Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d’Avoine

Unit 14: Dis-place

Robin Hood Gardens [Credit: KUBASNOPEK]

Unit brief


In Freudian psychology, displacement is an unconscious defence mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.

Unit 14 will work in the East End this year, specifically in Tower Hamlets. We will be concerned with diaspora displacement and the indigenous. Tower Hamlets has accommodated incoming communities of Chinese, Huguenots, Jews, Italians, Bangladeshis and many others over centuries. It has also been subject to major redevelopment as a result of bomb damage, post-war so called slum clearance and the advent of the Welfare State, itself under threat of completely being dismantled by successive governments since the late 1970s. The only constant has been change and flux.

Our aim will be to study communities that live in Tower Hamlets and trace their journeys into and from the East End over generations. We are concerned with the impact of gentrification, the potential to assimilate or enjoy difference – how the social impacts on the architectural and vice-versa. We will study different building typologies within the borough – terraces, low-rise high density housing and towers – and question the matrix of public space in which they are situated.

The unit trip will be to Rome to study the work of Vignola, Borromini, Libera, Moretti and others, focusing on facade and elevation and the gesamtkunstwerk. It will be your task to invent scenarios that question the way in which land is procured in the city and to propose new ways of forming communities and livelihoods through intelligent design and building strategies. We would like you to consider the environmental impact of new development, the influence of digital technology on the way we live, work and play and its potential for social exchange. We would like you to examine the means by which such projects may be brought into being.


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA 2
Tutors Pierre d'Avoine
Pereen d'Avoine

Goulston Street
Room GS1-13

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.