Studio 8

Studio brief

Super Market

I took her to a supermarket.
I don't know why but I had to start it somewhere.
Pulp, Common People, 1995

No civilisation is more than nine meals away from total anarchy.
Ewen Cameron, Hansard, 13/11/2007

This year Studio 8 will continue to explore the large and ugly buildings central to the contemporary global economy, and to make bold and optimistic proposals for complex urban sites.

Supermarkets supply around 80% of UK groceries. In 2010, London supermarkets were days from running out of food due to a winter shortage of road grit, highlighting our reliance on the “just-in-time” lorry deliveries that restock the shelves. We will investigate the supermarket in relation to its urban context, and the wider issues of food supply and local and global exchange. We will teach rigorous drawing skills and the critical use of a range of precedents.

Project 1

We will begin by studying the mediaeval typology of the Market Hall, a hybrid structure accommodating an enclosed room for governance over an open space for commerce.

Project 2

A group building project for a local charity will combine your findings from these precedents into a celebratory structure. There will also be the opportunity to be involved in two other building projects over the year.

Field trip

We will visit Belgium to see Robrecht & Daem’s Market Hall in Ghent, and buildings by Victor Horta, Office KGDVS, Jan De Vylder, and Marie Van Hee.

Project 3

Each student will study a different London supermarket site in detail through drawing and photography and propose a reinterpretation of the traditional market hall typology for the site.

Project 4

You will then design a new Super Market, informed by study of the site and a range of precedents of large-span structures from distribution sheds to opera houses; a delightful building for local food supply which may include elements of shared local services or food production.

Image: sepia toned image of old building


Course Architecture BA (Hons) RIBA Part 1
Tutor Josh Carver
William Haggard