This year we are designing a contemporary museum and venue, inspired by Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price’s theoretical designs for a "laboratory of fun" in the 1960’s, to bring culture to a mass audience.
A flexible series of events or exhibitions – a machine for culture, within a permanent building that houses other functions that will form the spine of the building and extend to a masterplan for the town.
This builds on our unit last year, and on the work that we do as a practice at Nissen Richards Studio. We are interested in how culture permeates into the emotional landscape of a community and re-thinking what a museum might be – a lively engaged and relevant experience.
For the site we have chosen Folkestone in Kent, the site of the Folkestone Triennial exhibition that runs through the whole of the town every three years. A clash of art and ‘real life’ through the streets and landscape. The sites will be situated near where the
Pleasure Garden Theatre used to stand, that closed in 1964, we want to replace this with something more relevant to today.
We are interested in how the building sits within the town masterplan – and creates interesting juxtapositions and opportunities for change. A former industrial town, which has had a history of cultural investment that is well connected with the rest of the UK – Folkestone is a fascinating location for this project.
We will start in semester one with a small multi-purpose space connected to the Triennial – a new centre for the event that could locate exhibitions, events or a theatre. This will re-work the existing station that currently lies derelict and links a new garden route into town.
Our main project will be to design a building, or series of buildings that will be a cultural hub connected to the town and landscape. We will encourage our students to include the whole of the town as part of the experience. How you might approach and walk through the site. How the ‘real life’ of the city mixes with another narrative trail telling different stories through a presentation of objects from history, and art from today.
Nissen Richards Studio is a multi-disciplinary practice, working in the Arts. The unit is taught by four members of the studio, who are involved in major arts projects in the UK and internationally.
Image credit: Nissen Richards project for Aldeburgh Festival "The Way To The Sea", that took audiences through a whole village and landscape
|When||Monday and Thursday|
Architecture Postgraduate Studios
PG Architecture Unit 02: Something Wonderful
Tony Fretton and Jillian Jones
The Royal College of Art building in Kensington Gore is a subtle building in that it is from the modern movement yet takes formal motifs from its surroundings. Unit 2’s project is to design a new building next to it for the Royal College of Art (RCA) according to the brief of Herzog and De Meuron’s new RCA building in Battersea. The objective is for you to design something wonderful!
PG Architecture Unit 03: Folkestone Fun Palace
Pippa Nissen, Marie-Lise Oulmont, Andrea Hickey, Kate Coghlan
This year we are designing a contemporary museum and venue, inspired by Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price’s theoretical designs for a "laboratory of fun" in the 1960’s, to bring culture to a mass audience. A flexible series of events or exhibitions – a machine for culture, within a permanent building that houses other functions that will form the spine of the building and extend to a masterplan for the town. This continues our explorations to reinvent museums.
PG Architecture Unit 04: Hyper Campus of Redundant Parts
Jonas Lundberg, Nate Kolbe
We are redesigning the London Met north campus as a collective work of many hands. We use generative and multi-authored tools to help construct the work of many hands as we see design and architecture a collective process.
PG Architecture Unit 06: Lines Through The City
Professor Maurice Mitchell, Dr Bo Tang
We will look at urban lines and change impenetrable boundaries into shared open borders. We will assemble a piece of social infrastructure on sites at Loughborough Junction along a railway line which cuts through the city from Brixton to Peckham. Unit 6’s working methods will be introduced during a field trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales. We will encourage you to find new ways of looking, imagining and representing your ideas, whilst cooperating with fellow students.
PG Architecture Unit 07: Good Nature
David Grandorge, Ted Swift
The idea of Good Nature reflects a desire by this unit to make buildings in the city for human occupation that do not thoughtlessly or unnecessarily displace other forms of life but attempt to co-exist with them.
PG Architecture Unit 08: Measurement – Arrangement – Intuition
Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Emilio Pisano and Karabo Turner
Unit 8 will investigate the importance of mathematical measurements in architecture. Careful studies will inform exercises in proposed architecture within existing buildings and places. Through repetition, adjustment, trial, and error, we will compose and compare architectural arrangements against the backdrop of what already exists. We will identify tensions and compromises between mathematical measure and the imperfect existing, and consider how the resulting forms affect the wider context.
PG Architecture Unit 09: The Artful Vernacular
Stephen Taylor and Theodoros Thysiades
In the spirit of Luigi Snozzi’s urban rules for Monte Carasso, Switzerland we will work in the small town of town of Saint Germain de Calberte, in the south of France. We will study the existing town fabric and local vernacular forms and propose ways to extend it. We will add new buildings and spaces, made sustainable by their timeless quality and contribution to public space. In the first semester you will each design and make a big model of small timber house and one piece of furniture.
PG Architecture Unit 12: The Garden
Peter St John, Fabienne Sommer, Ben Speltz and James Hand
Sebastian Marot’s book "Taking the Country's Side" speculates on the future relationship of the city and the countryside. His idea of acceptable (and modest) growth is for lower greener development in the city, together with small dispersed centres in the countryside that are self-sustaining. We will work on a brownfield site in rural Suffolk, looking at the architectural possibilities of a small community that brings back together the basic functions of living, working and food production.