Professor Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont, Dr Bo Tang, Jane McAllister and Sandra Denicke-Polcher

Unit 06: Civic Fit

Shed full of donated clothes in Malakasa refugee camp, Athens

Unit brief

Civic Fit

Unit 06 offers students a choice of two settings: Athens, Greece; or Belmonte, Calabria. They are both migrant gateways offering apposing civic scales within which the drama of urban change is being played out: Athens the classical city transformed into a vibrant metropolis and Belmonte the abandoned hill village.

Students will be concerned with the idea of Loose Fit when things are made at different times and then endure; so that made pieces fit with both past fabric and future needs. Proposals will need to be spatially, materially and temporally re-grounded in actual settings and crucially re-scaled, re-validated and re-named. This requires architecture to act as a structured process of civic democracy rather than being a fossilised commodity.

Athens used to be the gateway to Europe for people fleeing war in Afghanistan and Syria. But now families are trapped by asylum regulations in camps or housed in worn, often empty, Domino-style reinforced concrete ‘Polykatoikia’ landscapes. Out of this political stasis has emerged an outpouring of voluntary effort. A discourse around how to initiate Greece’s first programme of social housing for all residents has begun, a debate which will continue this year.

Belmonte sits alongside the road to Europe for West African refugees. There are opportunities for a meaningful fit between this empty and neglected but evocative landscape and the needs of both residents and visitors. Students will continue to engage here over the coming year.


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA 2
Tutors Professor Maurice Mitchell
Francesca Pont
Dr Bo Tang
Jane McAllister
Sandra Denicke-Polcher

Goulston Street
Room GS1-19a

When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)

Unit 02: Classicism, modernism and architecture in the present time

Tony Fretton

Unit 02 will run this year as a project in three parts at Somerset House London.

Unit 04: Building Laboratory | Frozen Timber

Jonas Lundberg, Eva Diu and Andrew Grant

Unit 04 aims to participate in the debate on environmental adaptation, design and development of the new town of Kiruna, which is forced to move three kilometres to the east of its current location.

Unit 05: The Infrastructure of the Street

Alex Ely, Michael Dillon and Lydia Johnson

Unit 05 are interested in how changing the infrastructure of a singular street and the housing within it can alter the urban contribution.

Unit 06: Civic Fit

Professor Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont, Dr Bo Tang, Jane McAllister and Sandra Denicke-Polcher

Unit 06 offers students a choice of three settings: Athens, Greece; Belmonte, Calabria; or Kirtipur in the Kathmandu Valley.

Unit 07: A Lean Architecture

David Grandorge and Paloma Gormley

Unit 07 will begin the year with an ambitious project, Timber Translations, re-imagining the industrial structures depicted in the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher in timber allowing us to and explore languages of jointing, supporting and bridging in a single material at a large scale.

Unit 08: Midland Cities II – Nottingham Translations

Takero Shimazaki (t-sa) and Summer Islam

Unit 08 will continue to focus on the urban development of cities in the Midlands and propose architectural interventions as opportunities for civic renewal.

Unit 09: Making Urban

Stephen Taylor and Theodoros Thysiades

Unit 09 will continue its two Semester / project structure this year.

Unit 10: An Architecture of Relationships V

Signy Svalastoga, Jonathan Cook and Edward Simpson

Unit 10 will again start the year with two linked short projects aimed to develop and fine-tune spatial and social observations, explored through drawing, making, mending and repair.

Unit 12: Hotel Sphinx

Peter St John, James Hand and Ben Speltz

Unit 12 will continue to examine the different conditions of London and the potential of the city's current reinvention.

Unit 14: Dis-place

Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d’Avoine

Unit 14 will work in the East End this year, specifically in Tower Hamlets and will be concerned with diaspora displacement and the indigenous.

Unit 15: Building Society

James Binning, Ellie Howard and James Pockson

Unit 15 will redefine the terms of the self-build movement and transcend the trope of homes made by home makers, exploring instead self-build as a powerful economic and urban alternative to developer-driven housing.