Exhibition: 26.06.2014 – 06.07.2014

Studio 5

Sian Ricketts - Facade Study

About the show

Civic Pride

This year Studio 5 investigated the question of civic architecture by proposing town halls in new towns and market towns outside London. We started the year by compiling a book of precedents entitled 'Civic Pride' to elaborate the architectural qualities of the 'People's Palace,' important civic or cultural buildings that have a special presence and generosity.

These projects are not just meeting places for culture, some house important state functions such as civic administration and local democracy. Each example has been studied with three pieces of work, a detailed and edited ground plan to show the continuity of external public space to interior foyer, an internal elevation to show the materiality, detail and atmosphere of these communal spaces and a study model to analyse and distill the civic character of the façade. Many of these examples come from a particular moment in post-war Europe of high investment in public building. While buildings such as Hans Asplund's richly detailed Eslöv civic centre in Sweden capture this kind of 'Champagne socialism' or 'People's Palace' in their luxurious materiality, other examples are more stripped down and raw, such as the re-used concrete structure of Kortrijk Town Hall in Flanders by NoA Architects.

We travelled throughout Switzerland to visit important public buildings to understand the strong connection between civic architecture and a localised democracy. We also visited buildings and met young architects chosen to take part in the 'Young Swiss Public' exhibition running concurrently with the architecture show on the ground floor of Central House.

We are under no illusion that investment in public building is in crisis in the United Kingdom. The New Towns of Harlow and Hemel Hempstead provided a clear illustration of this crisis of Civic Pride. Harlow's original town hall by Frederick Gibberd was demolished and replaced in 2003 with a large retail park with council facilities incorporated within. The loss of agency of local government is further demonstrated by current plans to demolish the civic quarter of Hemel Hempstead along Geoffrey Jellicoe's grade 2 listed water gardens to make way for new retail parks. Our intervention in these situations is timely and speculative, there may be other and more appropriate ways to reaffirm spaces for local democracy than the commercial.

The market towns of Horsham and smaller towns of Uckfield and Amersham presented different conditions, one where local authority buildings had outgrown original town hall premises to take up mostly administrative positions outside of the town centres leaving a void for new and more public town halls to fill. The aim of the year's work was to re-consider what a new civic architecture could offer, in its placement within the town and territory, its relationship to public space and the carefully detailed exterior and interior that a public building should possess. Facade studies investigate the character of this civic architecture in the same way as our precedent studies, a detailed exercise in designing a main stair with furniture designer Simon Jones led into more comprehensive studies of civic interiors, living rooms for the town where people of all backgrounds can come together.


Exhibition details

Location Central House 4th Floor
Course Architecture BA (Hons) RIBA Part 1
Studio Studio 5

Students' work

Sian Ricketts

Façade Study, eslöv medborgarhus

Victoria Evans

Façade Model - Rødovre Town Hall

Ekramul Robbani

Façade Model - National Theatre

Zoe Arnold

Façade Model - Örebro Medborgarhus

Vincent O'Connor

Internal Elevation - Stockholm Kulturhus

Hanelore Dumitrache

Internal Elevation - Basel Town Hall

Vincent O’Connor

Public foyer and square - Stockholm Kulturhus

Josh Heames

Public Foyer Plan - Lund Stadshall

Jun Woo Kin

Territory Plan - Amersham Town Council

Sophie James

Proposed town hall - Horsham town centre

Sophie James

Proposed town hall, façade concept

Azza Al Hinai

Proposed Public Foyer and Facade - Horsham

Azza Al Hinai

Proposed Public Foyer - Horsham Town Hall

Sian Ricketts

Proposed Foyer Stair - Harlow Town Hall

Sian Ricketts

Proposed Public Foyer - Harlow Town Hall

Waldemar Jansson

Proposed façade model - Uckfield Town Hall

Sarah Richards

Proposed town hall - Hemel Hempstead

Sarah Richards

Proposed Council Chamber - Hemel Hempstead

Sarah Richards

Proposed Foyer Stair - Hemel Hempstead Town Hall

Jun Woo Kim

Proposed Public Foyer - Amersham Town Hall

Maggie Ndungu

Proposed façade - Uckfield Town Hall

Victoria Evans

Proposed Public Foyer - Horsham Town Hall

Zoe Arnold

Proposed Council Chamber - Horsham Town Hall

Vincent O’Connor

Proposed Town Hall, Harlow

Sevda Aydemir

Façade Concept, Horsham Town Hall

Kartikai Majithia

Proposed town and market hall, Hemel Hempstead

Jaahid Ahmad

Proposed Public Foyer stair

Max Chapman

Proposed Façade Model - Harlow Town Hall

Tutors

Nina Lundvall
James Payne

Students

Jaahid Ahmad
Azza Al Hinai
Zoe Arnold
Sevda Aydemir
Janos Bartosz
Max Chapman
Hanelore Dumitrache
Victoria Evans
Joshua Heames
Sophie James
Waldemar Jansson
Jun Kim
Kartikai Majithia
Margaret Ndungu
Ourania Ntousia
Vincent O'Connor
Sarah Richards
Sian Ricketts
Ekramul Robbiani
Urszula Saniawa

Critics

Aidan Hodgkinson
Jay Gort
Peter Karl Becher
Simon Jones
Philip Christou
Florian Beigel
Jason Whiteley
Martin Nassen

Consultants

Simon Jones
Step Haiselden, Jane Wernick Associates
Craig Robertson