Studio 4

Studio Brief

Aylesbury Archive

This year studio 4 will continue to engage with the ongoing and incremental regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate.  As planning permission is submitted for the master plan that is intended to be realised over the next two decades, a range of conflicting urban conditions coexist from dereliction to refurbishment, demolition to construction.  Within this context of regeneration purgatory we will be considering the theme of archive.

To begin we will explore the estate through a series of concise design briefs that test how interventions in the public realm can provide points of reference and vantage amidst the ruination and reconstruction.  Through these projects we will be required to reimagine the everyday and the mundane - gate ways, bus stops and street lights.

Throughout the year the studio will compare and contrast notions of permanence and temporality.  Through workshops we will develop casting and photographic techniques as a means of representing both perpetual and ephemeral qualities of the city.  We shall consider how transformative factors of photography – frame, vantage point, focus and frozen time – can help us to understand and intervene within this fragile and changing context.

“All photographs are momento mori.  To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”[1]

Our field trip will be to Rome where we will consider palimpsest in the city.  Collectively, the studio will continue to critique ‘tabula rasa’ urban regeneration and formulate plural agendas that celebrate the depth and complexity of the city.

The studio will participate in workshops with Southwark Council, Notting Hill Housing, Creation Trust and local schools.  Working with the reality of the estate’s regeneration students will be tasked with defining and proposing an archive that addresses the past, present and future of the Aylesbury.

[1] On Photography, Susan Sontag, Penguin, 1977

Suggested Reading

Ways of Seeing, John Berger, Penguin, 1972

Remaking London, Ben Campkin, Tauris, 2013

The Secret Life of Buildings, Edward Hollis, Portobello Books, 2010

Image: Heygate Estate, 2014


Course Architecture BA (Hons) RIBA Part 1
Tutor Richard Cottrell
Rufus Willis
Anna Ludwig