NTU Architecture Subject Group

The Gardens of Elysian

The driving force behind my project was the idea that memory can be embodied in architecture, whether intentionally or subconsciously, whether fact or fiction, the narrative is ever present. For my project, I have created a fictional historic narrative for the site, Greens Windmill in Sneinton, Nottingham.
The narrative follows the idea that there were once large trees that inhabited the surrounding area of the site that have since been lost and forgotten, leaving behind only the fossilised remains of the leaves that once fell from them. These leaves dried up and curled into these shell-like forms which became petrified in time, slowly being buried, broken, and filled with water: some broke down completely, leaving only an indentation where they once stood. These forms were then rediscovered during the construction of modern-day Nottingham, slowly emerging from the landscape, ruins of a past forgotten from history.
It was my intention to create a space unlike anything else in Nottingham: to transport the user to a place of imagination, myth, and fairy tale, to escape from the everyday to something extraordinary.
This was achieved through the careful phenomenological and atmospheric design of the project. Every aspect from the approach to the gardens has been designed to create a sense of mystery and intrigue, giving subtle hints to contents of the design but never revealing it in its entirety. One must delve through the buildings cave-like corridors to discover the large open-air pool, and venture through the gardens overgrown winding paths to discover smaller hidden pools and mysterious structures.
It is a design which entertains and feeds human curiosity and the desire for adventure and escape from the stresses of modern life. Here, you have permission to let go and forget the world for a moment, if you desire too.

Zara Gravett
Student name
Zara Gravett
BArch Architecture

BArch Architecture

The BArch (Hons) in Architecture course is focused on the creative and practical development of architectural design, investigated in a studio environment through a series of carefully considered practical and theoretical projects in a variety of spatial, social, cultural and topographical situations.

The purpose of the course is to align architectural concepts, thinking, techniques and values with current architectural thought and practice. It involves strategic thinking and creative imagination; problem-solving and research tasks; attention to detail and tectonic resolution; traditional and digital forms of representation; and public presentations and reviews. This course addresses the challenges of designing for diverse communities and cultures and develops Part 1 graduates with creative vision, practical skills and an ethical position in respect of the role of the architect in a globalised world.

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