Studio 8

Studio brief

Industrious Estates 

Studio 8 continues to explore the large and ugly structures central to the contemporary economy, and to make bold and optimistic proposals for complex sites. This year we will explore productive spaces - the places where people work and make things - and consider the effects of local and global energy usage. 

The South Downs National Park is designed to preserve the rolling landscapes of the South Downs, made visible in their current form by thousands of years of human settlement and agriculture. It stretches across several counties, includes three market towns and borders onto several major conurbations. We will be exploring the ‘edgelands’ between these more clearly defined conditions; the places of rural industry where factories are surrounded by farmland, and where farms have diversified to include lorry parks and food processing plants. 

At a time when reliance on imported fossil fuels is again in question, this park could provide a number of alternative fuel resources, from biomass to large scale solar farms. It may also contain deposits of oil and gas which could be exploited through hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’; estimates of this resource are wildly varying and this form of extraction is deeply unpopular in many sectors of society. 

We will teach rigorous drawing skills and the critical use of a range of precedents, and we will be investigating contemporary vernacular architecture as a possible source of inspiration - low cost, informal, improvised and adapted, highly functional but representational where necessary. 

Project 1

You will each begin by studying a Screwfix Trade Counter in a London industrial estate as an initial drawing task - an example of the contemporary vernacular and a hybrid of retail and distribution models. 

Project 2

You will investigate a contemporary farm in the South Downs and a historical precedent of a productive space. This will be the beginning of your site research. 

A group building project will combine your findings from these precedents into a celebratory structure, and there will also be the opportunity to be involved in other building projects over the year. 

Project 3

You will each study a different South Downs industrial estate site in detail through drawing and photography, and propose a small public addition to the site. 

Field Trip

We will visit the Venice Architecture Biennale and travel across the Triveneto to Llubjana in Slovenia. We will see the work of Palladio and Plecnik alongside farms and factories. 

Project 4                

Your final project will be the design of a new Industrious Estate - a landscape strategy and a publicly accessible complex of productive buildings which may include elements of farm, factory, studio or office and will include a source of energy other than imported fossil fuels.

The Architecture of Fulfillment, Éva Le Roi


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