Studio 01: Generosity

Studio brief

Exploring the potential of generosity in architecture will be the focus for Studio 1 this year. We live in a time when buildings and cities are produced with less and less care. This is often due to a misplaced pursuit of bazaar object buildings as the means to create spectacle. Any enjoyment of this architecture is short-lived. We view it as a form of meanness that is damaging our culture.  

Increasingly we find architect’s promoting themselves primarily as problem solvers whose starting point for a project is fixated on issues and risks. Whilst practical challenges and technical concerns must be addressed along the way, we prefer an alternative mindset that prioritises the potential for generosity in any given project. How can we as architects bring a lasting sense of delight and pleasure to a given situation through our designs? 

We value the idea that architecture can make a gift to its surroundings. This contribution needn’t be expensive, indulgent or overwrought. Rather generosity comes from the design of real things simply expressed, the interrelation of exterior and interior spaces, the gesture of a building, a structural or constructional idea, a proportion, the relationship of materials, textures and colours.  

Studio 1 will investigate fundamental aspects of architecture that can bring generosity to our day to day environment. It will require effort, intellect, humour and a good eye. We will study examples of generous moments in London. During a trip to Vienna you will see how generosity can be found at the scale of a city block and the handle on a door.   

Back in London you will make designs on a site in the centre of the city. You will not produce a finite building but architectural fragments at a range of scales tied together by the humanity and generosity embodied in your work. Throughout the year we will encourage a collective, discursive environment in the studio. We will help you to form your own position on what constitutes generosity in architecture and develop values that you may hold on to for many years to come.


Image: Early skyscraper by L. Sullivan and D. Adler completed 1896, Buffalo USA
Credit: ‘The Complete Architecture of Adler Sullivan’ by Richard Nickel and Aaron Siskind

Ornate shop front in early skyscraper


Tutors Alex Bank
Sam Casswell 
Where Goulston Street
Room GS1-13
When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture Studios


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