2.2 RIBA Architectural Hub


RIBA Architectural Hub, replacing old Mayfield station, in Manchester. The new Hub will have exhibition spaces for architectural events and lecture rooms. 

The project proposes a new scheme for the RIBA Hub. The Hub is to hold offices, exhibition and archival spaces, as well as a lecture space for future architects and designers. Located in a bygone train station, how can my design adapt to these historical surroundings? To respect the history of the site, my form follows the rhythm of the archways underneath the ramp. Due to the site’s far location, to attract users, my form has a jagged tip on the west end, contrasting the angle of the ramp whilst also providing a spotting point for the hub. To appreciate the original structure, my GF is made from curtain glazing, which allows maximum sunlight to penetrate into the hidden areas under the ramp. Unlike the existing red brick, the hub will be cladded with precast concrete panels, this allows a clearer indication of the building, as the red brick could veil the hub’s location. 


The Hub's intention is to allow future architects to hold exhibitions and provide a learning space for designers. The programmes provided in the space can be versatile and interchangeable for future uses, explaining the open plan. During summer months, programs can also flood out to external spaces, as the overhang from the 1F creates a sheltered space. Due to the absence of greenery on the ground, the site offers spaces to grow vegetation, attracting people to relax in the space.


To understand the historical context of the site, a series of typology sketches were made, in relation to the surrounding environment.

Thumbnails illustrate spatial opportunities on site.

Sketch models are used to test possible massing on site.  The programmes are spaced out, allowing the rhythm of arches to appear in the design. Programmes that require more privacy such as the archive spaces and storage facilities will be hidden under the ramp, whilst the exhibition space will be pulled out, as it is the main element of the architecture. The cantilevered spaces allows opportunity for programmes to spill out and use external space, promoting circulation around the site. By having a free flowing plan, creates an open space, in contrast to the narrow site.

Facade iteration: Series of sketches testing materiality and shape of skin. Brick became primary material, as it reflected on the contextual surroundings, however because it blended with the existing structure, this gave the building no individuality and was unclear to spot from a distance.

Developed sketch model: The design is shaped in reflection to the site. The building sharpens at the end, contrasting with the adjacent ramp, whilst also providing a prominent point for onlookers to see. The material will be made from concrete, separating itself from the brick background, whilst curtain glazing will be veiled on the GF, allowing the arches to appear through.

1.200 North Elevation. RIBA Architecture Hub, Mayfield Site, Manchester.

Technical details showing foundation and envelope elements.

Interior and Outdoor perspectives of Architectural Hub Site.

Night time view of the site. The arches under the ramp lights up, giving a very mysterious atmosphere to the design. Also due to the dark context, by having lights appear underneath the arches during night this creates a safer feeling

Model showing possible RIBA Hub design.

© 2020 by KELLY KA WAI LUI DESIGNS. Proudly created with Wix.com