“An edge may be more than simply a dominant barrier. If some visual or motion penetration is allowed through it – it is, as it were, structure to some depth with the regions on either side. It then becomes a seam rather than a barrier, a line of exchange along which two areas are sewn together”.
The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch (1967)
The Roman wall that shaped the City of London will be our starting point, as we consider the difference between the boundary – a rigid barrier, and the border – a porous yet resistant threshold that allows and encourages exchange. The traditional city wall provides an unlikely border condition to consider, for whilst the city gates regulated commerce and tax, informal markets and unregulated development flourished along both sides of the wall. Furthermore, the territory of the wall was where heretics, exiles and outsiders tended to gravitate away from the control of the centre.
Our engagement with urban topography will be informed by considering two closely related representational conceptions: Frame and Horizon. On the one hand, the idea of a Frame can be a device to define, to structure and to create enclosure or form. In contrast, the Horizon, ever distant and beyond reach, can represent a datum or a common ground for our speculations.
Whilst over time London’s city walls have become less explicitly physically manifest the edge they represent can still be perceived, whether this is spatial interventions comprising the city’s Ring of Steel or political and social divides between privilege and deprivation. Through proposition we will consider how, through the good governance of urban institutions such as guilds, livery companies and charitable foundations, sanctuaries in the city can be created to provide support and opportunities for its citizens.
The studio will continue to question the role that representation plays in the process of conceiving and making critical architectural interventions in the city. Moreover, we will assert ways that ambiguity and incompleteness can contribute to a public realm in which edge conditions become borders for exchange not boundaries of separation.
Our field trip will be to Moscow, where we will collaborate with the MARCH Architecture School, research Constructivism and visit the countercultural arts collective, Nikola-Lenivets.
Image: Effects of Good Government in the City, Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1338)
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.