Thesis Project, Kings Cross, London      
Matter Platform, Royal College of Art

Medium: Soil, Fly Ash, Lime, Water, Crushed Oyster ShellsSize: 10x10x10 cm cube

Se(a)quel is an oyster bar supporting the movement of construction site without a bin, by reusing, reprocessing and repurposing waste and on-site waste. Se(a)quel will be a new chapter for wasted materials to help circular economy.

My fascination with waste started when I visited waste-age and observed how much was being wasted, unused, and ending up decaying in landfill. Yet was salvageable. I was interested to find out what could be reused to become a new material for interiors. The project setting provided me with soil, oyster shells and a range of discarded industrial objects.

Earth and Soil, the largest percentage of what is considered construction waste is viewed as a raw-resource from the site.

Underneath the two arches of the Coal Drops Yard, there’s 270 m3 of aggregates, earth and soil. Exploring the possibilities of this has been my main focus throughout the year.

Soil, as basic material, is mixed with fly ash, which is a waste product from coal production, with a little bit of lime from oyster shells. Lime from crushed oyster shells works as a stabiliser and substitute for cement. Adjusting the proportions allowed the tactility to move from fine to coarse offering a wide range of material qualities within the space. Finer finishes allowed a subtle play of light and colour, coarseness speaks of nature and rawness.

Transition from Light to Dark


The space is designed in response to the character of the site. Two railway arches with little direct natural light led me to create a space with split atmospheres and experiences.

Analysing the sun path, I have discovered that the site was almost always dark.

Which then gave me the word “darkness”. In a hospitality environment, compared to bright interiors, darkness elevates the senses, enhancing the ability to taste, influencing behaviour to be more focused, relaxed and to engender a more intimate environment that slows down mood and action.

I wanted to take advantage of the site's given environmental resource, darkness, for space division. So from outside to inside, public to private, occurs as a natural transition.

Ground level gives a more casual and vibrant atmosphere. Walking down the stairs, visitors experience a gradual change in ambiance moving from light to dim to dark. The lower level is slow paced, intimate and dark, that is achieved by rough and coarse materiality from the soil.

BAR as center of Circulation


The bar acts as the centre of circulation. And the circular bar guides customers with ease to locate bartenders and their seats. Extra standing tables at the rear of the space allow more room for people to freely stand and drink in a casual atmosphere more akin to a pub. The 1:1 bar height from visitors to bartender allows a casual and friendlier environment. The lightweight stools reprocessed from oyster shells, and plywood from the bar's construction mould, allows free arrangement within for visitors to sit, stand and share seats.

- Floor tiles, reproduced from on-site soil and granite, are arranged in an arch to visually divide the bar and standing zone.

- Polished zinc countertop is used in the areas for hygiene.

- Oyster shell composite forms the main body of the bar.

- Reclaimed light diffuser panels are used to create a cabinet behind the bar that provides a visual connection between upstairs and downstairs.


On the other hand, the arch on the right side, you will start to experience the change in atmosphere gradually building up as you walk down the stairs, allowing people to adjust to the light settings, light to dim to dark. Differentiating the Bar Counter height produces a more formal arrangement between visitors and bartender. Heavyweight stools and rich coarse tactile materiality elevates the space to be more slow paced.

-Darkness is achieved by the materiality of the rough and coarseness of the soil.

- Patinated matte finished zinc top and zinc cabinet doors allows the environment to elevate the darkness; while binding all the roughness of the surrounding materials.

- The same reprocessed granite and soil tile is applied on the floor to connect the two spaces.


The transition of light to dark is echoed in the facade. A dramatic sculptural gesture that unites the two arches into one and celebrates soil as valuable. The facade’s transition from translucent to solid, combined with its smooth curve invites people in and gives a clue to the two experience’s available inside. The three lights symbolise Se(a)quel’s three design strategies that speaks of circular economy through material reuse, reprocessing and reproduction.

A moment, a pause... before you enter a bar, guided by the curvature of the facade.

Story of Oyster Shell

In the same way of the bar being center of circulation, the journey of oysters within Seaquel- has its own circular system. Oysters that are being consumed by visitors will be collected at the site, shown at the entrance of the space as a graphical element that that communicates how much has been consumed. The oyster shells are then delivered to local manufactures who make the items with oyster shells that can be either used at Se(a)quel or purchased and taken home.

The menu will describe the circular system of oyster shells to inform visitors that there will be no shell waste from their consumption.


A scoping calculation of the embodied carbon was used to minimise emissions in the design.

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