The year is split in two semesters. The first semesters project will focus on first hand experience and developing working method, the second on context both architectural and socio-political.
Semester 1: Collectively we engage with a series of very special singular houses; drawing, modelling and painting the interior passage of rooms from front door to garden. You will then develop a project for a small cluster of houses translating spatial research from precedent. This will be realised and presented purely through large models; sketch and timber. Timber models will promote a consideration of the weight, proportion and positioning of the elements in the buildings construction, celebrating both the accidental and purposeful. Careful photography of this will develop representation and the understanding of how powerful the photography of a scaled model can be in forming a sense of interior.
Semester 2: As has been a strong theme in previous years we are fascinated by the British desire for vertical living, flats predominate in new housing which often promotes little spatial delight in the interior. We develop methods to incorporate the spatial ideas from the work in the first semester into a high-density mansion in Central London. A critical shift in the aesthetic of London in the last two decades has been the requirement for private external space. The graceful consistency of the Georgian Terrace or the Edwardian mansion is replaced with inset or cantilevered balconies. The mansion project will consider a model akin to Private rental sector where the spaces offered are serviced and communal, we remove private amenity, we look to use communal space as a method of improving the connection between interior and exterior for all dwellings, drastically improving the experience of living in high-density. The year will culminate in a sequence of model photos from home to garden, or visa versa.
We look for students who are highly observant and are prepared to undertake a considerable amount of background reading in order to understand and thus fairly question the complex constraints of modern housing.
Image: Atelier 5 Thalmatt I, Bern
Architecture Postgraduate Studios
Unit 02: Ideal World
Ideal World is about creating delight with the basic components of architecture: urban design, plan and facade making, construction and drawing.
Unit 04: Virtual Laboratory | Adaptation to Extreme Topography
Jonas Lundberg, Andrew Grant and Nate Kolbe
Buildings and infrastructure of the Sicilian volcanic landscape in the vicinity of Mount Etna have integrated with the extreme topography by exploiting the available building material and construction methods. Unit 04 strives for an architecture adapted to the extreme topography but with character and ubiquitous qualities springing from a combination of digital design technique and a meticulous exploitation of the local volcanic and timber materials used in combination with emerging technology.
Unit 05: The House and Garden
Alex Ely and Michael Dillon
Focusing on first hand experience, developing working methods and understanding context, we will examine the complex constraints of modern housing. We will look at vertical living in London, and communal space as a method of improving connections between the interior and exterior of all dwellings.
Unit 06: Civic Edgelands
Professor Maurice Mitchell, Dr Bo Tang, Jane McAllister and Sandra Denicke-Polcher
A city, a countryside from a distance is a city and a countryside; but as you approach, they are houses, trees, shingles, leaves, grass, ants, legs of ants and so on to infinity: all this is enveloped in the name [edgelands] (apologies to Blaise Pascal in Thoughts). Unit 6 offers students a choice of three settings each consisting of migrant gateways and transitional settlements: Eleonas, Athens, Greece; Belmonte, Calabria, Italy or Kaningo, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Unit 07: Polyvalent Models
David Grandorge and Paloma Gormley
This year, the unit will focus on the practice of architecture as a partially autonomous discipline, addressing the issues of polyvalence and material culture in the design of a city scaled building and a structure that will be built at 1:1 on Margent Farm in Cambridge.
Unit 08: Both-And Midland cities III
Takero Shimazaki (t-sa) and Summer Islam
Unit 8 will explore the language of architecture in relation to the ethics of construction. Beginning with Venturi’s definition of design which is ‘Both-And’ - that which embodies contradictory levels of meaning and use, we will propose civic buildings in Stoke on Trent which allow inconsistencies and redundancies, encouraging the seemingly dissimilar to exist side by side.
Unit 09: Gigantism and the Baroque
Stephen Taylor, Theodoros Thysiades and Jamie Dean
Unit 9 will make large residential buildings in London that explore a shift in scale well beyond their immediate context. The Architecture of the Baroque will be explored for its artistic and compositional qualities of scale and distortion.
Unit 14: Roding Riverfront
Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d'Avoine
Unit 14 will study the Roding River in Barking, East London. We will engage with a variety of protagonists with interests in the area to evolve proposals for the Roding riverfront and environs.
Unit 15: Good Values
James Binning, Ellie Howard and James Pockson
Unit 15 will work across Erith in the London Borough of Bexley, proposing projects for public sites across the town. Against a backdrop of deepening cuts to public services, ailing high-streets and a purge of industry from the city, we will explore forms of civic architecture, social enterprise and proactive policymaking with the potential to positively and radically renew the built environment.