Aberrant architecture

The brief :

Design an urban intervention to accommodate a minimum of 4 persons.

Your design can be mobile or impermanent. See IBM Pavilion by Renzo Piano for example.

Create a private interior set within the public exterior.

Locate this in a strategic place within the city.

Thoroughly research the work of the London based multi-disciplinary practice ABERRANT ARCHITECTURE and read their practice manifesto. Use this to inspire your own small-scale urban intervention.

Your design must convey aspects related to recent sonic and auditory thinking. This can be current research, new research learnt from observing others or an unused sonic theme.

The design must also act as an environment which attracts people to gather around and outside it.

You must produce illustrated plans, exploded axonometrics, 4 elevations, material samples and one physical scaled model.

Development :

First, I had a look on the work of the London based multi-disciplinary practice ABERRANT ARCHITECTURE.  Aberrant architecture is a multi-disciplinary studio & think-tank that operates internationally in the fields of architecture, design, contemporary art & cultural analysis.

« From our studio in London, we strive to capture the best of the past and the contemporary in order to shape the future of the designed world. »

I found one piece of they work really interesting: Devil Amongst the Tailors 2012

Aberant architecture

London studio have created pub tables that can be adapted into desks by day and games tables by night.

In rest mode each table provides a simple dining surface, but in work mode this tabletop folds open to reveal a bureau-style desk concealed beneath.

To transform the desk for play, a removable drawer can be placed on the surface and filled with skittles to recreate nineteenth century pub game Devil Amongst the Tailors.

These skittle also open up to become pen-pots.

The tables have been crafted both in cherry with a maple surface and in walnut with an ash surface.


Architecture can be aberrant in several ways: new architecture (new materials, new technologies…), no norm architecture (wrong perspective, new style in a  traditional place…), strange architecture (shapes, materials non common in construction…), funny architecture (symbolise shape, colorful, inappropriate places…)… First, I made some research about what I could find aberrant.

3262899671 absurd-architecture-of-artist-Frank-Kunert-9 Cubic Houses, Rotterdam, Netherlands Dancing Building, Prague, Czech Republic dzn_Kengo-Kuma-wins-competition-to-design-VandA-at-Dundee-3 Eden Project, St. Austell, Cornwall, UK evoler 2009 stellisee3 Façade footbridge boudry 2 footbridge boudry Fortress Museum Quality Storage, Boston, Massachusetts frank_gehry_star_wood_hotel_3 Impossible-Architecture-Victor-Enrich-7 Impossible-Architecture-Victor-Enrich-8 Impossible-Architecture-Victor-Enrich-9 L'institut ukrainien de recherche et développement scientifique et technique, Kiev Longaberger Home Office, Newark, Ohio Ministère des autoroutes de l’URSS, Tblissi, Géorgie2 Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria pavillon expo minsk2 Rehabilitation center, Dombai, Russia Russie Moscou bâtiment Académie des sciences Sanatorium lettonie

The site:

We were free to choose a site in Dundee which inspired us the most. I chose to focus my research on the West End of Dundee. I really like this part of the city, because when I arrived in Scotland, I stayed in a B & B situated here, basically I started my Scottish experience in West End.

– West end exploration

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-My choice

I’ve decided to work on the riverside of Dundee. Why choosing this site? I think it’s a huge advantage for a city in terms of attractiveness to be implanted near a river. Unfortunately, Dundee riverside is far away to be a place really attractive. Indeed, each time I walked or ran along the riverside, I was surprised to see that only few people spend their free time here. Usually, you see more people sitting in the park in Dundee city than on the riverside area. The reason is quite simple, everybody prefers to be in a quiet area to spend their spare time and enjoy moments with friends and family. The problem is that Dundee riverside is one of the nosiest place in this city. A four ways road follows this riverside creating a lot of noise. Our project must be related to the city and more particularly have a link with the sonic aspect that we can find in Dundee. I found interesting to think about create a space implanted on the riverside where people could escape from the noise and finally enjoy what the riverside can offer to them.


Research :

Having a background in the wood field, I oriented my research on the wood structure and the wood construction. A couple of architects held my attention; Kengo kuma, who tried to recover the tradition of Japanese buildings in order to reinterpret them in the 21st century.  At the same time, he gives a real important place to the nature in his work.  The second one is Shigeru Ban, also a Japanese architect, who is famous for his innovative work with paper and cardboard tubing as a material for building constructions.  He realises the second Centre Pompidou, in Metz (France) with a roof composed by sixteen Kilometres  of glue laminated timbers,  which I find particularly stunning.

1-multiversitescreatives andrew kudless-chrysalis-iii-matsys2012 arne quinze camera obscura green port new york Centre Pompidou-Metz, France Centre-DInterpretation-Du-Canal-De-Bourgogne-France Classical-Architectural-House-Wood-Frame- cocohut_gert-eussen-1 Enrique_illanez_Brigitte-Photo_Ecal Enrique_Illanez_ouvert filing the void big orbittscurated-mag-Elisa-Strozyks-Wooden-Textiles Dragspelhuset sweden Elisa_Strozyk_wooden_texture_1 fujimori-terunobu-charred-cedar-separation-portrait fujimori-terunobu-charred-cedar-smoking fujimori-yakisugi-house-charcoal-house-7 gc_prostho_museum__kengo_kuma_associates_02 gc_prostho_museum_kengo_kuma_04 Health Sciences Education Building CO Architects Hoshakuji Station Kengo Kuma hygroscope Steffan Reichert Totale Dämmerung ICD ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 – Stuttgart University3 icd itke research pavilion 2011 1 icd itke research pavilion 2011 icd_diploma-2012_ko_project-19 image_1483b_small interior-of-Modern-Cafe-with-Unique-Stacked-Wood-Support-600x450 jurgen mayer metropol parasol kristoffer_tejlgaard_henrik_almegaard_dome_roskilde_collabcubed Metropol-Parasol-Wood-Structure model_asagawa02 Modern-Cafe-with-Unique-Stacked-Wood-Support-600x423 pavillon-alveole-etudiants-faculte-darchitect-L-_GAzRA sel_tot shigeru ban2 shizuoka_international_garden-ava_architects_2 showroom for Quinze & Milan at Design Post, Keulan. SteffenReichert1 stick figures patrick dougherty theme park 2theme park park lodges mvrdv timberize011 VinarosMicrocoasts_GuallartArchitects_02-560x343 vousoir cloud1 WISA-Wooden-Design-Hotel1 WISA-Wooden-Design-Hotel5-2 Pieta-Linda Auttila Wooden-architecture www.pinterest.com

Idea development :

This place is designed for a small number of persons. Dundee riverside welcomes every kind of people, tourists, couples, walkers, bikers, pet owners… In order to make their experience more attractive and enjoyable, I decided to work on a different way to walk along the Waterfront. Indeed, in addition of the noise, the riverside is a long straight line without curves or levels differences. It’s boring for people walking or running along the river Tay. So, I’m also using  this new space to create another way to allow people to escape from this straight line. Three places will be created between the Tay Road Bridge and the Tay Rail Bridge. Sportsmen could share their experience and take a break at different stages of their exercise while tourists or walkers could enjoy three different views in quiet places.

Research models :


My first taught was to create a place inspired by a cocoon shape in order to have an interior without angle, enveloping people to create a well-being feeling.  To change the way of walking, the place is situated above the River Tay and link the riverbank  with a curved foot bridge.   After some model research, the global shape didn’t satisfied me, I found the result, too heavy and too thick. Keeping the cocoon idea, I tried to find a different structure to support the place. I was inspired by Calatrava’s work and more particularly by his bridge structures.

Final model :

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Final proposition :

The final design is composed with a mix of glue laminated timber structures, suspension wires, iron pillars, and acrylic glass (PMMA Altuglas®).  The use of laminated timber offers artistic freedom without sacrificing structural requirements. Larch wood is used for all the structure. This wood is employed in France to build roofs and walls in houses in High Mountains.  Naturally rot-proof, this wood is perfectly adapted for outdoor constructions. The inside is composed by a bench in front of a wide circular window. Bikes park are disposed on each side of the space, allowing cyclist to drop their bikes during the break. Windows are made with, PMMA Altuglas® which is an acrylic glass having important transparency and light-diffusing properties. This acrylic is also rays-UV protect, to keep a normal temperature inside during summer.  And finally, this acrylic is used for the construction of noise barrier walls because the PMMA Altuglas has excellent proprieties in terms of sound absorption and sound reflection.  This material is also used to realise the foot bridge. An iron frame is covered in the inside and the outside by white and transparent acrylic. By using acrylic, the footbridge will become quieter progressively when people are coming inside the wooden space.

– Rendering

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-Materials :


Realised with a timber frame, the oval is covered by two different layers of wood. The external layer is made of an accumulation of wooden stripes in order to create a rough aspect, and the inside is covered with wooden slates to, create a smooth aspect. I play with two different types of covering to materialise the difference between the quiet interior and the noisy exterior.


rendu jour8 (2)


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