Coláiste Choilm, Cork
Posted by admin, March 9, 2016

Transition Year Construction studies Students at Colaite Choilm, Ballincollig, Co Cork completed their National Architects in Schools project for the third time earlier this year led by teacher Danny Moynihan and local architect Seán Antóin Ó Muirí, of Fuinneamh Workshop Architects. Each year, twelve transition year students elect to participate in the project which sees them engaging in a wide range of architectural classes, workshops, field trips and excursions.

The main project – This year, students have been set the task of designing living pods as part of a retreat centre for visually impaired children. A forest setting provides the location for this hypothetical project. The design process is well under way with students sketching, model making and producing scale drawings to test their initial concepts. The final projects will be exhibited in the Ballincollig Shopping Centre in May 2016.

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Preparatory Work – Students commenced the course in September by participating in sketching classes to enhance their observational skills. A field trip to Ballincollig village saw the students studying vernacular buildings. This exercise challenged the students to examine the proportion, the façade and the key details that made their case study building unique. Each aspect of the exercise was recorded by the students in detail.

Architectural Research – Students were assigned a major architect of the 20th century and asked to investigate their work and make a powerpoint presentation to their peers on the architect’s work. Students were provoked to think critically by discussing which elements of the architects work they admired and disliked.

Working with Light – The first design project encouraged the students to examine how light enters a room. Students had to design and build a 20cm cube model in foam board with a series of carefully considered openings to allow light enter. The design methodology for each cube forced the students to observe what affects different sized opes and shape opes had on the light and shadow in their cube. The final design solutions brought the creativity of the students’ ideas to the fore.

Object in a Room – The second design project’s aim was to force the students to think in spatial terms. The task facing each student was to place an object in a cube with one opening to illuminate the object from above and the second opening on one of the four walls to allow a person to see the object. Each object had to be viewed indirectly by carefully placing mirrors and internal walls. Thus, to resolve the design challenge, each student had to think laterally by experimenting with the walls and mirrors in order for someone to see the object from the viewing ope.

Excursion to UCC – Recently, students visited the Cork College of Architectural Education, UCC and were given a tour of the college by the 4th Year Head, Orla McKeever. After the tour, a selection of the 4th year students presented their college projects to the class and discussed their experiences of studying architecture with the visitors.

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