Tony Fretton

Unit 2: General Practice

Towers in Antwerp – Tony Fretton Architects photo by Peter Cook

Unit brief

Architecture is a social art, which at one end of its spectrum provides for human needs and desires, and at the other contributes to the ideas by which the world around us can be understood. It is also intrinsically collaborative. Every stage, from commissioning to realisation, is carried out by people working in groups and allied disciplines, and the meaning of its buildings is made through the imaginative impact of those who use it. This is the world of general practice, which provides buildings for a community through professional skill and commitment. Professionalism is distinct in that its duty to clients is contextualised in a wider responsibility to society. General practice accepts that architecture is healthier with practitioners of differing skills, abilities and viewpoints. It insists that everyone matters but that they must absolutely do their best.

This is the context of my teaching. I teach each person individually while others work in the studio and benefit from what they hear. Technical teaching is provided periodically throughout the two semesters in the same way.

I set a different design project each semester. The first is usually a design for housing with an element of research to provide the basis for the Integrated Design Study. The second is a public building that is purely about design. Each has a real site and brief and live issues, and each is engaging and a source of pleasure.

I plan a short trip early in the first semester so that the group can get to know each other and a field trip in spring to see great architecture.

My aim is to facilitate a steady flow of graduates into practice with developed design and analytical skills, a sound instinct for construction, well-founded points of view and a passion for architecture.


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture
Tutor Tony Fretton
Technical Mark Taylor and Billy Choi
Where Central House, fourth floor studios
When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)

Unit 1: Urban Gestalt – Origins of a Town

Professor Florian Beigel and Professor Philip Christou

Unit 1: Urban Gestalt – Origins of a Town will investigate the elements that give a town its urban form and essential spatial character.

Unit 4: Building Lab; Living with Man-made Natures

Andrew Grant, Elian Hirsch, Eva Diu and Jonas Lundberg

Unit 5: The Deep Block

Alex Ely, Michael Dillon, Adam Powell

The Deep Block will explore semi-public spaces through large-scale model making, city exploration by foot and making drawings of the architectural spaces you find.

Unit 6: Civic Assembly

Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont and Dr Bo Tang

Unit 6: Civic Assembly investigates the civic assemblies emerging around evolving city infrastructures, focusing on South London and Kathmandu Valley.

Unit 8: Midland Cities I – Leicester

Takero Shimazaki, Summer Islam and T-SA

Unit 8: Midland Cities I – Leicester will investigate recent urban development in the Midlands and propose alternative strategies of renewal.

Unit 9: Sweetness and light

Stephen Taylor, Theodoros Thysiades and Sam Holden

Unit 14: Miniature – worlds within worlds

Pierre d’Avoine and Colette Sheddick

Unit 14: Miniature – worlds within worlds introduces you to notions of myth and fabulation in the reinvention of the countryside.

Unit 15: Creative Industry

James Binning and Paloma Strelitz

Unit 15: Creative Industry examines the changing political and economic conditions in the city and its impact on cultural identity.

Cass Cities Unit

Professor Mark Brearley, Jane Clossick and Colin O'Sullivan

Find out about the aims of the Cass Cities Unit in 2016/17, including project work in Brussels and ensuring fair development in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area proposals.

Cass Studios archive by year