Unit 1: Time Architecture – Palace of the People

Unit brief

Time Architecture – Palace of the People

The main design project this year will be situated in the harbour district of Naples, Italy where architectures of many times co-exist in close proximity to each other. Naples is a collage of many layers of time, from an ancient Greek city state to the present day metropolitan condition. It is essential to have a sense of time when designing at all scales, from the intimate to the urban dimension. We must see the potentials given in a site and initiate change in this continuous process of transformation and evolution of the city. This is why we speak about ‘time architecture’.

“A piece of land no matter the size, has been existing long before we were there, and will do so beyond many generations to come. The land must have witnessed countless incidents, and innumerable tales must have been born, are being born, will be born.... there must be an enormous accumulation of traces of these stories in a given piece of land – all dissolved in the site. Finding these traces, defining the relations between them, creating a new order within ... these are all part of an effort to find the place-ness within the silent land.” Seung H-Sang. Beauty of Poverty, 1996, p.15.

We will be finding new and individual ways of representing the times of the site, working with video and other media in order to come to a personal understanding of the day-to-day life of the city.

Project one – Temporary: Design a place of performance next to Cleopatra’s Needle, the 3500 year old Egyptian obelisk on the banks of the Thames River in London.

Project two – Study of precedents: e.g. Volkspalast in the former East Berlin, Fun Place London project by Cedric Price, Maison de Peuple in Paris by Jean Prouve, Chartres Cathedral ...

Project three – Palace of the People – Naples: Design a multifunctional public forum – a social condenser. It can be large or small. It will be a conglomerate, not necessarily a single building.

Chiesa di Santa Maria di Portosalvo, Naples Harbour,  P. Christou, July 2015


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture
Tutor Prof. Florian Beigel
Prof. Philip Christou
Where Central House, 4th Floor Studios
When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)