AFTRS - Masters Space

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Back again to AFTRS - the Film School.  This time to design a creative workspace for the Masters Students in a large industrial part of the building that used to be the props store. I loved doing this job.  Creativity is a magical life-giving force and to beckon it into a space between four walls and encourage it to set up shop is both a challenge and a privilege.

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The space had to be carved up and given form & meaning.  Large timber columns were added, painted in an unobtrusive grey to suggest a loft atmosphere.  Inspired by Chinese Moon Gates a plywood flat with a circular portal was constructed to lead into the main area.

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With the exposed industrial ceiling and concrete floors, the space also needed warming up and a human element added.   The white plastic desks were banished and the concrete block walls painted with mineral lime-wash.  Seagrass matting and retro furniture kept it feeling studenty.

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A big thing was adding different levels.  I had read a detective novel where an old policeman would come to the crime scene with a milk crate - he would stand on it and get a new take on the case.  In the Masters Space this was achieved with a conversation pit, a little deck and building a timber wall on top of an existing concrete half wall. This created window nooks where students could look down onto the neighbouring equestrian centre.  

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I wanted to keep a certain rawness to the space so that the students would feel relaxed and make the space theirs -  not feel like they had to be on their best behaviour. This playful & slightly unfinished quality giving the Masters a feeling of potential -  of ideas & brainstorming, the student projects yet to come...

Ingrid Weir