Architecture students conceive of units that are above and bellow ground whilst respecting the site at Lumsdale Valley

Architecture students at Nottingham Trent University were set the brief to design three separate units to accommodate a small number of people in Lumsdale Valley, Derbyshire. The requirements were that one unit had to be above the ground, one on and one under, whilst taking into account the context of the site.

Here five students describe their schemes:

‘Accommodation for Arborists’ by Dinushki Abeysinghe

“The accommodations units are designed for arborists - professionals in the practice of arboriculture on three levels - in, on and above. The design scheme is orientated for the arborists to experience the journey of the site, demonstrating a strong connection with the landscape and manipulating framed views in different perspectives.

The units continue the design pattern of the existing ruins collaborating together with the topography and context. The units are connected physically as well as the public pathway of the site. The three units accommodate two to six people, and each unit is self-contained with sleeping space, toilet, basin and shower, storage, and a small kitchen/living area.”

‘Accommodation for Ecologists’ by Ka U Leong

“The three specially designed units all have different functions - the first unit is designed for carrying out research and is an equipment based area, the second unit is a meeting area but also an observatory area for clients to gather together, and the third is for keeping research and writing up reports needed for ecologists.
The first unit is built inside, near the waterfall area, and includes a large window for observatory purposes.

“The second unit is located on the landscape, directly facing the ruins in Lumsdale, and the third unit is above, located on the land so the user can see the landscape via the unit. The three units balance each other out, making the accommodation suitable for ecologists to use.”

‘The Enclosure’ by Zak Underwood

“The idea of my project was a way for artists to gain a better vantage point, observing the already beautiful landscape, and to create a studio room in which they could paint and observe. I also wanted to create better links with the ruins, constructing pathways to each individual unit.

The primary use of the underground unit is for sleeping and washing, designed to be hidden away with a grass roof to further camouflage it and give the observer privacy. The ground floor unit is the kitchen and the raised unit, the studio. I designed the units as such to create more outside spaces - such as the area under the studio and the balcony above the kitchen.

“Materiality was also important so I decided to use the same stone the ruins but more clean-cut to show disparity. 
It is named ‘The Enclosure’, to reference how the unit is self-confined within the ruins and creates an artificial barrier from nature whilst still allowing you to experience it.”

‘Seasons Accommodation’ by Miles Kelsey

“I set out to design three individual units that would act as overnight walkers accommodation. The three proposals that I came up with were based on a simple form that made the most of the surrounding landscape. Framing views of a waterfall, and of certain parts of the valley in Lumsdale. 

The name Seasons Accommodation came from the render of the three buildings, Dark Red, Dark Yellow and Dark Green timber cladding. These were used to represent the three seasons: autumn, spring and summer and the colour of the leaves at these times.”

‘Riverbank Lodges’ by Sophie Miller

“I designed the unit to be versatile so that different groups of people could stay at the lodges, whether they are a family, a couple or a group of people or walkers. I wanted to join the units via the unique paths and walkways so the occupants could interconnect with each other, while also having their own space.

“Designed for walkers, the units are located centrally within the site and are all built with a balcony overlooking the stream and waterfall and each unit provides the adequate spaces needed for each occupant living there.”