Friday, May 22, 2009

Good news! - U.C. Berkeley Prize Travel Fellowship

I ended up being one of 12 finalists in the Berkeley Prize essay competition for a paper that I wrote on brick masonry (read essay here). As a finalist I was invited to apply for a travel fellowship, and I just learned today that I was granted the fellowship and they are sending me to London and Dublin as outlined in my travel poposal and they're paying for it! More info here:


Berkeley Essay Prize Travel Fellowship Proposal:

My architectural goals are simple:
i. Make passive solar buildings in Canada.
ii. Help Canada develop a mid-density residential building type that is in-between the tall condo and the single family house.
iii. Make buildings in such a way that can be adapted and re-used for new purposes; well built, hand-crafted and repairable to ensure the building outlasts the embodied energy used in materials.

Above all, I would like to make beautiful buildings that respect their environmental, local, and climactic contexts.

After several years in University and one working in an adaptive re-use architecture firm, I am confident that brick masonry is an excellent material that lasts in our climate and has intrinsic hand-built qualities that can be used to develop an enriching architecture for communities; an architecture that endures and can be repaired and adapted and re-used. One that ages gracefully and shows this history through patina to contribute beauty to the community.
As outlined in my essay competition submission, huge progress has been made in the last twenty years regarding efficiency in brick manufacturing processes that make this material relevant and sustainable if used appropriately.

At this point in my architectural education I need to know how to lay bricks in order to include intricate detailing into buildings, and additionally so that I fully understand the limitations of the material. Through this understanding I can develop techniques and approaches for passive solar designs and insulated, thermally massed buildings to take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun. Heating and cooling buildings is a large energy sinkhole that I feel can be eliminated in Canada if we just think about things a little further. I want to look at making an architecture for Canada with locally available masonry resources that responds to the various climates in each of the provinces. I plan to do this within my thesis work by studying the brick masonry building typologies developed in various cities across Canada (victorian rowhouse in Toronto, two storey walk-up in Montreal, etc.) and extrapolate this into meaningful mid-density building types for the specific climates in Canada.

Helping me learn to build with brick masonry will help me in the next step to achieving the three goals I outlined above. The program I have selected involves the restoration / rebuilding of the Cotswold Canals in Gloucestershire UK with an opportunity for volunteers to learn how to lay bricks.

Rebuilding the Cotswold Canals (Gloucestershire, UK.) "The work will include a wide variety of restoration skills in rebuilding the Cotswold Canals. It will focus on rebuilding the lock walls, undertaking repairs to the lock bridge, ... a complete rebuild of the main lock chamber walls and top sill - a fantastic chance to learn or improve your bricklaying skills!"

I would like to take full advantage of travel to the UK by visiting London and Dublin Ireland to study the rich history of traditional and modern construction techniques using brick masonry, specifically:

•Herzog & De meuron - Tate Modern Building - adaptive re-use of brick factory
•Battersea Powerstation - adaptive re-use of brick powerstation

•Lincon Place, Dublin - modern mid-density residential brick building
•Dublin Quays - integration of modern & historic brick buildings
•Tenement housing - historic mid-density residential brick buildings throughout Dublin

•Fly to London, visit significant brick masonry buildings.
•Participate in restoration Camp, learn to lay bricks.
•Visit significant brick masonry buildings in Dublin Ireland.
•Return to Canada.

•Return Air Travel: $850.00 US
•Train travel to/from airport to camp: $150.00 US.
•Camp cost: (£49UK) $90.00 US.
•Food/Accomodation cost (including travel in Dublin & London ): $1700.00


1 comment:

hegirabro said...

hi tyler, got t fellowship wid u too!...cud u plz give ur email address?