Unit 05: The Infrastructure of the Street

Unit brief

The Infrastructure of the Street

Developments within English cities seem dictated by archaic systems of infrastructure. This year we are interested in how changing the infrastructure of a singular street and the housing within it can alter the urban contribution. We look at past street conditions that have become aspirational; garden city suburbs to town and village structures. We look for the first time outside of London, at a town that at present attracts the tired Londoner, but through time and infrastructural improvements will become a very important node of the great city's life. We study development models abroad and critically analyse the contextual approach of expansion to date in such satellite towns. We are always concerned with building at density, providing beyond the need rather than purely catering for it. This is not a project in the pastiche or the suburban low-rise, we will set challenging density that feels at present uncomfortable in its context as an immediate provocation of a potential future.

Teaching structure

Task 1: The Porch

The exterior room that mediates the street and dwelling. Themes we are interested in are threshold, linings, weight and light.
The brief will be tested in very large-scale model making and painting.

Task 2: The Dwelling

We study the utilities of a dwelling, what serves modern day life and how this dictates a particular spatial condition. Much as the hearth was focal to the medieval home; what can service modern living and how can this reorganise its forms? The brief will be tested through large models and drawing.

Task 3: The Street

The make up of the street, the users, the vehicle, the pedestrian, the services. How might this be repurposed to free up collective space to the street/town? The offering of these may be urban space but also spaces of civic assembly that project ideas on the growth of the town.

This project is focused on a street and is purposefully not a master-planning task. The multiple sites as a collective will formulate a critical stance on the projected development.

Projects could be individual and collective. We are interested in the use of video from detailed physical spatial modeling, supporting traditional methods of representation.

A photo of a Berlin street entitled Gartenstadt Staaken by Paul Schmitthenner. 1931


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA 2 (now Architecture RIBA 2 MArch)

Alex Ely
Michael Dillon
Lydia Johnson


Goulston StreetRoom GS2-35

When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)