Sparge

A week long charette, or intensive, oblique design exercise in early May 2015.

2015 thesis project
During the early conceptual stages of my 2015 thesis research, I brewed a small batch of beer in my kitchen to better understand the brewing process. A symmetry quickly emerged for me between the raw ingredients required for brewing and the landscape, both natural and constructed, around my site. The grain, dry and spent – dark and light malt, in the large quantities that are required for brewing (4.5kg for the 12 litres I brewed), mimics the mine dumps always on the edge of view in this part of Johannesburg. This earthy, grainy, bitty character is reflected a second time in the brickwork in different shades distinctive of the old industrial buildings of Booysens Reserve.
I wanted to experience this materiality in a unique way and try to represent some of my experiences of the brewing process formally in a way that might inform my architectural design. To this end, I performed what I have called a conceptual sparge.
Sparging is the process by which the boiled, raw ingredients are introduced to fresh water to produce what will become the final beer.
For this charette, I examined my conceptions and readings of the site and materials and experience from the brewing process and consolidated them in a new medium: not water, but concrete. There is some current research on using spent brewer’s grain in insulated bricks, and here concrete stands as a simple substitute. I added spent grain from the brewing process, and other materials – sand from site, hops, stones, perspex and a beer bottle to the slurry – and set twelve conceptual models in identical 850mm shutter ply cubes, each representing an idea.

Now see :

2014
Louis Road Plaza
An urban scheme which re-imagines the urban fabric between Louis Botha Road and Grant Avenue as a sustainable public arts and urban farming network
2015
Drunk in Public
Conceptual foundation for the urban extension of the Booysens Brew Works project
2010
UKZN Fine Arts Faculty Building
Studios, lecture facilities and study resources for the University of KwaZulu-Natal, PMB campus.
2011
Hyundai
Ongoing development and rebranding of the car manufacturer's properties in the Western Cape | Stage 5 Architects
2015
Script: Bridge
A Rhinoceros script driven parametric design for the main bridging element between the Booysens Brew Works brewery and distribution buildings.
2015
Brew Works Models
Final models depicting my 2015 architectural thesis project
2010
Golden Mile Sculpture Gallery
A Sculpture display and storage space for the upgraded Golden Mile of Durban beach front.
2010
A Embaixada do Brasil em Moçambique
A Brazilian embassy for Mozambique, in Maputo.
2015
Chapter Illustrations
Collaged images of natural and constructed landscapes over- and under-exposed by the ghostly figures of beer drinkers: an expression of the Genius Loci of Booysens Reserve.
2015
Beer Bricks
A dynamic facade treatment which can be modified throughout the year to allow the desired thermal balance and natural light developed in Grasshopper for the Booysens Brew Works.
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