UG Architecture Studio 04: rework, reuse, redefine

Studio brief

"Never demolish, never remove, never replace but always add, transform, and use."
Lacaton and Vassal

Studio 04 will consider the architecture of city-making at the scale of the building. We will explore how urban areas have been left vacant during the pandemic, as people work from home. The Royal Albert Dock development in east London, where five buildings have been constructed to provide lettable workspace, now stands quiet. Currently unoccupied, we will ask how this development can be transformed to propose new architectural typologies of work, leisure and living with the intention to activate the city.

Project 1 – Building intervention as urban tool

In the first project, students will make a small programmatic and formal addition to the existing buildings or the street to begin to introduce other uses to the site. These will be informed by a detailed precedent study of a building which has added public programme to an existing structure and urban context.

Project 2 – Radical transformation of buildings

Project 2 will propose an alternative re-use of the existing buildings. Each student will work to define their own brief which radically transforms the existing building and urban locality. Students may remove up to half of the existing structure, and increase the buildings’ floor area by the same amount. The process of adding, extending, stitching, linking and carving the existing built structures will be explored through massing models and will be resolved in response to the neighbouring buildings. Each student will bring their proposals together on an iterative, collective site plan, to appraise the impact of their designs against one another. The aim is to make proposals which consider and diversify the buildings’ use, proximity, identity, construction and orientation to transform the urban life of the area. The idea of transformation is explored in a way that radically alters and adds to the building – not only for its new use but to allow it to develop as a piece of city.

black and white print of gridded blocks


Tutors Jennifer Gutteridge
Katherine Nolan
Alex Butterworth
Where Goulston Street
When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture studios


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