WATTS CHAPEL

2016 

In the age of globalisation and advancement of information technology, one can argue that it is time now to look back what William Morris, John Ruskin and their peers did during the age of industrial revolution at the end of 19th century - the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Takeshi run a post graduate architecture unit with co-tutor Greg Ross at Central Saint Martins in 2016 to investigate the work of Compton Potters’ Arts Guild established in 1885 and the architecture of Watts Chapel, designed and built by the artist Marry Fraser-Tytler and her students from Compton Pottery between 1896 to 1898.

Clay is one of the most primitive and basic building materials. It has been available to hand for people since the beginning of human civilisation. It is a natural material, extracted from the ground. It transforms its material property through firing. Its tactile quality is deeply rooted in human psychology. It can be said that the clay is the ultimate material for building because it is accessible to everyone. 

The unit engaged with the CSM’s ceramic department and collaborated with them to work on the clay exclusively as the main focus of the material experimentation and construction. The unit started its intense programme by visiting the clay roof tile manufacturer Keymer’s production factory in Ewhurst, Surrey, in order to understand the traditional clay roof tile production techniques as well as the contemporary mass production line and the associated latest technology.

Dorich House Pavilion_Section.jpg

Students were asked to develop their own roofing components prototypes responding to specific functions in scale 1:1. It was about understanding the material properties and exploring its possibilities, as well as learning practical aspects of waterproofing and surface water management. The prototypes were tested prior to the mass production, culminating to a form of group construction by assembling individual pieces into one structure, a 1:4 scale reinterpretation of Watts Chapel. 

Team

Takeshi Hayatsu, Gregory Ross

Students

Tiffany Waddill, Jyothi Pillay, Marc Hargreaves, Tom Atkinson, Hwa Yeong Lee, Nicholas Woodford, William Guyang Zhou, Laurence Neal, Anna Fil, Fernanda De Almeida Castelo Branco, Dong Liu, Zhan Wang

Sponsors

Keymer Tiles, Surrey. Alluvial clay from Broomfleet

 

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