Alex Ely, Michael Dillon, Adam Powell

Unit 5: The Deep Block

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, taken in Milan.

Unit brief

The Deep Block

This year we are interested in the potential space between life and work. Through exploring audacious and ambitious spaces, we'll explore a semi-public offering to the city - the creation of courts, light wells and lobbies within a high-density city block.

You'll study large internal spaces such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Building and Kevin Roche’s Ford Foundation, alongside external spaces such as Piazzale Degli Uffizi. There will be a consideration of the atmosphere created by these rooms, as well as their craft, how they feed into adjacent spaces and their private/public nature.

This continues our themes from last year, such as the division of quarters between servant and owner created by the rich spatial priority in Edwardian mansion blocks, with opulent rooms overlooking the street and utility of the court. The court and light well will be used as a tool, questioning sectional convention and harnessing spatial priority to create delight and density.

The studio will explore the height of buildings in London, primarily through large-scale model making. You'll also walk around, look at and draw collective spaces within the city.


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture in RIBA2
Tutor Alex Ely
Michael Dillon
Adam Powell
Where Central House, fourth-floor studios
When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)

Unit 1: Urban Gestalt – Origins of a Town

Professor Florian Beigel and Professor Philip Christou

Unit 1: Urban Gestalt – Origins of a Town will investigate the elements that give a town its urban form and essential spatial character.

Unit 4: Building Lab; Living with Man-made Natures

Andrew Grant, Elian Hirsch, Eva Diu and Jonas Lundberg

Unit 5: The Deep Block

Alex Ely, Michael Dillon, Adam Powell

The Deep Block will explore semi-public spaces through large-scale model making, city exploration by foot and making drawings of the architectural spaces you find.

Unit 6: Civic Assembly

Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont and Dr Bo Tang

Unit 6: Civic Assembly investigates the civic assemblies emerging around evolving city infrastructures, focusing on South London and Kathmandu Valley.

Unit 8: Midland Cities I – Leicester

Takero Shimazaki, Summer Islam and T-SA

Unit 8: Midland Cities I – Leicester will investigate recent urban development in the Midlands and propose alternative strategies of renewal.

Unit 9: Sweetness and light

Stephen Taylor, Theodoros Thysiades and Sam Holden

Unit 14: Miniature – worlds within worlds

Pierre d’Avoine and Colette Sheddick

Unit 14: Miniature – worlds within worlds introduces you to notions of myth and fabulation in the reinvention of the countryside.

Unit 15: Creative Industry

James Binning and Paloma Strelitz

Unit 15: Creative Industry examines the changing political and economic conditions in the city and its impact on cultural identity.

Cass Cities Unit

Professor Mark Brearley, Jane Clossick and Colin O'Sullivan

Find out about the aims of the Cass Cities Unit in 2016/17, including project work in Brussels and ensuring fair development in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area proposals.

Cass Studios archive by year