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No.7 Chapel Street

Part 1 Project 2010
Graham Burn
University of Liverpool | UK
New, luxury city living for bachelor(ette)s and families.

A millionaire's club. Membership is hard to come by, waiting lists are infinite.

Located in the heart of Liverpool's economic district, alive with young professionals with expendable income.

The millionaire bachelor or bachelorette is an egotistic hedonist. The first, lower stage of the block is for said bachelor.

Bachelor(ette)s occupy a series of rooms, located around an atrium, existing solely as sleeping spaces. They allow for complete anonymity, and as a base in close proximity of the office and Liverpool's vibrant night life. Above the atrium, the bachelor(ette)s are reunited in communal spaces for physical and mental well-being.

Acting as a machine to generate and intensify human intercourse, the block- inspired by the programmatic segregation of the Downtown Athletics Club, New York- is structured around a vertical narrative, a criticism on everyday life.

The millionaire family, so used to living in large suburban dwellings, now wish to relocate to the city. The second, upper, stage of the block is for said family.

The millionaire family wish to relocate to an urban environment whilst still retaining the sense of ownership and identity they have in their suburban mansions- lost in most 'luxury' apartment blocks of today. They wish to live, rather than solely exist.

Lloyd Wright famously stated that 'the fireplace is the psychological centre of the home'. As part of a structural chimney stack system, fireplaces are located in each of the apartments in the upper stage of the block. These fireplaces, along with providing a focus for human activity in the apartments, act as a device for spatial segregation and generation. They provide a polyvalent space.

Derived from Herman Hertzberger and Aldo Van Eyck's criticism of flexibility - in which they forcefully dispel the average generality of screen/partition flexibility - polyvalent spaces, consisting of archetypal form, which can not only absorb a program, but also generate one. For example, a cube containing a podium. This evokes program relating to a stage [theatre], table [dining room], or bed [bedroom].

Graham Burn

The students were set the challenge of master-planning a tight urban block in the heart of Liverpool’s world heritage site only a stone throw away from the omnipresent Mersey. The site represented a formidable challenge because it is bound by no less than five listed buildings which represent Victorian Liverpool at the height of its prosperity including Peter Ellis’ groundbreaking Oriel Chambers of 1864. Contrastingly Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’ Unity building of 1997 marks the north edge of the site and Liverpool’s current renaissance.
Students master-planned the block by placing an Art House Cinema with associated public space and Luxury Urban Apartments into the context. The cinema was developed in the 1st Semester and the Apartments in the 2nd.

Graham Burn worked tirelessly in the pursuit of his architecture. He conceived his luxury urban apartments from a study of his own student flat and the architecture studio. Realising that he spent the vast majority of his time in the later he designed apartments for hedonists. This drew upon the precedent of the Down Town Athletics club as cited by Rem Koolhaas in his ‘Delirious New York’. Like himself the hedonistic inhabitants work hard and play hard. Their private space is reduced to sleeping and study cells which wrap around a central atrium lit through a swimming pool above. The pool is part of the several floors of communal functions for recreation and eating. The building then expands up to the clouds with family apartments. These offer accommodation for the hedonists in later life when they have settled down. In recognition of the context there are three strata within the building: younger hedonistic cells sit with the datum of the surrounding city; social levels peak over the buildings opposite for a view of the river; and, the family apartments enjoy panoramas over the whole of Merseyside.
Graham along with James Crawford the other Liverpool University Bronze Medal nominee formed their own mini-studio along with two other students. These four highly ambitious students constantly occupied one corner of the studio in a permanent frenzy of reading, debating, analysing and drawing pushing each other to heights never before witnessed at degree level in Liverpool.

Douglas McCorkell
Lecturer – Architect ARB


Prof David Dunster

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