the wooded area, near activities.
Away from build site & road
All power for Training ground all comes out of one plug on the side of Swan.
Long way from toilets
Orchard is rented for Saturday
Awkward passage to lodges
Family camping in a long way from food & toilets
Well being area a long way from water & toilets
Difficult vehicle access
Track from orchard to Mallinsons was muddy Sep 14 (rest of site pretty dry)
Training ground would be density populated if large numbers of attendees
Big space would dominate the space.
Less versatile couldn’t just add in more structures.
Using nice wooded spaces.
No existing light structures
No existing fire circles.
Well being area in the woods out of sight
Closer to Mosque, Sala, Chapel & Synagogue
More suitable for 500 than 900
Would need thunderboxes or equivalent.
4. Training ground + Lid
Utilising the existing structures of lid, classrooms 1&2
As above - but big space not in training ground
Kids space a long way from activities
Long and complicated walk back to night owls camping - potentially past family camping
Bar 2 could be noisier if in tent.
Using all the structures - potentially expensive compared to other options
Very spread out - 4 different centres of activities, lots of walking
Using more of the site
Crew camping would need to be shifted.
Bar 2 close to the wellbeing area
More compact / consolidated design
Kids area more integrated with family camping, accommodation, food, fire, toilets etc
Good facilities nearby
Really good emergency access
Close to food & accommodation - visible
Close to parking - for access to valuables.
Teenspace near cafe and gate for helping.
Further away from GP activities
“night owls lodge” (incl. bar, fire,...)
Shop is long way from self catering.
Self catering is a long way from most things.
Close to road
Building site close to some camping.
Bottleneck at entrance?
Family camping - could have limited size or spillover might mean night owls walking past
Using none of GPs permanent structures
6. North-East Branchett
Everything closer to lodges - one of the closest options.
Equidistant to different camping options
Teenspace near cafe, cinema, gate
Use of Northgate avoids traffic build up
Shop in good place for self catering
Info point central
Nice cluster of bar, cinema, cafe etc
Nice kids / family area set up.
Cinema might be drowned out by cafe &/or bar 2 (pub)
Street food a bit out of the way - closer to village green would be better foot fall
Well being quite a long way out of the way
Early birds and family camping don’t have a sound barrier from the main big space.
Could swap campervans and street food.
7. North Gilwell
Nicely spread across the section of site
Good spread of toilets
Spread out with easy flow
Everything seems to radiate from the lodges
Every element could be scalable
Kids area has toilets, nr food, family camping, water, trees and sheltered
Workshops spaces backing onto road
Surrounding build site
Camping further away from lodges - so doesn’t support the pattern of neighbourhoods with lodges and campers linked
Not a balanced relationship with camping and lodges.
“nothing on” venue in the tented village.
Could populate the walk from Branchet to Woodlands with interesting things
Not using any GP permanent structures
Kids area out of sight of main activities
Next big step in the middle
Teenspace on main thoroughfare
Teenspace could be swapped with cafe
Could move line of tents on Branchet into middle of field (away from road)
Could draw the linear flow away from the build site - (through lodges)
Following the PMI we came to the conclusion not to use the ‘training ground’ as a base. However, we would like to further explore the options of:
Our next steps were then to work to scale and draw up some options, with consideration to details in the shortlisted areas. In April there would be a hub meeting of representatives from the different convergence working groups. At this meeting Joe & Hannah would be presenting our preferred decision option(s) for the site layout. The working groups would then be able to give their feedback and we would go to tweak accordingly.
One of the main dependencies we are working with is the number of ticket sales. We will probably need to take a risk and book a large enough structure that can accommodate the bigger end of the range, so we know we can accommodate everyone. This will mean a big financial outlay, so please do not hesitate with booking your tickets.
If you know you want to come, please do book; get your friends and colleagues to book soon, so we have less of a nail-biting experience at this side of the designing pad.