We caught up with Damion Allport from Birmingham School of Archtecture about entering the Student Designer Awards.
2nd Prize winner
How did you find out about the APS Student Designer awards?
I was nominated by my technology tutor last year, Shaun Young, to Jim Sloan about submitting my project for the award and was asked so I agreed.
What made you decide to enter?
Well I wasn't sure whether I would to start with but it was really nice that my work was considered good enough for submission for a national competition so thought what do I have to lose. Never thought for a moment I would actually be shortlisted, let alone be awarded 2nd Place.
What was your project about?
The proposal for the Morecambe Town Hall creates a typically open plan building that consists of a series of spaces radiating from a central core with a level of public, semi-public and private hierarchy to the layout. It looks to resemble the existing condition along the Esplanade with undulating glazed facades and over sailing timber canopies horizontally, as well as the diverse ‘roof-scape’ vertically.
Morecambe is a town that has had to redefine itself to survive with less ‘Kiss Me Quick’ and more ‘Frankie & Benny’s’. Significant importance is be attributed to the status of the Promenade and Esplanade, however, the Esplanade does not give the impression you would expect from a traditional seafront despite how cliché or tacky it may be considered.
Instead the Esplanade was populated with common place businesses that had the feel of a regular high street rather than a vibrant and energetic seafront. As such it seemed crucial that a building representing the town followed this evolved trend and was located on the Esplanade itself as an extension of the town’s core, like reclaiming land from the sea.
The use of materials within the construction is not only an environmental consideration, but more in keeping with the evolved Morecambe, providing a building that feels more sympathetic and comfortable to its environment while still suggestive of the towns luxurious past. The final design looks to incorporate itself within this landscape of isolated structures along the sea front, creating an amalgamation of interconnected internal spaces within a singular structure forming Morecambe Town Hall.
How did it feel to be shortlisted?
Really pleasantly surprised, it was great to know that I had been awarded something at all as this was a national competition and I have never been involved in anything like this before. I was happy enough to make the short list regardless where I came in the end.
What would you say to anyone considering entering?
I would always say go for it if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity, what do you have to lose? You never know what may happen and if you are successful it's a great experience to be part of and something you can be proud of in the future.