Astley Castle model filming

In September 2017 I spent a day at Witherford Watson Mann’s office filming their working model for their Stirling Prize winning Astley Castle project. The footage records William performing the design iterations though the model.

The model had been in long term storage and was being brought out to be part of an international exhibition. At the time of the filming parts of the model were in a slightly damaged state, although this effectively contributes to the impression of the model as a working document for architectural thinking, and its imperfections ensure the viewer of the footage is aware of the constructed nature of the spatial imagery.

We had an interesting conversation prior to filming about whether the model or the architecture would be the “subject”. The decision to film both from within the model and an overview meant that both effectively became overlaid subjects. The juxtaposition of both clips shows the model as an artefact inherently entwined with the design development process, and presents a series of possible architectures, which eventually culminate in the proposal that was built.

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