Project description

This year has included three main design projects, focusing on different scales and areas within the same site of Old College. The first project was a detailed adaptation of one of the historic Playfair Library's reading carrels. I created a multi-functional, flexible study space inspired by Japanese spatial design concepts that focused on exposing the existing details and reusing historic elements. The second project was about redesigning the Talbot Rice Gallery with a renewed vision. I created a gallery that would promote discussion around art and extend the gallery into the city. It involved master planning the surrounding streets and developing a sustainable plan for the gallery.

The final project was a development of the master plan with a focus on the urban realm and public interior space. The project was centred around the boundary between the new pedestrianised street and the public interior courtyard linking to new social, cultural spaces. Urban interiors and confined exteriors have been explored to create welcoming human-scaled spaces within a vibrant streetscape. It is a centre for arts, events, and gatherings with spaces and places for everyone.


For the final project, I researched urban planning and how to create safe spaces to aid with designing the pedestrian street. The street would create a new busy link to the gallery, through an interior courtyard which would also offer shopping and a cafe. Retail elements within museums and galleries are a contested issue in the literature surrounding the subject but are also a way to draw people to the exhibitions, create a holistic visitor experience and ensure the sustainability of the institution. Therefore, I adapted the historic spaces around the new open courtyard to house these elements. The courtyard takes inspiration from Spanish Colonial architecture and is designed to feel like an exterior space, with only gates separating it from the street.

interior model
Interior model of café space.
Photo of street model
Model of pedestrianised street showing walkway connecting to historic bridge, canopy structure, and added seating.
Photo of model of entrance space
Model of interior threshold - Urban Interiors
Section through interior with material details
Section drawing through courtyard with material study - Urban Interiors
Rendered section
Pencil-rendered section drawing through courtyard.
Photo of model West College Street
Model of pedestrianised street - Urban Interiors
Photo of street model
View within model looking up street, under bridge.
Sketch of facade
Sketch of façade in development.
Plan drawing expand
Plan drawing of Old College and Talbot Rice Gallery - Urban Interiors
Street elevation drawing expand
Elevation drawing on West College Street - Urban Interiors
Section drawing expand
Section drawing through west side of building - Urban Interiors

Using my experience working from home during the pandemic, I designed an entirely flexible study space that could adapt to any student's needs. I resued the existing bookcase doors as a folding space partitioner, which would also conceal the flexible furniture on one side of the reading carrel. The interior design was simple, exposing the natural timber elements and creating a calming workspace. A key intervention was the central hanging light structures, which focused lighting on different areas of working and partitioned the space, allowing for a moment of reflection in the window bay.

Photo of interior model
Model of reading carrel interior - Flexible Study

Louise Cooper

An exploration of urban interiors, multi-functional architectural adaptation, and sustainable spatial master planning.
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