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BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture and Design

Alicia Jassner

Initial Client Meeting on Site

Alicia Jassner / Landscape Architecture and Design

Hi! I’m a recent graduate from the BA landscape and design course and I’d like to share my experiences from the ‘Design and Community Project’. While there is a high level of independence throughout the course, third year truly makes you realise how far you have come as a designer and the value you have for other people.

In a group of ten students, we were offered the chance to design two courtyards of the Chapel Allerton Hospital. In comparison to previous projects, we now had a real client, a user group we needed to understand and our own group that we needed to self-organise. The first meeting in the hospital with Dr. Rory O’Connor and the two nurses Rachel Watterson and Beverly Mousa provided a personal introduction, the opportunity to clarify their wishes for the new spaces and the needs they should fulfil, as well as showing us the sites for a first impression. It primarily taught me the value of direct communication, as we adapted the brief afterwards to fit the new requirements.

The first courtyard we were to design, was adjacent to the waiting rooms of the dermatology department. The space should be a welcoming area, where patients and their family or friends could relax, have their children play or process medical news. Extra attention was given to the planting and surfaces to avoid skin irritations. In contrast, the second courtyard was exclusive to physiotherapy patients and the staff working here. Therefore, it needed to provide training elements, such as ramps, steps and curbs, as well as appropriate seating. Working in such a large group proved to be a challenge. We wanted to hear everyone’s ideas and opinions, regularly meet in person and distribute the workload evenly. To make more efficient we split into two groups for each courtyard after we had completed our research, site analysis and agreed on a shared vision. Each group developed several masterplans for their courtyard, of which we presented two options each to our client before continuing the design process. Communication was faster within the smaller teams, yet we still met as a big group to ensure cohesion between the two proposed designs.

In the final stages of the project, each student took on one aspect to detail and cost. Mine had been the planting scheme, as I’m very passionate about botany. Whereas before we had to learn to collaborate to present a single idea, this phase allowed us a little more freedom for personal expression and to show what we can do individually. In the end, we all came back together to put the pieces together and revise earlier elements for our final presentation.

Design Team:

  • Alicia Jassner
  • Hafeez Mumraz
  • Calum Marsden
  • Joseph Richardson
  • Caroline Chinyama
  • Hailene Emily Bird
  • Usmaan Hussain
  • Jonny Escreet
  • Paul Rice
  • Supervisor: Jess Bryne-Daniel