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The Pilgrimage Project: Gaze.

This project was completed in my first year of studying interior architecture and design at Sheffield Hallam University.


This projects brief is to create a pilgrimage experience starting at the Head Post Office building in Sheffield, which will take the user on a journey through the Porter Brook Valley to end at a specific location. At the end of this journey, there will be an architecturally re appropriated 40ft shipping container that encourages users to gaze into nature. The space is to be used by at least two people, where the orientation of the structure focuses the user’s gaze to a specific view within nature.


To begin this project I chose a location for my shipping container to be placed within the Porter Brook Valley in Sheffield. The concept I chose was to create an uncluttered, peaceful and relaxing space where individuals who are walking through the park can stop and rest in a healing space. From here I sketched my main gaze view showing the river and bridge which would be seen from the windows of the container. I then looked at inspirational imagery creating both exterior and interior mood boards deciding on a colour scheme based on green and nature as these both contribute to creating healing spaces.


Moving onto the design development element of this project I started to experiment with the shape of a shipping container looking at subtractive form, additive form, dimensions, different orientations and placements, I did this using sketch models.

I finally decided to cut the container into six sections creating seperate rooms. Taking inspiration from the Joshua Tree Residence by James Whitaker I decided to stack the sections allowing for a range of views of my gaze to be seen. I then created a plan and elevation of this exterior design putting it into the context of my site.

With the exterior of my container I decided to keep the corten steel outer shell instead of clad it because due to the unnatural shape of my design I would not be able to camouflage it within nature so I embraced the unnatural aspect of the material. Further enphasising the inability to camouflage the container I decided to paint the corten steel black.

The corrugated wall panels create a secure structure that is waterproof, this is another reasons why I have chosen to keep the containers original material as it makes my space structurally robust.

The Interior

Firstly I looked into the schedule of accommodation and journey of the user which allowed me to distinguish what each section would be used for creating a flow throughout the container, I used adjacency diagrams to show this. I then sketched a story board of each room to give myself an idea of how each interior would look. Following on from this I created an interior materials mood board selecting colours from nature such as neutrals and greens and using materials such as wood linking back to biophilic design that I had looked into earlier in my research. All design decisions linking to the colour scheme and materials used links to the idea of a healing space and how to create this effect.

Final Outcomes

Developing further I drew perspectives of each room within my shipping container design, which I then cladded on Photoshop and then added context of both the outside views and people within the space. 

This shipping container design was based on the concept of the gaze that users will see from this building. Therefore, the interiors design is very simplistic and minimalistic focusing on the windows and the views from these windows.


I used both Vectorworks and Photoshop to create this image to the right, adding my shipping container into context on Photoshop and creating the model and rendering it on Vectorworks.

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