Studio 5

About the show

Civic Pride

This year Studio 5 investigated the question of civic architecture by proposing town halls in new towns and market towns outside London. We started the year by compiling a book of precedents entitled 'Civic Pride' to elaborate the architectural qualities of the 'People's Palace,' important civic or cultural buildings that have a special presence and generosity.

These projects are not just meeting places for culture, some house important state functions such as civic administration and local democracy. Each example has been studied with three pieces of work, a detailed and edited ground plan to show the continuity of external public space to interior foyer, an internal elevation to show the materiality, detail and atmosphere of these communal spaces and a study model to analyse and distill the civic character of the façade. Many of these examples come from a particular moment in post-war Europe of high investment in public building. While buildings such as Hans Asplund's richly detailed Eslöv civic centre in Sweden capture this kind of 'Champagne socialism' or 'People's Palace' in their luxurious materiality, other examples are more stripped down and raw, such as the re-used concrete structure of Kortrijk Town Hall in Flanders by NoA Architects.

We travelled throughout Switzerland to visit important public buildings to understand the strong connection between civic architecture and a localised democracy. We also visited buildings and met young architects chosen to take part in the 'Young Swiss Public' exhibition running concurrently with the architecture show on the ground floor of Central House.

We are under no illusion that investment in public building is in crisis in the United Kingdom. The New Towns of Harlow and Hemel Hempstead provided a clear illustration of this crisis of Civic Pride. Harlow's original town hall by Frederick Gibberd was demolished and replaced in 2003 with a large retail park with council facilities incorporated within. The loss of agency of local government is further demonstrated by current plans to demolish the civic quarter of Hemel Hempstead along Geoffrey Jellicoe's grade 2 listed water gardens to make way for new retail parks. Our intervention in these situations is timely and speculative, there may be other and more appropriate ways to reaffirm spaces for local democracy than the commercial.

The market towns of Horsham and smaller towns of Uckfield and Amersham presented different conditions, one where local authority buildings had outgrown original town hall premises to take up mostly administrative positions outside of the town centres leaving a void for new and more public town halls to fill. The aim of the year's work was to re-consider what a new civic architecture could offer, in its placement within the town and territory, its relationship to public space and the carefully detailed exterior and interior that a public building should possess. Facade studies investigate the character of this civic architecture in the same way as our precedent studies, a detailed exercise in designing a main stair with furniture designer Simon Jones led into more comprehensive studies of civic interiors, living rooms for the town where people of all backgrounds can come together.

Sian Ricketts - Facade Study

Exhibition details

Location Central House 4th Floor
Course Architecture BA (Hons) RIBA Part 1
Studio Studio 5

Students' work

 Sian Ricketts
Sian Ricketts Facade Study Studio 5

Façade Study, eslöv medborgarhus  

 Victoria Evans
Victoria Evans Façade Model Studio 5

Façade Model - Rødovre Town Hall 

 Ekramul Robbani
Ekramul Robbani Façade Model Studio 5

Façade Model - National Theatre 

 Zoe Arnold
Zoe Arnold Façade Model Studio 5

Façade Model - Örebro Medborgarhus 

 Vincent O'Connor
Vincent O'Connor Internal Elevation Studio 5

Internal Elevation - Stockholm Kulturhus 

 Hanelore Dumitrache
Hanelore Dumitrache Internal Elevation Studio 5

Internal Elevation - Basel Town Hall 

 Vincent O’Connor
Vincent O’Connor Plan of public foyer and square studio 5

Public foyer and square - Stockholm Kulturhus 

 Josh Heames
Josh Heames Public Foyer Plan Studio 5

Public Foyer Plan - Lund Stadshall 

 Jun Woo Kin
Jun Woo Kin Territory Plan Studio 5

Territory Plan - Amersham Town Council 

 Sophie James
Sophie James Proposed town hall Studio 5

Proposed town hall - Horsham town centre 

 Sophie James
Sophie James Proposed town hall, façade concept Studio 5

Proposed town hall, façade concept 

 Azza Al Hinai
Azza Al Hinai Proposed Public Foyer and Facade Studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer and Facade - Horsham 

 Azza Al Hinai
Azza Al Hinai
Proposed Public Foyer Studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer - Horsham Town Hall 

 Sian Ricketts
Sian Ricketts Proposed Foyer Stair Studio 5

Proposed Foyer Stair - Harlow Town Hall 

 Sian Ricketts
Sian Ricketts Proposed Public Foyer Studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer - Harlow Town Hall 

 Waldemar Jansson
Waldemar Jansson Proposed façade model studio 5

Proposed façade model - Uckfield Town Hall 

 Sarah Richards
Sarah Richards hemel hempstead
Proposed town hall studio 5

Proposed town hall - Hemel Hempstead 

 Sarah Richards
Sarah Richards Proposed council chamber studio 5

Proposed Council Chamber - Hemel Hempstead 

 Sarah Richards
Sarah Richards proposed foyer stair studio 5

Proposed Foyer Stair - Hemel Hempstead Town Hall 

 Jun Woo Kim
Jun Woo Kim Amersham town hall studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer - Amersham Town Hall 

 Maggie Ndungu
Maggie Ndungu Proposed Facade Uckfield Town Hall Studio 5

Proposed façade - Uckfield Town Hall 

 Victoria Evans
Victoria Evans Proposed Public Foyer Horsham Studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer - Horsham Town Hall 

 Zoe Arnold
Zoe Arnold proposed council chamber horsham studio 5

Proposed Council Chamber - Horsham Town Hall 

 Vincent O’Connor
Vincent O'Connor Proposed town hall Harlow studio 5

Proposed Town Hall, Harlow  

 Sevda Aydemir
Sevda Aydemir Facade Concept Horsham Town Hall Studio 5

Façade Concept, Horsham Town Hall 

 Kartikai Majithia
Kartikai Majithia Proposed Town Hall ans Market Hemel Hempstead Studio 5

Proposed town and market hall, Hemel Hempstead 

 Jaahid Ahmad
Jaahid Ahmad Proposed Public Foyer Stair Studio 5

Proposed Public Foyer stair 

 Max Chapman
Max Chapman Proposed Façade Model Studio 5

Proposed Façade Model - Harlow Town Hall 

Nina Lundvall
James Payne

Jaahid Ahmad
Azza Al Hinai
Zoe Arnold
Sevda Aydemir
Janos Bartosz
Max Chapman
Hanelore Dumitrache
Victoria Evans
Joshua Heames
Sophie James
Waldemar Jansson
Jun Kim
Kartikai Majithia
Margaret Ndungu
Ourania Ntousia
Vincent O'Connor
Sarah Richards
Sian Ricketts
Ekramul Robbiani
Urszula Saniawa

Aidan Hodgkinson
Jay Gort
Peter Karl Becher
Simon Jones
Philip Christou
Florian Beigel
Jason Whiteley
Martin Nassen

Simon Jones
Step Haiselden, Jane Wernick Associates
Craig Robertson