Studio 06: The Experimental House

Studio brief

‘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 

The house as a distillation of architectural thought is often overlooked in architectural education. Although often the first project encountered by new practices, it is the clearest typology to trace artistic journeys and indeed the broader changing conversations within architecture itself. It is often regarded as frivolous and indulgent - laboratory experiments to verify pet theories on the interdependence of form, function, history and /or representation. 

However it is exactly the liberation from other pressures that allow the design of the house to explore and test the radical, to investigate the specific and to distil the very essence of an individual architect’s life work. 

This year we will set 2 briefs: a town house; and a country house, two singular projects on sites in the UK. 

These two situations will allow us to explore the themes of the house, the individual and the greater community. For the city house, living space is tighter and has to respond to shared values and decorum, context and situation. Outside of the city within a much broader landscape the house needs to define and make its own context.

Despite the limited scale of projects, our ambition for the studio is higher, requiring exacting attention to the complexity and the detail of each project. As young practitioners we will teach the studio as an open conversation, testing and exploring the radical to try and find new ground. The studio culture will be exploring the vast canon of the typology throughout history to define what a contemporary house could be. 

The field trip will be to Mallorca, where we will visit the studios of some of the most exciting young European architects, for whom the house typology is formative. 

 

Image: Grenville Place House, James Gowan, 1959. Vanna Venturi House, Scheme IVb, Robert Venturi, 1959 

Building facade and architectural module

Details

Course
Tutors James Payne
David Leech 
Where Goulston Street
Room GS1-16a
When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture Studios

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Cass Studios archive by year