Building Laboratory | Frozen Timber
“Cities don’t often decide to pack their bags, get up and move down the road. But that’s exactly what Kiruna, an Arctic town in northern Sweden, is having to do – to avoid being swallowed up into the Earth.” (Oliver Wainwright – The Guardian).
Unit 04 aims to participate in the debate on environmental adaptation, design and development of the new town of Kiruna, which is forced to move three kilometres to the east of its current location. The renowned town plan from the early twentieth century and its location is usurped by the mining operations in the world’s largest iron-ore mine. The new town plan housing the 14,000 displaced inhabitants of Kiruna is based on the Swedish architectural practice White’s competition winning entry.
We travel to Kiruna to visit the iron-ore mine, the site of the old and the new town, as well as the famous ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi and the Esrange Space Agency. We aim to work on a few different sites in the new town plan using our expertise in engineered timber construction (Cross Laminated Timber and Laminated Timber) suitable for arctic forestry combined with an interest in medium to large scale public buildings and climatic adaptation.
Unit 04 strives for an arctic architecture adapted to both the natural landscape, the extreme climate, as well as the limited local resources in the spirit of Ralph Erskine, or the proactive and visionary use of technology inspired by Frei Otto, Ewald Bubner, Kenzo Tange and ARUP’s Arctic City (1971).
We continue exploring 3D scanning, digital design modelling and game engine technology in the creation of immersive virtual environments capable of capturing the complexity of the contextual situation. We aim to deploy virtual reality not only as an immersive representational opportunity, but also as a design apparatus permitting design experimentation in a first person view free of scalar considerations with the aim of large scale physical output.
Some further reading:
Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)
Unit 02: Classicism, modernism and architecture in the present time
Unit 02 will run this year as a project in three parts at Somerset House London.
Unit 04: Building Laboratory | Frozen Timber
Jonas Lundberg, Eva Diu and Andrew Grant
Unit 04 aims to participate in the debate on environmental adaptation, design and development of the new town of Kiruna, which is forced to move three kilometres to the east of its current location.
Unit 05: The Infrastructure of the Street
Alex Ely, Michael Dillon and Lydia Johnson
Unit 05 are interested in how changing the infrastructure of a singular street and the housing within it can alter the urban contribution.
Unit 06: Civic Fit
Professor Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont, Dr Bo Tang, Jane McAllister and Sandra Denicke-Polcher
Unit 06 offers students a choice of three settings: Athens, Greece; Belmonte, Calabria; or Kirtipur in the Kathmandu Valley.
Unit 07: A Lean Architecture
David Grandorge and Paloma Gormley
Unit 07 will begin the year with an ambitious project, Timber Translations, re-imagining the industrial structures depicted in the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher in timber allowing us to and explore languages of jointing, supporting and bridging in a single material at a large scale.
Unit 08: Midland Cities II – Nottingham Translations
Takero Shimazaki (t-sa) and Summer Islam
Unit 08 will continue to focus on the urban development of cities in the Midlands and propose architectural interventions as opportunities for civic renewal.
Unit 09: Making Urban
Stephen Taylor and Theodoros Thysiades
Unit 09 will continue its two Semester / project structure this year.
Unit 10: An Architecture of Relationships V
Signy Svalastoga, Jonathan Cook and Edward Simpson
Unit 10 will again start the year with two linked short projects aimed to develop and fine-tune spatial and social observations, explored through drawing, making, mending and repair.
Unit 12: Hotel Sphinx
Peter St John, James Hand and Ben Speltz
Unit 12 will continue to examine the different conditions of London and the potential of the city's current reinvention.
Unit 14: Dis-place
Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d’Avoine
Unit 14 will work in the East End this year, specifically in Tower Hamlets and will be concerned with diaspora displacement and the indigenous.