Florence Allen

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

Inspired by Dundee’s Nine Trades – a space that connects industry and arts.

About

Nine Works is a multi-disciplinary workspace for communities to connect, create and collaborate. After research and engagement with the historical Nine Trades of Dundee (the nine key trades established in the sixteenth century to supply the city and its wider community), nine new trades where identified that uphold traditional values of expertise and craftsmanship and represent Dundee today. Re-imagined and reinvigorated, these new nine trades are committed to sharing knowledge and ideas between disciplines and the wider community in a creative and collaborative way.

Occupying the derelict Queen Victoria Works – a former flax mill constructed in the early 1800s, and once the world’s oldest operating jute mill – Nine Works inhabits a cluster of buildings, spread across a 8,000 m² site. Each trade has its own specific space, while the overall design aims to foster cross-pollination of ideas and methods of working.

This proposal embraces the existing industrial materiality of the site, creating a strong link to its origins through the physicality of making, and a celebration of the diverse range of skills and crafts Dundee has been built on.

Nine Works - Featured Image

Image of all nine sketch models together, randomly arranged across a concrete surface

In today’s ‘throw away’ society, excessive consumption puts a huge strain on materials and production. Nine Works aims to encourage people to consider the importance of making and mending, whilst highlighting a more sustainable approach to the way we treat the materials in the world around us.

Nine Works - Project Video

Project video exploring the design development process

Entrance to Nine Works

A render of the front exterior of the site with the cafe visible and people walking inside.

The bakers trade occupies the smaller building, sandwiched between the Flax Cafe and Fleshers trade. These three buildings are closest to the main entrance from Brook Street and make up the ‘food quarter’ of the site. They are positioned in a way that allows easy transportation of goods between each of the buildings and act as a first point of contact for visitors to the site. The Bakers building will act as a bakery school, teaching traditional skills with the goods being sold in the cafe and market. The glass fronted space allows visitors to see what’s going on whilst the hatch breaks the barrier between the inside and outside.

Weavers Space

A render of the interior weavers space.

Potentially the most well-known and historically significant trade, the Weavers are located in the central overlap of the other trades, towards the east of the site. The Weavers combine a celebration of the heritage and social impact of this trade whilst creating a vibrant and dynamic space to look to the future of this craft. The Weavers are well connected to the other trades and due to the glass roof, are visible from other buildings too. The space will include looms that visitors, unlike most museums and galleries, are encouraged to interact with.

External staircase

A render of the exterior staircase that wraps around the IT and Printmaking building.

Potentially the most well-known and historically significant trade, the Weavers are located in the central overlap of the other trades, towards the east of the site. The Weavers combine a celebration of the heritage and social impact of this trade whilst creating a vibrant and dynamic space to look to the future of this craft. The Weavers are well connected to the other trades and due to the glass roof, are visible from other buildings too. The space will include looms that visitors, unlike most museums and galleries, are encouraged to interact with.

Indoor Market

A render of the indoor market, occupying a long industrial building.

Filling the long factory building, that connects the north and south entrances is the Fleshers Market. Its proximity to the open courtyard space allows for expansion of the market stalls and the glass roof and side wall allow light to flood into the space. The Fleshers building also features an exoskeleton like structure that spans the width of the courtyard, connecting to the roof of the Printmakers. The inspiration for this framework was taken from a sketch model and is repeated in other areas of the site.

IT Working Space

An interior render of the ground floor IT space.

Inhabiting the lower floor of the spinning hall, a grand three storey building which dominates the site, IT is one of the new trades that has been supplemented alongside the existing Nine Trades. This space will encompass software design, graphics, technology and gaming. Although this trade represents an industry that historically has no real significance to Dundee, it portrays an emerging trade for the City. Dundee is known as the birthplace of the Scottish games industry and some of the world’s biggest titles started here such as Grand Theft Auto. This space marks an important shift in the way we view the ‘new’ nine trades that represent Dundee, not just for their historical significance, but instead a way of looking to the future.

Sketch Modelling

Creating nine abstract sketch models using found materials from my chosen site, Queen Victoria Works, to represent each of the nine trades I have chosen to carry forward.

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