Sandra Denicke-Polcher & Stef Rhodes

Studio 3

Image: Heinz-Joachim Draeger, Von Koggen und Kaufleuten, Boyens Buchverlag, Heide 2014

Studio brief

Re-imagining High Streets and Brick Lanes

A Live Project in Hayes, London 

Studio 3 is the Live Projects Studio, which explores new ways of practicing and representing architecture. In order to make this year’s project live, the work will be developed through students and tutors with various stakeholders. It will be facilitated by the local council, a network of partnerships and local community members. 

This year we will be continuing work with real clients and community groups in Hayes, London. Hayes is an ethnically and culturally very diverse area and over the next years the town will change rapidly as new masterplans are realised. Rather than start afresh and re-invent, we are interested in the potential of the existing town centre; from the High Street to the back lanes, and the gaps in between.

Last year, our students worked with the community of the Austin Housing Estate and tested different programmes with the aim of bringing the community together through a series of events. The events and actions gave rise to the creation of different clubs on the estate, such as a sewing club and a music & dance club.

Exploring Making and Music Spaces

This year, we will be moving away from the Housing Estate into the nearby High Street area. We will develop and combine the successful programmes from last year surrounding music and making to re-imagine their contemporary meanings for the town centre. We will test programmes and proposals locally and invite the wider community of Hayes to join in.  

 We will start the year looking at Making and Music Spaces, from traditional workshops to contemporary ones. We will then immerse ourselves with 1:1 interventions into the town centre of Hayes, and analyse how the High Street works on an urban level. In November the Study Trip will be going to Venice, where you will be visiting the Venice Biennial to explore what the contemporary architectural debate has to offer, as well as to look carefully at historic and new facades and how they characterise streets, which will help your design work in Hayes. Back in London we will continue engaging with the local community at 1:1 and test how spaces for making or music performance could offer a new reading of the city centre with the High Street at its core. We will explore the proposals at all scales, with a particular interest in how their massing, materiality and detail forms a new part of the town centre. We will use a phased approach, realising the project in incremental steps, thus dealing with the various constraints (e.g. financial, planning etc.) and making it more realisable. As we will be working with and presenting our work to a wide variety of audiences, we will investigate how best to communicate your ideas through different types of drawings, models, films, mock-ups etc.

Finding your Position as an Architect

Live Projects are exciting, as we work with real clients and you will be in a position to choose and define your client(s), which will probably be shifting throughout the different stages of your project. We want you to explore and find your position as an architect by testing different roles an architect can take on - from initiator and caretaker to designer, policy maker etc. We will discuss how these roles may relate to different forms of practice, and the structures within which they operate.

 A live project doesn’t start or stop with the academic year. We will not only build on the work and relationships that were established by the students during 2012-2014, but the project also has potential for you to continue your involvement during the summer or your practical gap year.

 *Studio 03 has a new teaching partner, Stefanie Rhodes. Stef is not new to the School, having studied with Maurice Mitchell and Robert Mull as Diploma student in Unit 6 and the Free Unit. Stef has been working for the Projects Office in 2009-2010 and was design tutor for the Seoul programme in 2011. Stef is partner at Gatti Rhodes Architects.


Details

Course Architecture BA (Hons) RIBA Part 1
Tutor Sandra Denicke-Polcher
Stef Rhodes
Website Cass Projects