Exploring the potential of generosity in architecture will be the focus for Studio 1 this year. We live in a time when buildings and cities are produced with less and less care. This is often due to a misplaced pursuit of bazaar object buildings as the means to create spectacle. Any enjoyment of this architecture is short-lived. We view it as a form of meanness that is damaging our culture.
Increasingly we find architect’s promoting themselves primarily as problem solvers whose starting point for a project is fixated on issues and risks. Whilst practical challenges and technical concerns must be addressed along the way, we prefer an alternative mindset that prioritises the potential for generosity in any given project. How can we as architects bring a lasting sense of delight and pleasure to a given situation through our designs?
We value the idea that architecture can make a gift to its surroundings. This contribution needn’t be expensive, indulgent or overwrought. Rather generosity comes from the design of real things simply expressed, the interrelation of exterior and interior spaces, the gesture of a building, a structural or constructional idea, a proportion, the relationship of materials, textures and colours.
Studio 1 will investigate fundamental aspects of architecture that can bring generosity to our day to day environment. It will require effort, intellect, humour and a good eye. We will study examples of generous moments in London. During a trip to Vienna you will see how generosity can be found at the scale of a city block and the handle on a door.
Back in London you will make designs on a site in the centre of the city. You will not produce a finite building but architectural fragments at a range of scales tied together by the humanity and generosity embodied in your work. Throughout the year we will encourage a collective, discursive environment in the studio. We will help you to form your own position on what constitutes generosity in architecture and develop values that you may hold on to for many years to come.
Image: Early skyscraper by L. Sullivan and D. Adler completed 1896, Buffalo USA
Credit: ‘The Complete Architecture of Adler Sullivan’ by Richard Nickel and Aaron Siskind
Studio 01: Generosity
Alex Bank and Sam Casswell
Studio 1 will explore the potential of generosity in architecture. Generosity comes from the design of real things simply expressed; the interrelation of exterior / interior spaces; the gesture of a building; structure / construction; proportions, materials, textures, colours. Practicing these fundamental aspects of architecture will require effort, intellect, humour and a good eye. We will investigate how architecture can bring a lasting sense of delight and pleasure to sites in central London.
Studio 02: After City 2 – Tolerance and Compromise
Colin O’Sullivan and Charlotte Harris
Studio 02 will continue its explorations of European rural settlements, this year in Alentejo, Portugal.
Studio 03: Crossing Cultures Industrious Edgelands: a productive threshold between town and country
Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister
The studio offers students to be part of a larger research group and develop architecture proposals and strategies for the depopulated mountain village, Belmonte Calabro, in Southern Italy. Working with local stakeholders, migrants and graduates, Studio 3 proposes an “Industrious Edgeland” to re-animate the town of Belmonte; preforming as an inhabited live-work threshold and engaging the surrounding landscape with the civic town centre.
Studio 04: Frame and Horizon
Anna Ludwig and Rufus Willis
Studio 4 will consider the topography of London’s city wall and how, through the good governance of urban institutions, sanctuaries in the city can be created to provide support and opportunities for its citizens. Our speculations, informed by two closely related representational conceptions: Frame and Horizon, will assert a public realm in which edge conditions become borders for exchange not boundaries of separation.
Studio 06: The Experimental House
James Payne and David Leech
"While it is true that concentrating on the individual house is socially irresponsible...the little house should not be scorned." Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, Some Houses of Ill-Repute, essay 1971.
Studio 07: Looking Outwards
Robert Barnes and Dr Bo Tang
Studio 07 offers students the opportunity to engage in a transitional setting in Europe; a migrant gateway for refugees in Eleonas, Athens, Greece.
Studio 09: The Foundation: Private Realms, Public Rooms
Jillian Jones, Ewan Stone with David Howarth
Studio 09 are interested in how buildings engage with the public life of the city. We will be working in London and Venice, examining the evolution of domestic architecture from places of living to spaces for exhibition and display.
Studio 10: Both Directions at Once: Architecture After Brexit
Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams
What will be the Architecture of Brexit? How can the way we build represent a democracy pulling in both directions at once? A flawed memory of the past and an imagined future are the basis of many voter’s reasoning for voting in the 2016 EU referendum. We will be visiting historic buildings around the UK to reimagine defunct architectures to offer a commentary on the divergent identities emerging across the UK, looking to the past to say something surprising about the future.