Alex Bank and Sam Casswell

Studio 01: The Gesture of a Building

Maquette by Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson, 1953 Photo Alex Bank

Studio brief

The Gesture of a Building

As architects we are constantly searching for an appropriate architectural response to the given situation in which we work. We are looking for a balance of participants to bring a specific energy and tone to proceedings whether contributing a new building within a pre-existing piece of city or a landscape setting.

Studio 01 is fascinated by the contribution architecture makes to the life of a place. This year we will explore how the gesture of a building can be a gift to the city. It’s the relationships, accidental and purposeful, the chattering between buildings that makes memorable moments in the city. We will be searching for authentic gestures in architecture. We like the analogy of organising a meal with friends. Getting the right mix of personalities around the table is key. You’ll want guests that can be gentle, helpful, fun, reconciliatory, taciturn, humble, pompous, gregarious and provocative even. This is also true when trying to build a city.

Buildings can be figure-like with heads, tails, faces, fronts, backs and shoulders. The expression of a building communicates to its surroundings. A building gesture is not just linked to the articulation of its facade but also its internal workings. The meaningful interrelationships between interior spaces and the city also help to define the spirit or personality of the project.

Time will be set aside to carefully look at buildings. We will help you to develop your own way of seeing architecture and identifying the aspects of architecture you value. You will make studies of artworks and existing moments in the city formed by figures or buildings in dialogue. We will visit Rome and Milan to experience special examples of architecture from two epochs. Back in London you will make designs on sites characterised by existing buildings with their own positive gestures. Your designs will look to respond to these existing qualities and enhance this moment in the city.


Course Architecture BA (Hons)
Tutors Alex Bank
Sam Casswell

Goulston Street
Room GS2-35a

When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture Studios

Studio 01: The Gesture of a Building

Alex Bank and Sam Casswell

Studio 01 is looking at the contribution architecture makes to the life of a place.

Studio 02: After City: Assemblage, Incrementalism and Infrastructures

Colin O’Sullivan and Charlotte Harris

Studio 02 will examine and propose design interventions in Germany this year.

Studio 03: Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus

Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister

Studio 03 is concerned with architecture as a form of agency, involving civic making through practice.

Studio 04: Place for Play

Anna Ludwig and Rufus Willis

Studio 04 is looking at how the space of play has coexisted and still coexists with spaces of exchange and circulation, political space and cultural space.

Studio 06: Collaborations

Andrew Jackson, David Leech and Martin Nässén

Studio 06 will focus on the theme of ‘Collaborations’ and continue to investigate the ideas established by the studio in recent years and will again work with good examples of historic and contemporary architecture.

Studio 07: FIT

Robert Barnes and Bo Tang

Studio 07 will be basing this year’s work in Athens, Greece as both a continuation and new departure for the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources.

Studio 08: good growth

Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven

This year Studio 08 will be responding to the Mayor of London’s call to create a ‘City for All Londoners’ based on the principles of ‘good growth’ – ‘development that is socially, environmentally and economically inclusive.’

Studio 09: Public Rooms, Convergent Spaces

Jillian Jones, Ewan Stone and David Howarth

Studio 09 will look to how new spaces for cultural and community provision in London’s East End can be more locally generated.

Studio 10: Old, New, Hot and Cool

Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams

Studio 10 will propose buildings which are old, new, hot and cool and develop architectural projects which sit between these definitions to explore the role of the architect as a critical agent in society.

Studio 11: Well Built

Edmund Fowles and Ingrid Petit

Studio 11 will turn their gaze to some of the oldest institutions in the world, places that will become your home for several formative years in the pursuit of ‘higher education’ – universities.

Cass studios archive by year