Midland Cities I – Leicester
Unit 8 seeks to investigate recent urban development in the Midlands and will propose alternative strategies of renewal through design interventions. We will take inspiration from the renewal of Vicenza in the sixteenth century, a city that boomed with a political and industrial shift in power from Venice. We will focus on the works of Andrea Palladio through a series of case studies, including the Basilica in Vicenza, to investigate the potential of architectural renewal through formal correction.
The Midlands is a culturally, socially and racially diverse region. We will examine cities such as Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Lincoln in the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU. We are interested in how the emotive character of these cities manifests itself within the urban fabric, and will propose renewal as a counterpoint to recent attempts at regeneration.
This year’s research will focus on Leicester – a city that voted to remain. We will examine Leicester as Palladio dissected Rome. Having recently undergone major urban transformation to establish itself as a cultural and economic hub of the Midlands, Leicester is on the brink of even more change. We will work closely with the City Council and the Mayor, as well as the local cultural and arts groups based in the city’s Cultural Quarter to develop our brief.
We will begin by surveying the existing structures of Leicester carefully through photography, drawings and models (Project 1). We will then design urban public spaces (Project 2), and a public building (Project 3), exploring the dynamic relationship between the series of architectural interventions and the collective of the city.
In the belief that architecture can be a catalyst for renewal of the urban environment, our architectural proposals will be inherently public in nature. We seek structures within the city that are true to their construction principles and capable of achieving civic expression. The projects will propose new urban spaces, structures and buildings that can endure the weight of time and use. The interventions will work as agents for renewal, and at the same time embody the particular memory and expression that characterises the city of Leicester.
Image credit: Andrea Palladio, I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura, 1570
|Course||Professional Diploma in Architecture|
|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 10: An Architecture of Relationships IV, Landscapes of Power – Fragile Landscapes
Signy Svalastoga, Jonathan Cook and Edward Simpson
Unit 11: Cultural Infrastructure 2015-16: Art in Transit
David Hills, Alistair Blake, Roberta Marcaccio and Deborah Saunt
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.