This brief was written for a studio of 24 students, led by Graham Farmer and Adam Sharr. The project was about concrete. It began with hands-on making, with explorations of the material to scale and at 1:1.

_Presentation Board

Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

The site was the plot formerly occupied by the Bank of England in Newcastle, adjacent to Swan House and on axis with the Tyne Bridge, where the city’s most dramatic modernist space meets historic fabric. This required students to respond to concrete not just as a material but also to think about its cultural resonances.

1Courtesy of Matthew Pratt                   

The brief asked students to develop their own programmed, focused on replacing financial capital, as represented by the Bank of England, with uses focused on social capital, to be centered on an exchange space (or spaces).

 atmospheric models

Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

The initial ideas of the project were explored through a series of process models, using casting and forming to explore concretes formal potential. I began by draping the volume of the former Bank of England and site with a fluid net, that responded to areas of compression on the site and context.


Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

This Idea of a single responsive surface developed when i introduced the brief, which was to provide a new platform for crowd-source funded projects and startup business ideas (a physical manifestation of phenomena that mainly resides online eg. Kickstarter, Indiegogo). After identifying themain spaces from my programme, the surface was deformated and manipulated to provide an internal landscape of Tutor Comments

Matthew made a series of exquisite process models to develop his project using casting, forming. He also worked with digital models, 3d printing and animation.

performance breakout space

Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

Plan and section diagrams were resolved, in the spirit of SANAA/MVRDV. Despite its spatial drama, the resulting project was highly contextual. It balanced a bold formal response to the surrounding modernist objects with sensitivity to the scale of Pilgrim Street. Spaces inside the building, and around it, were handled with a careful attention to scale, atmosphere and material. The resulting building, as described in gorgeous models and eye-catching drawings, would be a remarkable addition to the cityscape.”

Development Models

Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

project : Concrete Ideagora

Social Innovation Exchange

Designer : Matthew Pratt

Place of Study: Newcastle University

Stage: Part 1 Graduation Project

Tutors: Graham Farmer, Adam Sharr

Courtesy of Matthew Pratt

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