Matt Gilham

Courtyard film school

The Courtyard film school occupies a neglected industrial site by the docks, neighboured by the Liverpool to Leeds canal and viaduct. The design is carefully integrated with its surrounding context, with the walled courtyard derived from the local typology of large perimeter dockyard walls. The building engages with the neighbouring viaduct using it as external storage space, whilst also re-establishing the canal as usable green landscape in the centre of an urban area. The buildings predominant materials are brick and cross laminated timber. The brick is used as a sensitive response to context, meanwhile the cross laminated timber softens the bricks harsh aesthetic, creating a warmer internal and external atmosphere.

The building is composed of a series of volumes linked together by a central atrium. Each volume can be categorised by its function; whether it is social, commercial or technical. The function of these volumes are echoed through their design. For example the technical block expresses a sense of practicality through the stereotomic, masonry parapet walls. This, contrasted with the social and commercial blocks – which express a certain lightness and permeability through their exposed cross laminated timber frame and glazed facades.

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