Christmas Break: Finishing Dissertation & Christchurch Site Visit

Over Christmas I worked mainly on my dissertation to ensure it was complete for the deadline at the start of January, I found it difficult to spend a whole day writing and reading the essay, so I would spend a few hours and when I couldn’t work on it anymore I would return to the Final Major Project research, relating to Christchurch and complete a task which wasn’t as harsh on my brain!

My partner & I took a trip to Christchurch and visited the Castle & Norman House, I felt like I couldn’t wait until the New Year to visit with the group and tutor as I needed to see the site and surrounding area before starting to develop the outline brief properly.

The site is in a great location within Christchurch, within close proximity to the high street and other historical landmarks like the Red House Museum and the famous Priory. The site is made up of two structures, Norman House ruins and up on a hill, The Great Tower ruins. Separating the two, is a bowling green and a pedestrian pathway with a few trees. My design proposal will take this into consideration, making the most of the location of the site and the layout of the two structures.

My partner is a general builder, so we took some equipment to allow a better understanding of the site and to gain information to properly map it out. Using a theodolite we worked out the height of the hill along with any other changes in level on the ground. This information will allow me to draw out the contours of the site onto the computer, allowing for a more detailed digital model, and an accurate physical model towards the end of the design process.



Using a Theodolite to understand the changes in ground level and topology.


Norman House has many openings and recesses within the ruins, this will be considered when planning the design of the space, I hope to utilize theses aspects and enhance the historical importance of the structures.

On the first day back after Christmas I have to present my Outline Brief for the Final Major Project, so alongside finishing my dissertation I have been working hard to understand the site and analyse the surrounding area. Along with researching the town and any other information which may inform my initial brief.

I also purchased a research book this week, called ‘The Makers of Christchurch – A thousand year story.’ Which will allow me to uncover further information on the history of the site and town.



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