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Design Anthology UG5 BSc Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1) Compiled from Bartlett Books 2004–2017


Our Design DNA At The Bartlett School of Architecture, we have been publishing annual exhibition catalogues for each of our design-based programmes for more than a decade. These catalogues, amounting to thousands of pages, illustrate the best of our students’ extraordinary work. Our new Design Anthology series brings together the annual catalogue pages for each of our renowned units, clusters, and labs, to give an overview of how their practice and research has evolved. Throughout this time some teaching partnerships have remained constant, others have changed. Students have also progressed from one programme to another. Nevertheless, the way in which design is taught and explored at The Bartlett School of Architecture is in our DNA. Now with almost 50 units, clusters and labs in the school across eight programmes, the Design Anthology series shows how we define, progress and reinvent our agendas and themes from year to year. Professor Frédéric Migayrou Chair of The Bartlett School of Architecture Professor Bob Sheil Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture


2017 Local Quarantines Julia Backhaus, Martin Tang 2016 Restless Ground Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang 2015 Speculative Landscapes Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang 2014 The Super-Specific: Las Vegas, Las Vegan Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier 2013 Supernature Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin 2012 Fault Lines Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2011 Vanishing Point Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2010 ‘Genius Loci’ Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin 2009 Nothing is Neutral Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2008 mi·cro·cosm (m?’kr?-k?z’?m) Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2007 Ephemera Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2006 'In-Between' Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba 2005 REIsabel Brebbia, Niall Maxwell 2004 Urban Stress Isabel Brebbia, Niall Maxwell


2017 Local Quarantines Julia Backhaus, Martin Tang


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Local Quarantines Julia Backhaus, Martin Tang

Year 2 Annette Choy de Leon, Zachariah Harper le Roux, Victor (Tsz) Leung, Nur Mohamad Adzlee, Chandni Patel, Katherine Ramchand, Chun (Derek)Wong Year 3 Aya Ataya, Nur (Sabrina) Azman, Lap (Justin) Chow, Nicholas Chrysostomou, Joanna Hobbs, Ka Chi Law, Alvin Lim, Ziyuan (Oliver) Zhu The Bartlett School of Architecture 2017

Thank you to: Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin, Frosso Piminedes, Stephen Gage, CJ Lim, Sabine Storp, Carlos Jiménez Cenamor, Matthew Butcher, Sarah Shafiei, Thandie Loewenson, Daniel Koo, Lucas Alperi, Bob Sheil, Matt Springett, Johan Hybschmann, Sofia Krimizi, James Hampton, Kaowen Ho, David Roberts

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This year our unit started with an experimental investigation into the practice of quarantine as a strategic spatial tool. In medical terms, quarantine is described as a state of isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease. However, we didn’t limit our exploration to disease control. We explored quarantines in a much broader sense: as a strategy of containment, encapsulation or preservation; a spatial separation for the purpose of protecting one thing from exposure to the other; a self-contained micro-cosmos that sustains a delicate balance with its surroundings. China became the test bed for our investigations. China today seems omnipresent – in the news, in our workplaces and in every trip to the shops. Its growth seems unprecedented and unending. Economic expansion and relocation to China’s cities are radically altering China’s urban and rural infrastructure and built environment, rapidly taking on a Western veneer. Our appetite for consumption and our concern for the health of our planet creates an uneasy contradiction: it feeds the tension between the pure and the polluted, the local and the foreign, the healthy and the sick, the fake and the original. What architectures can we propose for those uncertain and fragile relationships? Term one was research-based and propositional at the same time, studying China’s culture and Shanghai from afar. We explored various scales of quarantines and our investigations reached from everyday spatial interventions to the great firewall of China. From smog, dust and pollution control to isolated Santa Claus production villages; from ‘Chinawood’, the world’s largest film studio and camera-ready version of Chinese history to hermetically sealed greenhouses. In early January, we travelled to Shanghai and Hangzhou. In our search for sites, we found a fast-moving and muscular city. With over 4,000 high-rise buildings having sprouted out of its ground since the mid-1980s, Shanghai’s skyline has become a strangely exuberant version of a Blade Runner aesthetic, with simple geometries and sharp lines cutting into the sky. Its architecture contains a permanent tension between the past and the future. In contrast, Hangzhou’s dreamy West Lake panoramas and hilly backdrop lured us into believing it was almost a classical Chinese watercolour. The main brief challenged the unit to site the research from their project within a real context. Briefs ranged from an urban clay quarry to a G20 summit guesthouse, from a wildlife research center in the strangely illuminated forest of Hangzhou to a bone china pet cemetery. The propositions that emerged this year were firmly set in China’s future – where they explored their own definitions of quarantines in the context of China and an architecture that is fictional yet possible, ironic yet critical, and affirmative yet progressive.


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Fig. 5.1 Nicholas Chrysostomou Y3, ‘Ex-Farmer’s Clubhouse’. The current legislation of the Hukou system limits internal migration and only provides healthcare and education to nationals if they remain within the constraints of their Hukou passport. The Shanghai Ex-Farmers’ Clubhouse is based on the philanthropy of those ex-farmers who 'made it’ in the city, and triggers memories of a lost rural landscape within its context, as well as offering services such as healthcare and education. Figs. 5.2 – 5.4 Lap (Justin) Chow Y3, ‘The G20 Village’. Sited in Hangzhou’s West Lake, the sustainable fishing village hosts a number of G20 meetings throughout the year. A modular diaphragm roof hybridises vernacular construction with high-tech, serving as a barometer and litmus test for the city whilst recording and displaying pollution levels. Floating plug-in

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modules allow for the complex dual occupancy of the building. Fig. 5.5 Ziyuan (Oliver) Zhu Y3, ‘Archiving Live Views’. Situated on the Su Causeway on the West Lake, the project is based on the proposal for an urban planning and broadcasting centre that has the ability to alter the backdrop of the recording studios and the ‘chameleon skin’ on its façade. It aims to create virtual scenarios that speculate about the future and the past of the city of Hangzhou and its natural surroundings.


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Figs. 5.6 – 5.7 Nur (Sabrina) Azman Y3, ‘The Yangtze Dolphin Sanctuary’. The building acts as a safe haven for injured and sick dolphins along the Yangtze River. Dolphins that require extra care and attention will be temporarily relocated to the sanctuary, where they recover, and gradually helped to return to the wild. The building negotiates the unpredictable behaviours of flood water, which is celebrated and welcomed into the building in order to optimise the use of the facility and recalibrates the shifting boundary between water and land. Fig. 5.8 Nur Mohamad Adzlee Y2, ‘Elderly Community Centre and Antique Marketplace’. The scheme proposes a new dating spot for the elderly, where modular buildings contains unfolding market stalls that maximise productivity and provide a socialising platform. Fig. 5.9 Chandni Patel Y2, ‘Made in China:

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Shanghai Arbitration Institute’. Proposed from the phenomenon of Shanzhai, the project creates an arbitration institute in the Free Trade Zone of Shanghai to protect the legal rights of abused factory workers in China. Using a typology of the anti-monumental to entice migrant workers to a usually intimidating legal environment, owners of factories are coaxed into legal conversations and covert transactions with their factory workers. Figs. 5.10 – 5.11 Zachariah Harper Le Roux Y2, ‘Airpocalypse Archive’. Set in Shanghai’s 2010 Expo Park, the project reflects critical opinions about the environmental legacy of the event. It was portrayed in the media as a symbol of China’s commitment to sustainable development, where technology enables the imagined harmonious reconciliation of urban and rural development. The project serves as the


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‘mothership’ for the collection of environmental data and takes samples from monitoring stations throughout the city, acting as an archive and lab for testing these samples, highlighting the problem and challenges of air pollution.

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Observation of the effects of prolonged artificial illumination on the area’s famous biodiversity is therefore made possible. Fig. 5.14 Chun (Derek) Wong Y2, ‘Organic Firework Factory’. Located in Dishui Lake, bat droppings are a key renewable component for material processes in the factory. The building’s display of fireworks showcases the lost colour and excitement in the Shanghai sky. Figs 5.15 – 5.16 Alvin Lim Y3, ‘Houtan Pet Cemetery’. Deep within Houtan Park, a forest on the border of Huangpu River, lies Houtan Pet Cemetery, an isolated landscape for deceased pets. The building is designed around a ritual that reflects the mourners’ stages of grief. Upon cremation, the pet is immortalised from its ashes as bone china memorabilia that celebrates man’s best friend.

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Fig. 5.11 Katherine Ramchand Y2, ‘The New Santa Claus Production Village’ is a critique of the Christmas village of Yiwu. Yiwu is home to 600 factories who collectively churn out over 60% of all the world’s Christmas decorations. The proposal uses phytoremediation to transform its toxic red landscape into China’s royal colour yellow. Fig. 5.12 Annette Choy De Leon Y2, ‘The Travelling Medical Centre’. Sited in the water village Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, the complex provides visitors with a healing, organic and overall green experience as plants are cultivated for herbal medicines and broths. Fig. 5.13 Victor (Tsz) Leung Y2, ‘Nocturnal Forest’. In response to the addition of lampposts throughout the forests surrounding China’s West Lake, the building is a nocturnal forest research centre designed to sit lightly between the trees of the forest.

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Figs. 5.17 – 5.18 Joanna Hobbs Y3, ‘Orchestra of Crickets’. An arena dedicated to the sport of cricket fighting. Located at the centre of the ghost city of Rushan, the arena amplifies the crickets’ activities and regenerates the surrounding city. Fighter crickets require specific diets, exercise and environments which are incorporated into both the human and cricket spaces within the building, creating a constant fluctuation between cricket and human scales. Fig. 5.19 Aya Ataya Y3, ‘Carving Conversation’. The project is a deconstruction of a censored government building to provide democratic space for the exchange of uncensored information and freedom of speech. The target is the National Museum of China in Beijing, where a new landscape is being carved and designed. The nature of the architecture is to be open and

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accessible, which is essential in order to enable and enrich free speech within the structure, with enclosed spaces forming a study-focused Cultural Centre. Figs. 5.20 – 5.21 Ka Chi Law Y3, ‘The Shanghai Urban Quarry’ proposes an excavation strategy to refurbish the endangered Shanghai lane houses, whilst creating an experimental urban housing scheme situated in the environmental microcosm of the carved-out space. The ‘down-rise’ architecture consists of prefabricated living pods bolted to the trenches of the clay pit, and clad with terracotta tiles fired in-situ. The clusters of pods and lower-ground spaces is reminiscent of Shanghainese communal living culture, and opposes the mass construction of residential high-rises.


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2016 Restless Ground Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang


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Restless Ground Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba & Martin Tang

Year 2 Kelly Au, Gabriel Beard, Christina Garbi, Kaizer Hud, Hannah Lewis, Yidong (Isabel) Li, Minghan (Tom) Lin, Jack Spence, William Stephens Year 3 Yangzi (Cherry) Guo, Niema Jafari, Karolina Kielb, Benjamin Mehigan, Rachael Taylor, Olufunto Thompson, Kate Woodcock-Fowles, Yehan Zheng The Bartlett School of Architecture 2016

Many thanks to our technical tutors Dimitris Argyros and Mick Brundle Special thanks to our critics: Luísa Alpalhão, Abigail Ashton, Laura Allen, Pascal Bronner, Tina di Carlo, Salvador Cejudo, Carlos Jiménez Cenamor, Mollie Claypool, Diego Delas, Max Dewdney, Murray Fraser, Stephen Gage, Thomas Hillier Justin C.K Lau, Adriana Laura Massidda, Tania Sengupta, Sarah Shafiei, Bob Sheil, Sabine Storp, Michiko Sumi and Patrick Weber

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Our unit continues to explore the relationship between land use, technology and science and the synthesis of inherent cultural identity. This year Tokyo became the test bed for our investigations. In the 60’s a group of apprentice Japanese architects dreamed of an alternative future for cities and defined a new architectural vocabulary, giving birth to an architectural movement called ‘Metabolism’. The name, taken from the biological concept, derived from the idea that architecture and cities, like living organisms, share the ability to grow, reproduce, transform and respond to their specific environment. Their ideas were grand and surprising. They combined philosophical references with new discoveries in science; for example, interweaving ideas about the structure of DNA with elements of Buddhist thinking on change and growth, resulting in profoundly poetic and radical visions. Now, at a time when Japan is experiencing the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake, a stagnant economy and a significant shift in demographics, and where over 70% of the area is mountainous and notoriously difficult to inhabit, what are the lessons we can learn from the Metabolists today? Cities, generally considered resilient to rapidly transient conditions, are in constant flux, exposed to their own geo-dynamics, shifting patterns of behaviour and demographics. As a unit, we are interested in exploring an architecture that is open-ended and not a finished product; architectural propositions that can adapt, mutate and respond to the dynamic nature of the restless urban landscape; a socially benevolent edict, where creativity and daring leads to fantastical but perfectly possible futures. We started the year in the workshop: ‘Dreamland’ was a model-based project that became a miniature surrogate of the city, super-specific yet a siteless urban landscape in constant flux, encapsulating its past and present as a foundation for its future. We approached the unit’s work as an ‘Expo’, an experimental assembly of the individual works into a whole that depicted an intensified and forward-thinking version of the city of today. Our main building project started with the field trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. Here, we experienced a city that Bognat describes as an endless agglomeration of many cities and villages – a hundred different cities smashed into one, remaining a ‘dream machine’, where the parts are more in focus than the whole. Both Tokyo and Kyoto offered an opportunity and fertile ground to critically rethink the concepts of permanence, impermanence and genius loci.


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Fig. 5.1 Group Project Y2&3, ‘Dreamland’. An experimental assembly of the individual works depicting an intensified and forward-thinking version of Japan. Fig. 5.2 Hannah Lewis Y2, ‘Loneliness, Otaku and Rehabilitation in Contemporary Kyoto’. The Otaku Centre offers a place for people to reform their obsessive behaviour. Located on the outskirts of Kyoto, the resort provides a solution to improve the lives of the nation’s social outcasts. Fig. 5.3 Benjamin Mehigan Y3, ‘The Nakasendo Villages: A Pre- and Post- Earthquake Proposal’. Located on the outskirts of Kyoto with direct train links to Tokyo, the Nakasendo village investigates adaptive architecture. Predominantly existing as a rural retreat, the village is designed to transform into a place of refuge for Tokyo’s inhabitants. Fig. 5.4 Jack Spence Y2, ‘Shinobazu

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Open Theatre’. Situated on Shinobazu Pond, the theatre stages illusionary performances against the backdrop of Ueno Park and the Tokyo Skyline. Floating modular stages and seating provide a versatile set for a range of performances that can take place across the vast expanse of the pond.


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Fig. 5.5 Kate Woodcock-Fowles Y3, ‘The Thomasson House and Archive’. A Japanese artist coined the name ‘Thomasson’ to describe the many obsolete pieces of infrastructure he found around Tokyo. By putting Thomassons back into use and manipulating some of the city’s building laws, this project comments on the problems facing modern-day Tokyo. Fig. 5.6 Kelly Au Y2, ‘Urban Offerings’. The ‘flying dwellings’ attached to the electrical poles are designed to provide shelter, warmth, food and water for the homeless in Ueno, Tokyo. They plug into the existing infrastructure of Ameyoko Street and the Tokudaiji Temple (flying temple), providing offerings and comforts. Fig. 5.7 Christina Garbi Y2, ‘Utakai Hajime Poem Competition Writing Pods’ This project proposes a collection of writing pods inspired by the thresholds that exist within the Forbidden

Gardens of Tokyo. Located around the city, the pods broadcast images of the Gardens as a source of inspiration for writers entering the annual Utakai Hajime. Each pod corresponds to one of the four seasons and reflects the Japanese art of Ikebana (flower arranging).

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Fig. 5.8 Karolina Kielb Y3, ‘Kyoto Paper Matsuri’. In response to Kyoto’s over-consumption of paper, the building recycles and reproduces traditional Japanese paper which is turned into large-scale paper structures that are released into the air and river as a form of celebration and appreciation for paper. Fig. 5.9 Olufunto Thompson Y3, ‘Replanting the Shinto Forest’. Situated on the holiest site in Japan, the Ise Grand Shrine is religiously reconstructed every 20 years. This sacred tradition is extremely wasteful, with 14,000 cypress trees used for construction and material from the previous shrine going to waste. This project proposes symbolically re-planting the Shinto forest by creating a spiritual architecture from reclaimed timber.

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Fig. 5.10 Kaizer Hud Y2, ‘Food for Thought: Ritualizing Information’. An informational landscape investigating Japan’s unsustainable food production practices. The model is interactive, requiring the user to perform a sushi eating ritual to understand. Each step becomes a learning ritual in which the user’s action reflects a piece of information. Fig. 5.11 Tom Lin Y2, ‘Tokyo Bay Urban Battery’.Fig. 5.12 Will Stephens Y2, ‘SONY Exhibition Centre Façade’. The façade creates an image of a ‘greener’ SONY, encouraging people to recycle electronic items. Fig. 5.13 Yangzi (Cherry) Guo Y3, ‘Third Harvest Market Place’. Food sold in Japanese supermarkets has the shortest shelf life in the world, based on a regulation called the 1/3 rule. The project proposes a new typology of marketplace that would collect fruit/veg from nearby restaurants and

supermarkets in Tokyo, and preserve it in order to extend shelf life for re-consumption. Fig. 5.14 Rachael Taylor Y3, ‘Architectural Salvage Centre’. Architectural heritage is of little significance in Tokyo. The salvage centre collects fragments of iconic buildings for resale in order to preserve parts of the lost city. Fig. 5.15 Gabriel Beard Y2, ‘Tokyo Bay Traffic Cone Storage and Leisure Facility’. Fig. 5.16 Isabel Li Y2, ‘Porous Engawa – Fabric Reseach Center’. A catwalk provides circulation around the fabric research centre where visitors are encouraged to create their own clothes and style. The façade plays with the visual interaction between interior and exterior by controlling what people can see; which contributes to the marketing effect of the whole building.

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Fig. 5.17 Jack Spence Y2, ‘Apartment Of Deception’. Creating virtual extensions of the apartment in order to create illusions both of and within the inhabitable space through day-to-day life. Fig. 5.18 Gabriel Beard Y2, ‘Tokyo Bay Traffic Cone Storage and Leisure Facility’. Fig. 5.19 Zheng Yehan Y3, ‘Kyoto Dementia Respite Centre’. The Kyoto Dementia Respite Centre provides short term care for mid-stage patients who are coming to grips with the rapid decline of present cognitive ability, but who are still physically able. By celebrating memory and reality, the programme takes a fresh approach to dementia care.

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2015 Speculative Landscapes Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang


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Speculative Landscapes Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font-Alba, Martin Tang

Year 2 James Bradford, Jack Cox, Alexander Findley, Samuel Napleton, Bethan Ring, Ken Sheppard, York Tsing (Nerissa) Yeung, Yuanchu Yi Year 3 Florence Bassa, Oliver Colman, Ren Zhi Goh, Niema Jafari, Jonah Luswata, Alan Ma, Masahiro Nakamura, Sylwia Półtorak The Bartlett School of Architecture 2015

Thank you to our technical tutors Dimitris Argyros and Mick Brundle. Thanks to our critics: Lucas Alperi, Kyle Buchanan, Mathew Butcher, Barry Cho, Mollie Claypool, Marcos Cruz, Hwei Fan Liang, Lydia Firminger, Bruce Irwin, Carlos Jiménez Cenamor, CJ Lim, Tom Partridge, Peg Rawes, Bob Sheil, James Soane

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UG5 is interested in the contemporary landscape. The term ‘landscape’ emerged around the turn of the sixteenth century to denote a painting whose primary subject matter was natural scenery, natural forms (hills, lakes), occupied by flora and fauna. A landscape is therefore an idealised depiction of the natural world, flattened from a single perspective and produced for consumption. It is by definition a human construct, a cultural fabrication. We have particularly focused our research on the landscape as a speculative terrain. We refer to speculation in its double connotation: as exploited for profit but also as a place for experimentation and innovation. On one hand, the natural environment is increasingly the subject of exploitation for food, goods and resources, driven by speculation and profit. Intensive agriculture, mining, farming, waste processing and other industrial activities have eroded these natural settings into manufactured landscapes: highly processed terrains, often of surreal and striking beauty. On the other hand, these remote natural sites are often testing grounds, fuelling technological progress. From the simulation of space travel, to nuclear weapon testing or the calibration of fighter planes and satellites, these activities leave a mark on the surface of the earth sometimes as important and lasting as geological shifts. They also enable technological progress, problematising preconceptions of the distinction between natural and artificial. From this standpoint, we associate the landscape with the place of future vision, forecast and imagination. ‘Speculation’ implies risk, conjecture and imagination, which we adopted as key notions for this year’s tasks. In this context, we considered how these sites could become springboards for visionary and exciting architectural interventions and programmes. We asked ourselves: what is the future of the contemporary landscape? We travelled to the American Southwest in search of these mutated landscapes and constructed terrains and considered their possible futures. We visited Utah, Nevada and Arizona, where we witnessed intense case studies of these speculative landscapes exemplifying the complex dynamics between super-artificial environments and untouched natural habitats. We studied sites such as Cinder Lake, a simulated moon landscape on earth; the Bonneville salt flats, where ground speed records are consistently broken; the Yucca flats, testing site of the first nuclear bombs; and the Great Salt Lake, where infrastructure and industry have transformed ecology and physical qualities. The unit is run as a laboratory, a testing ground for experimental thinking, encouraging creative and intellectual risks in developing personal architectural agendas for the projects. We speculated on how a small architectural intervention has the potential, like a seed, to precipitate a sequential transformation of the site’s environment, reversing, accelerating or simply evolving its entropy, its genetic code. The technological blossoming of these seeds prepared the terrains for new possible activities and programmes, for building structures that redefine their genius loci.


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Fig. 5.1 Alan Ma Y3, ‘A Bitter Sweetness’. The project looks into the future of Las Vegas, investigating its imminent water crisis. With the water on site, it forms the basis of an oasis for living organisms, a new Stardust where genetic modification and biological research can happen. Experiences inside the facility will offer the people a glimpse into our genetically modified future. Fig. 5.2 Oliver Colman Y3, ‘Neverland’. A new typology of retirement home, exploring the possibilities of retaining youthfulness in old age through both a playful and practical architecture. The retirement community is based on a floating island that would sail around the surreal landscape of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Figs. 5.3 – 5.4 Bethan Ring Y2, ‘Gila River Water Conservation Park’. An intervention on the Gila River in Arizona. As opposed to large dams creating huge

reservoirs on the rivers in Arizona, the project proposes a building which adapts to and embraces the seasonal changes of the landscape and provides fun and recreation using the least amount of water. Fig. 5.5 James Bradford Y2, ‘Farmington Bay Fishery’. The building stretches out from the reed beds at the southern tip of the Great Salt Lake, farming and harvesting the fish for its restaurant and market. Providing fresh food in an area known as a ‘food desert’, its ceilings and rooftops are used as a productive surface to hang and dry the salted fish, between which its rickety smoking chimneys rise up above the horizon.

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Fig. 5.6 Bethan Ring Y2, ‘Gila River Water Conservation Park’. Overall view of the building in the landscape. Fig. 5.7 Florence Bassa Y3, ‘Future Forest Experimental Lab’. The oldest living organism, Pando Forest, is dying. The structure of the building raises the forest as a monument to Pando and a statement of environmental awareness, while the laboratory accommodates research into environmental technology and synthetic biology. The building synthetically recreates the experience of forests for research and for visitors.

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Figs. 5.8 – 5.10 Sylwia Półtorak Y3, ‘The Great Lunar Embassy’. The building creates a dreamlike atmosphere, using the surrounding natural landscape of the lunar terrestrial analogue, Cinder Lake. With spa and fitness facilities, the building becomes a spiritual retreat. In spaced-out atmospheres, people can not only admire the moon from afar, they can almost reach it. Fig. 5.11 Ken Sheppard Y2, ‘Center for Navajo Textiles’. The sunflower fields of Project One have remediated the landscape from radiation. The fields are left growing as a legacy. The project proposes a centre for Navajo textiles, where traditional techniques of weaving, spinning and dyeing are taught by elders of the local community and the sunflowers are used to produce dyes for yarn. Fig. 5.12 York Tsing (Nerissa) Yeung Y2, ‘Super-market Landscape’.

A reinvention of the typology of a supermarket. A hybrid meeting point where food is produced, processed, stored, and where people exchange and consume food, and participate in food related events and recreational activities. Figs. 5.13 – 5.14 Masahiro Nakamura Y3, ‘Solar Expo 2015’. A building that illustrates and advertises the latest in solar technologies. Each individually pieced PV element is created from the compound Arsenic Gallium, a product of Project One, ROSA. These elements are displayed on a Roof Garden atop an ever-expanding spaceframe structure. The technologies are put through performance tests. Hopefully this intensive site of experimentation will push PV cell technology until a better alternative for a cleaner future is found.

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Fig. 5.15 Alexander Findley Y2, ‘Montezuma Well-Temple of Water’. The building forms a dialogue between the dry desert landscape at the rear and the wet, humid landscape that it creates at the front of the building down the cliff of the sacred sinkhole. The flooded chambers that visitors and the natives can stay in create a unique form of meditation where a stepping stone room has a constant, relaxing flow of water through it giving the impression of floating when sleeping. Fig. 5.16 Samuel Napleton Y2, ‘PITSTOP! Reformed restaurant for the American Motorist’. In a bid to break from the longstanding architectural language of US fast food outlets, signage and architecture are joined. ‘Living billboards’, spaced to match the deceleration of approaching automobiles, line the highway. Fig. 5.17 Yuanchu Yi Y2, ‘Retreat of Light at Lake

Powell’. A hotel located in the middle of the sublime Arizona desert. The architecture manipulates the sunlight during the daytime and accentuates the starlight at night. Visitors experience a series of therapeutic and contrasting lighting atmospheres throughout their stays. Fig. 5.18 Jack Cox Y2, ‘Salt Lake City School’. The building is an attempt to deconstruct the distinct separation between the school and its urban and environmental context, to normalise the relationship between the adult and the child and their very separate worlds. The design is based around openness, to act as a generator, a door to the social and physical landscape. Fig. 5.19 Ren Zi Goh Y3, ‘The Volcanic Sanctuary & Spa’. Plan. Fig. 5.20 York Tsing (Nerissa) Yeung Y2, ‘Super-Market Landscape’. View of the supermarket from a sububan home.

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Fig. 5.21 Oliver Colman Y3, ‘Neverland’. Perspectival section of the floating island. Fig. 5.22 Ren Zi Goh Y3, ‘The Volcanic Sanctuary & Spa’. A landmark dedicated to evoking the sacred essence, power and characteristics of a volcanic site. The sanctuary invites residents of Fillmore and Salt Lake City to escape from the everyday and embrace the energy, materiality, geology and history that is embedded within the natural landscape and imposed architectural elements and ornaments. Meditative spaces, moss/lichen/rock gardens, basalt formations and thermal baths embedded within the manipulated natural landscape allow for introspection and relaxation. Campfire sites become the site of celebration of the power and energy of the landscape.

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2014

The Super-Specific: Las Vegas, Las Vegan Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier


Unit 5

The Super-Specific: Las Vegas, Las Vegan Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier

Year 2 Kamola Askarova, Boon Yik Chung, Grace Fletcher, Patrick Horne, Jonah Luswata, Francesca Savvides, Valerie Vyvial, Allegra Willder, Max Worrell

The Bartlett School of Architecture 2014

Year 3 Matthew Bovingdon-Downe, Clare Dallimore, Isobel Parnell, Rose Shaw, Chris Straessle, Carolyn Tam, Hei Man (Belle) Tung, Simon Wimble We would like to thank our technical tutor, Giles Bruce, and our critics throughout the year: Yota Adilenidou, Matthew Butcher, Barry Cho, Ming Chung, Max Dewdney, Pedro Font Alba, Stephen Gage, Polly Gould, Christine Hawley, CJ Lim, Shaun Murray, Frosso Pimenides, Nicholas Szczepaniak, Tania Sengupta, Martin Tang, Nick Tyson, Paolo Zaide

In this time of modern globalisation it is crucial to remember the importance of the bespoke, specific and the tailor-made in architecture. Each reflect upon the customs and culture of a given place, time and programme. Unit 5 believe that it has never been so important to push for a place-specific approach to design. The Unit is an imaginarium for built futures where narrative is used to explore, discover and invent unique realities within which these super-specific architectures are sited. This specificity is explored through rigorously crafting drawings to a point at which the drawing itself may come to life and be thought of as an actual architecture. A drawing can become an extreme force, a manmade wonder, and a spectacular fantasy of human imagination. Like real buildings, drawings need to be maintained, if required they need to be revised and extended, refurbished and restored, customised and modified, demolished and redrawn. Similarly to the way a house or a city gets adapted and modified over time, a drawing needs to grow and develop into something that goes beyond mere representation. We are ‘drawing-board travellers’ who treat drawings, models and collages as real places that are used to explore spatial narratives and speculate on future building typologies. Las Vegas This year, the major project was sited in Las Vegas. Before we ventured onto the compacted desert sand of Nevada State the Unit spent the first part of the year investigating Las Vegas from afar in an attempt to understand its history, its masterplan, its neighbourhoods and most importantly its inhabitants. Through this research the students created their own visual manifestos in preparation for the field trip. Inspired by real tales and Las Vegan fables these speculations aided them in developing specific programmes and sites that were then explored across the year. Las Vegan Undoubtedly a one-off city, Las Vegas is built out of super-specific circumstances, its desert climate, economy, 24-hour lifecycle, reliance on tourism, constant exchange of people, relaxed laws, salacious nightlife, urban sprawl and heroic self-aggrandising monuments all affect how Las Vegans live in or around this unique metropolis. It appears the domestic architecture currently available to Las Vegans hasn’t kept up with the pace of the city. With dreary and dull suburban neighbourhoods having been the answer for the century gone, we see a need for an alternative, super-specific architecture for future Las Vegans. We posed the question: How will a Las Vegan live, and more importantly how will he or she live in the future in a city that is little over a century old?

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Fig. 5.1 Boon Yik Chung Y2, ‘The Las Vegas Happy Pigs Pig Farm’. This self-sustaining free-range farm tackles the city’s over-reliance on imported food. Leftover buffet food is converted into feed for pigs, whose manure is collected to produce biogas that fuels the farm and connected BBQ restaurant. An ever-changing facade of biogas balloons becomes both a fuel for cooking and a new addition to the Downtown street experience. Fig. 5.2 Valerie Vyvial Y2, ‘Neon Boneyard Cathedral’. This ever growing, lightbulb-clad Cathedral maintains and stores redundant neon signs within its deep, open walls, turning the building into a spectacle in its own right. Fig. 5.3 Allegra Willder Y2, ‘The Shrimp Wing at Planet Hollywood’. Sited to address the redundant rear façade that backs onto a derelict and desolate desert landscape, this

hotel wing offers luxury ‘Hollywood’ themed rooms with the promise of Vegas-style shrimp cocktail whose ingredients are grown on-site. Fig. 5.4 Max Worrell Y2, ‘Paradise Soap Factory and Bath House’. Far from the glamour of the nearby Strip sits Paradise, a run-down suburban home to thousands of the Strip’s hotel cleaners. The soap factory recycles the discarded soap from these nearby hotels which is then sold back to the Strip as new. This in turn offers local residents the opportunity to raise funds for projects to clean up Paradise. Fig. 5.5 Francesca Savvides Y2, ‘Cragin & Pike’s Unbiased Insurance Company’. Surprisingly, in this city of great risk, very few Las Vegans are insured. To address this, the proposal turns insurance into a commodity that can be gambled for in exchange for market research.

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Fig. 5.6 Grace Fletcher Y2, ‘Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Las Vegas’. Every hotel casino along the Strip assimilates a different, distinct part of the world creating a unique theme matched by no other. The pyramids of Egypt become the Luxor Hotel whilst the Paris hotel has it own, half-scale Eiffel Tower. Sunk into the desert sand, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Las Vegas is a hotel casino that imitates Las Vegas itself, creating a copy of a copy. Fig. 5.7 Kamola Askarova Y2, ‘Temple of Secrets’. As the saying goes “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But what do you do with the physical secrets from the night before? The Temple of Secrets offers a secure haven where one can deposit fresh secrets, remove existing secrets, destroy secrets or even purchase strangers secrets at the Temple Auction House. Fig. 5.8 Isabelle Tung Y3, ‘The Las Vegas Sand Retreat’.

In the very near future, Las Vegas’ water supply is going to run desperately low. Located in a derelict sand quarry, the Las Vegas Sand Retreat uses solidified sand to create a unique landscape of perfume infused hot sand baths, providing a lavish experience for tourists whilst creating an alternative to water based spa treatments. Fig. 5.9 Patrick Horne Y2, ‘Las Vegas Storm Drain Maintenance HQ’. A considerable proportion of Las Vegas’ homeless population has sought refuge in its extensive network of underground storm drain tunnels. This government-funded initiative is a recycling facility which utilises the tunnel occupants’ navigational expertise, spatial adaptations and collective ingenuity to keep the drains clean and therefore protect the ecosystem around Lake Mead, the floodwater’s final destination.

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Fig. 5.10 Matthew Bovingdon-Downe Y3, ‘International Dark Sky Association HQ’. The IDAHQ is a scotopic architecture that seeks to reacquaint people with darkness. The building has no artificial light of its own, instead it taps off the haze from the many hotel casinos that surround it. During the day the building attenuates incident atmospheric light, providing amateur astronomers with the requisite conditions for optimum dark adaptation, preparing them for appraising the night sky. Fig. 5.11 Clare Dallimore Y3, ‘Demolition Landscape’. The proposal translates the 12 steps of gambling addiction recovery into a series of spaces for rehabilitation. Using the rubble from exploded casinos as a construction aggregate the building and surrounding landscape is sculpted by a series of water-based interventions that create a haven away from the

addictions of Las Vegas. Fig. 5.12 Chris Straessle Y3, ‘Signs of Growth HQ and Nursery.’ Famous casino signage is re-interpreted and manufactured as arable signs. These signs are planted with a combination of plants, flowers and vegetables, all of which are grown aeroponically on the buildings rooftop before being installed across the Strip. Fig. 5.13 Jonah Luswata Y2, ‘The Las Vegas Gun Amnesty and Peace Retreat’. Situated within a shooting range, the Gun Amnesty seeks to deconstruct this heterotopic space though a reversal of its previous program, to one where the gun is demystified, degraded and disassembled. The Peace Retreat offers redemption through the tactile reworking of the resultant recycled material and a reacquaintance with the surrounding landscape.

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Fig. 5.14 Carolyn Tam Y3, ‘The Hoover Dam Cactus Cooperative’. Research suggests that, as early as 2035, the water level feeding the Hoover Dam will be too low to sustain Las Vegas’ thirst for hydroelectric power. Speculating on both future energy creation and the future redundant infrastructure of the Hoover Dam the HDCC investigates the use of cacti as a credible power source. Accommodation, laboratories and fields of cacti transform this concrete monolith into a reservoir of organic electricity production. Fig. 5.15 – 5.17 Rose Shaw Y3, ‘Dashboard Confectionery’. Las Vegas has the highest rate of road accidents caused by drink driving in the US. Sited alongside a motorway ramp exiting the city, the proposal is a drive-thru service station that exports healthy bodies and minds. Influenced by American consumer culture and

designed completely around the car, the building consists of a series of architectural interventions intended to sober up drivers before leaving Las Vegas. Fig. 5.18 Simon Wimble Y3, ‘The Golden Wedding Chapel’. Hovering above a derelict gold mine that contains five million pounds worth of unrefined gold dust, the Golden Wedding Chapel offers an alternative ceremony to the impulsive, superficial and synthetic culture of the shotgun wedding. Influenced by the notion that the wedding ring is a symbol of eternity, the resident goldsmith extracts raw material from the deposits below to craft wedding bands for each couple that arrive. This process defines the architecture; excess rock from the extracted gold is used to create the building blocks that make up the chapel walls, creating a building ingrained with a sense of time.

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2013 Supernature Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin


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Supernature Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin

As urban populations increase in density and number, and the scope and geometry of agriculture grows correspondingly, human contact with the natural world is rapidly superseded and remade. This was our starting point: An observation that in the metropolis ‘nature’ is visibly overwritten by human systems and can only be apprehended as a prior state, an enhanced replacement, a hybrid condition, or at times a resurgent rebellious wildness. This is the ‘Supernature’ we proposed to examine and within which we found space to work. The Bartlett School of Architecture 2013

Our case study was New York City, which we visited at the end of November. New York City is often described as the paradigm of 20th century metropolis, the ultimate demonstration of human domination of nature, a Cartesian triumph of commerce and aspiration over and on top of geography and geology, flora and fauna. In the 20th century New York City represented polar positions of modernity and obsolescence, progress and rampant and destructive capital systems. It has swung from periodic abundance and excess during the 1920s and 1980s, to fiscal and political stalemate and population flight, as in the 1930s and 1970s. These positions can be read in the artefacts of our time: from the cinema, song, and poetry of the Roaring Twenties, or the fantasies of Urban Jungle, isolation, and a mega-prison island of dystopian films of the late 70s and early 80s. And yet the very same systems of transport and distribution, property grid and money, cultural production and consumption that made New York City the main hub and principal port of North America continue, funnelling food and energy and circulating and clearing away water, waste, steam, power. Within New York there exists scope for examinations of our topic both micro and macro, from labyrinthine water and waste and transport systems down to the subtle and the shifting foraging strategies of bees and foxes within the built environment. Potential areas of investigation would range from food 92

production and systems of cooling, preservation and distribution, to the technological and architectural strategies for managing crises of weather and fire in vertical neighbourhoods. In a built system, the management of risk may be an unavoidable topic. The city is also a place of intense cultural production, and the representation (and thus our beliefs) of nature is correspondingly a palimpsest of celluloid and digital fragments. City parks have a prized history in human culture and would inevitably form a part of an investigation into our idea. The urban park may represent an idea of a previous state, of ‘pure’ nature, or it may self-consciously conflate ecologies, combining for an enhanced super-experience, a ‘better-than’, idealised moment of natural history. In the near future, gene research promises enhanced tree species that might light our city streets with an arboreal glow, or suck carbon emissions more rapidly from the air, becoming more actual ‘green lungs’. In a game of spatial compensation and transferral, we dot our cities with green voids, to indicate ‘breathing room’. Central Park represents an idealised nature, highly constructed, though with the specific design intent of re-imaging an absent or historical natural condition. Construction photos of the installation of Central Park reveal the degree of manipulation and artistry at work in this apparent wild space within the grid. New York offers a rich catalogue of the phenomena we are referring to as ‘supernature’. A built grid surface covers almost the entire island of Manhattan, replicating (in vertical section) the ground, and taking its place functionally and apparently. In places this layering of built grounds is revealed or can be seen; in places, nature reasserts itself, and this reassertion has sometimes become the basis for new public space. Project 1 invited research and speculation from afar in advance of our study journey. Students were asked to select an instance of Supernature within


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the boundaries of New York and to construct a three dimensional investigation of their findings. They were given one dimensional constraint, X = 30cm Y = 60cm, and asked to construct a supporting metal frame. The completed models were then assembled into a propositional city grid.

Year 3 Tahora Azizy, Hannah Bowers, Katie Cunningham, Oi-Yee (Helen) Siu, Alexia Souvalioti unit5bartlett.wordpress.com The Bartlett School of Architecture 2013

At the start of Project 2 we visited New York, the object of our speculations. Along the rivers and rail lines, underground, and along it we sought instances of our topic. We identified the changing waterfront as an ideal place for our proposals. Until recently New York Harbor was the site of intense industrial processing and shipping, and is now undergoing rapid transformation, from industry to fallow post-industrial abandonment, and finally to a kind of productionless rejuvenation as upmarket housing. Hurricane Sandy had recently struck the city, and we focused or investigations on some of the areas of the city directly affected by the storm, particularly the East River, Red Hook and Coney Island waterfronts. Our project proposals focused on these areas, both for their ongoing programmatic transformations and as a place of interface with larger climatic conditions. Our proposals embrace and anticipate a wide range of possibility for production and distribution, urban agriculture, cultural creation, health and housing, botany and commerce within the changing city.

Year 2 Susan (Supichaya) Chaisiriroj, Muzhi Chen, George Courtauld, Jaemin Kim, Kar Tung (Karen) Ko, Maggie Lan, Huynh Nguyen, Hoi Yiu (Carolyn) Wong, Jessica Wang, Yiren (Aviva) Wang, Anqi (Angel) Yu

We would like to acknowledge and thank our jurors through the year for their generosity of time and dedication towards our students: Laura Allen, Nuria Alvarez, Mark Breeze, Margaret Bursa, Izaskun Chinchilla, Isaac Cobo, Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Johan Hybschmann, Carlos Jimenez, Clara Kraft, Paul Legon, Wei Fan Liang, David Roberts, Lola Ruiz, all provided very valuable insight into the work widening our vision on the subject and exciting suggestions for design opportunities. Many thanks also to Andrew Best and his colleagues at Buro Happold for technical tutoring.

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Fig. 5.1 Jessica Wang, Y2, Banana Ripening Taxi Stand. Situated throughout the gridiron, the stands make use of existing utilities to ripen the fruits whilst offering shelter to taxis and passersby Fig. 5.2 Hoi Yiu (Carolyn) Wong, Y2, Glowing Firefly Pavilion, Battery Park. A shelter for locals during emergency blackouts in Manhattan, the design consists of panels that replicate the skylines of New York City, and is lit by bioluminescent trees. When not in use as a shelter, firefly gardens and a bioluminescent tree nursery is offered to visitors who can take home small jars of fireflies and sipplings. Fig. 5.3 Anqi (Angel) Yu, Y2, Snakehead Fish-o-Mat. The Chinese snakehead fish is invading local ponds and waterways, eradicating native species of fish. The Fish-o-Mat proposes a live-fish delivery system into the city’s

food deserts, a solution to the problems of ecology and gastronomy. Fig. 5.4 Katie Cunningham, Y3, Mussel underwater park proposes to exploit marine invasive species with in the waters of the East River and the New York Bay for productive purposes. See also Fig 5.23. Surrogate Landscapes invited researched speculation into moments of symbiosis between human-made and natural systems, both the benign and the toxic, within specific sites in New York. The resulting proposals fitted into a miniature Manhattan Gridiron, creating an alternate New York (Fig.5.5).

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Fig. 5.6 Anqi (Angel) Yu, Y2, East River Fish Farm and Market, Brooklyn Navy Yard. An occupy-able folded canopy of ribbed fish ladders delivers live fish in channels to the market stalls from the surrounding lilypond-like fish farm. Customers enjoy Manhattan views and a sushi restaurant. Fig. 5.7 Jessica Wang, Y2, Green Point Juicery. Artificial fruit-ripening trees form a canopy over a proposed fresh juice-making facility. The undulating roof is enclosed with staggered glass rods, fixed between the metal treetops. Visitors wander the forest floor, sipping juices. Fig. 5.8 Huhyn Nguyen, Y2, Green Point Oil Spill Soil Reclamation Park. A Temporary elevated ground is proposed as a sky park while detoxifing the contaminated earth via phytoremediation in shallow steel planters. Fig. 5.9 Susan (Supichaya) Chaisiriroj, Y2, Sunrise/set Pavilion in Times

Square. Jetlagged travellers reset their internal clock in a skyscraper-top artificial sunrise and sunset. Fig. 5.10 Tahora Azizy, Y3, Russian retirement Community Housing, Coney Island. Today Coney Island is famous for its Russian immigrant community, now aging and often widowed. Using light control and shadow to reproduce experiences from the users native landscape. The proposal reintroduces the natural sandscape from the beach to blanket and protects housing for the community and their pets. Fig. 5.11 – 5.12 Yiren (Aviva) Wang, Y2, Red Hook Community Ceramics Workshop. The local community builds its own clay pit, workshop and kilns to create this art and skills training centre. Over time the facility will expand, and each expansion is an opportunity for learning new manufacturing and building skills.

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Fig. 5.13 – 5.15 Kar Tung (Karen) Ko, Y2, Coney Island USA. Sited adjacent to the storied Boardwalk, the proposal rehouses a local community centre, freakshow and trapeze training facility within paired spiralling circus canopies. Beneath the Boardwalk are support facilities and workshops, above, over, and around, are spaces and routes of aerial manoeuvre. Sunlight and shadow alternately conceal and reveal elements of structure, inhabitation and movement. Fig. 5.16 Maggie Lan, Y2, East River Secret Cinema Studio. Shipping containers house props and sets for the production of a Secret Cinema on this former industrial waterfront site. The containers are modified to fold open for use, slipped into and out of soundstages on an industrial armature. Visitors arrive via an extended red-carpet experience, re-costume and makeup,

and are drawn into the filming itself, before finally being floated around Manhattan on a cinema barge. Fig. 5.17 George Courtauld, Y2, Brunswick Inlet Seed Bank and Arboretum, Brooklyn. Rising sea levels pose a threat to the survival of plant species. A proposed seed market shields a research facility and seed bank pod on the shore of the East River. The pod will detach itself from its shell-market, rise, and float away as in a future flood. Fig. 5.18 – 5.19 Hannah Bowers, Y3, Bushwick Inlet Mulberry Forrest, Brooklyn. A former industrial site is replaced with a mulberry forest and a silkworm workshop. Avenues of trees frame views to Manhattan, and branches and leaves are harvested for wormfood and composted in a bulgy skin for heat. The visitor is invited to tour the worm-homes, view weaving and dying, and enjoy the new urban forest.

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Fig. 5.20, 5.24 Alexia Souvalioti, Y3, CityHarvest Foodbank, Williamsburg. Food waste in a time of want and increasing wealth disparity is an urban travesty. This project aims to organise and spatially resolve the collection and distribution of excess food from shops, stores and restaurants. Incoming supplies arrive across the East River on box-car barges, are sorted, preserved, pickled, and repackaged for distribution via a ‘supermarket’, a restaurant, and via mobile food groups like Meals-on-Wheels. Fig. 5.21 – 5.22 Oi-Yee (Helen) Siu, Y3, Mycelium Foam Formwork-Casting Facility. Mushrooms grow in concrete tubs beneath the surface of Pier K in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The mycelium is farmed as alternative rigid foam, creating biodegradable concrete formwork. Drying towers puncture the pier surface, beckoning visitors to a mushroom

restaurant. The process proposes a symbiotic relation with its industrial neighbours, using wood pulp and coffee grounds to feed the farm, and making the formwork for future industrial structures. Fig. 5.23 Katie Cunningham, Y3, Gowanus Mussel Farm. Zebra Mussels, an invasive species brought to New York’s waters on Shipping boats hulls’. Locates In Gowanus Bay, a heavily polluted site off the Upper Bay of New York Harbour, a series of mussel silos clarify water quality, creating localised zones of crystal diving conditions. The mussel shells grow over articulated structures, forming grotesque building elements in an underwater picturesque landscape . The resulting mussel-shell encrustations develop into a new architecture of underwater grotto-esquery.

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2012 Fault Lines Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


Unit 5

FAULT LINES

Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba “Crises are ultimately productive. They force invention. Breakdowns incubate breakthroughs. Radical destruction gives way to new forms of production… Architectural design is the child of crisis” Mark Wigley, ‘Space in Crisis’ Volume Magazine Issue 19 (2009) B Sc Arch Un i t 5 — pa g e 92 — B A RT LET T 2012

Our world has become spectacularly unpredictable. Another year has passed where we are continuously flooded by extraordinary stories of the unforeseen. It is not just our social and financial models that show signs of exhaustion but the very ground we walk on is in a state of upheaval. Between the virtual collapse of the banking network worldwide - entire countries on the verge of bankruptcy - social unrest not seen for decades, environmental changes like extreme rainfalls and crippling droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis: the state of uncertainty and change seems to be the new global paradigm. In times of upheaval comes an opportunity to leave the familiar behind and challenge conventions with alternative propositions and novel ideas. How can we as architects respond to environments that face challenges of an unpredictable scale and frequency? How can Architecture become a critical tool to remedy political, cultural or environmental conditions that are straining our defences? How can our sophisticated production methods provide solutions to the ever-growing social demands? Our unit briefs set out to investigate sudden change and slow shifts as a potential catalyst for innovation, speculation and adaption. We are interested in finding ‘ad hoc’ responses to the rapid pace of our times but are equally interested how to choreograph the slow and minute shifts in our surroundings that can lead to large and unexpected consequences. As a unit we place emphasis on the unique relationship between the building and its unique immediate and wider environments and encourage our students to speculate towards architectures that are both lyrical and relevant in their response to our changing natural, cultural and social environments. This year Unit 5 went on an architectural adventure beyond the familiar in search of novel architectural tools for an increasingly uncertain world. Our unit explored present conditions through speculation about possible futures, considered relevance over indulgence and identified opportunities for tactical intervention. ‘What if’ became the mantra for the year. The first project was sited in London. Students were asked to identify a fault line and explore an architectural response to the phenomenon of sudden change. From the streets of the recent riots, extra-ordinary pressures onto the already congested city during the Olympic games, to the bleak forecast that


We want to express our gratitude to our technical tutor and critic Dr Rachel Cruise. Also we want to acknowledge our guest jurors this year for their priceless advice and generosity with their time: Abigail Ashton, Bruce Irwin, Christian Parreno, Juanjo and Lola Ruiz, Sara Shafiei, Murray Fraser, Geraldine Denning, Gavin Hutchison, Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Mark Breeze, Sam Causer, Nick Hockley, Katy Beinart, Lucy Leonard, Iain Borden, Guan Lee, Patrick Weber, Tania Sengupta and Carlos Jimenez. Year 2: Robin Ashurst, Tik Chun Zion Chan, Joanne Chen, Him Wai Lai, Arthur Kay, Camilla Wright, Peter Simpson, Jack Sargent Year 3: Amy Begg, Kun Bi, Samuel Dodsworth, Christopher Worsfold, Wei Zeng (Lucas) Ler, Simran Sidhu, Hui Zhen Ng

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Our trip to Istanbul became a test bed in our search for an original and innovative architecture. Istanbul, a multifaceted and fluid city, has experienced rapid and dramatic global and local pressures. Not only is it located close to the North Anatolian fault line making it a earthquake sensitive area, it is also a city of many dualities. From its geographic location between Asia and Europe, the Golden Horn and the Bosporus, the Marmara and Black Sea to its economic divide between great wealth and poverty. The city is struggling between modernity and tradition, secularism and Islamism, democracy and repression – often in unlikely and contradictory combinations. As the city is reaching out to compete as a new global capital it faces new challenges, specifically finding ways for (re)development on the dense fabric of the historical peninsula. In the 2nd project students were asked to identify sites, spaces or economies of mounting pressures that are in need of reinvention and adaption to ensure their survival. It was our intention not to slip into nostalgia but to consider the opportunities that the current developments present for the city and to freely and fearlessly engage in conversations about the city. How can the fault lines and intersections that draw the city shape the contours of new imaginings for Istanbul? Some projects were placed between desire and knowledge; others were allegorical but perfectly meaningful.

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London might be flooded by river water or by an overwhelmed Victorian drainage network: Project 1 was a short and intense exercise, where students were asked to speculate about present or possible future scenarios and identify sites and situations that are in demand of an immediate response. Places where rules have to be changed in order to survive. We looked at immediate and spontaneous architecture that proves that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. The approach to this project was experimental and the architectural propositions ranged from 1:1 built interventions to strategic master planning.


Fig. 5.1 Arthur Kay, Paranoia House. Series of architectural interventions to Terrence Fyed’s Victorian house. Addressing and providing architectural solutions to specific fears derived from perceived local and global threats through the media. Fig. 5.2 Zion Chan, Rehabilitation centre for visually impaired people in Istanbul. The road network of Istanbul itself is the evidence of the dramatic historical change of the city, which result in a complex and organic form. The mobility training for blind people requires a safe training route, which imitates the streets of Istanbul. Fig. 5.3 Joanne Chen, Pop Up artist commune in Shoreditch. The program is a metaphor of reviving a forgotten space, providing the artists with affordable studio complexes with a strong community infrastructure as a way of self-promotion and revitalisation of the area. Fig. 5.4 Chris Worsfold, City of London Grain reserve. Urban myth through government assurance and

rumour suggest the grain reserve held on site in Canary Wharf is enough to sustain London’s current population for 90 days (the figure recommended by the UN) Fig. 5.5 Peter Simpson, Armenian Mime and Shadow Puppet Theatre. Scenery is moved into the auditorium on tracks and acrobats descend from the roof, this is all played out in front of the historic skyline of Istanbul. Fig. 5.6 Jack Sargent, Canary Wharf due collectors. Fig. 5.7 Robin Ashurst, Olympic Water Pavilion, an opportunity to re-instate Tower Hamlets’ role in the Games, creating a theatrical event. Fig. 5.8 — 5.9 Joanne Chen, Perfume factory, a symbol of fusing landscape and industry. The fragrance leaks out of the building through a number of chimneys, which release the steam of boiling fragrant water as a pleasant atmospheric filter. Fig 5.10 Robin Ashurst, Golden Horn Hospital. Ambulance boats offer a pick up from the nearby Galata Bridge.

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Fig. 5.11 Kun Bi, Istanbul water studios. Located on an abandoned shipyard next to the Golden Horn, this building is a combination of water related film studios and public playground. As a film shooting location, it provides water studios, diving pools, jumping pools for different types of film shooting. It also has space to simulate deep sea by using illusions. Fig. 5.12 Lucas Ler Zeng, Feminist Coffeehouse. A recycling platform for coffee that offers a forum for discussion. At the same time exploring a robust landscape strategy for the fragile nature of the island close to Eyup.

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Fig. 5.13 Simran Sidhu, Timber housing village. The project investigates traditional Ottoman timber structures close to Fener and Balat, the historic home of a large Greek and Jewish population where houses are about to be eliminated in a big governmental sweep-out. Fig 5.14 Huizhen Ng, The smoke walls walk through. Blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, the proposed building creates spaces in which smokers are able to smoke shisha within the comforts of interiors spaces, while complying with the Turkish Tobacco Law.

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Fig. 5.15 — 5.16 Amy Begg, Stroke rehabilitation centre. The project starts by looking at the site and the therapeutic possibilities that the island can offer. The proposal attempts to return an industrial area to its original function as original pleasure gardens and addresses aspects of flooding and erosion. The centre will use music therapy in order to structure the patient’s day. The public parts of the building are centred to the South West of the island so that, depending on their strength and level of recovery, patients can control how much they wish to be involved with the more public aspects of the building. Towards the East and North the building filters out into the landscape forming a tranquil setting for the patients living spaces and garden/ wildlife areas. Fig. 5.17 — 5.19 Sam Dodsworth, traditional Turkish wedding retreat in Ortakoy. The design is a response to traditional

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wedding rituals and in keeping with Istanbul’s history; water is used extensively via passive means of water circulation and purification. Fig. 5.20 (Overleaf) Chris Worsfold. Locust restaurant, Schistocerca Gregaria. The project addresses food security and sustainability. Global issues with meat consumption in relation to climate change leave our diet in flux. The project seeks to investigate how the protein rich locust can both, become a sustainable food source and a product of desire.


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2011 Vanishing Point Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


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VANISHING POINT 'The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects — making it possible … to see a new beauty in what is vanishing.' Susan Sontag

Julia Backhaus & Pedro Font Alba

Places, cities, buildings and landscapes are in constant flux. Climate, culture and politics force them to shift, grow, emerge or even vanish. Often places are dissolved by globalisation, the local vernacular replaced by international conformity. Are we not losing sites of distinction and incomparable atmospheres? This year, the unique situation of Cuba has been the unit’s point of departure. Isolated and cut off from the capitalist world until the end of the cold war, and hit hard by the economic crisis that followed in the collapse of the Soviet Union, this frozen utopia is on the verge of radical change. With the US Embargo likely to be lifted in the near future and recent plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees to revive its struggling economy, the Cuba we have come to know will soon vanish. Intrigued by this climate of uncertainty, the unit focused on that magic moment of transition in a bid to fire the imagination for future development and celebrate the triumph of Cuba’s culture over its politics. Havana is a city brimming with a zest for life and displays a chaotic yet touching vitality. In the first project we studied this city from a distance p. 4 8

with the help of literature, film and art to formulate an architecture of survival that battles the dilemma between progress and preservation, the focus of the work being a contemporary application of Cuba’s heritage. We aimed to create a sustainable solution to help those cultural markers to survive without becoming a caricature. Scarcity of goods together with low monthly wages has spawned a nation of hustlers and micro-capitalists. As the situation further deteriorates a majority of Cubans will be forced to form their own businesses. The investigation resulted in the design of a small enterprise or an individual architectural strategy that is immediate and blows vitality into Cuba’s numbed economy. Following on from a field trip in Cuba that explored Havana as well as the lush tobacco valleys to the north, the main building project speculated about the country post-embargo. Again the focus was on manifesting Cuban cultural identity in the design whilst providing new developments that seek to help enhance Cuba’s future trade prospects in the global market. Year 2: Fergus Knox, Harriet MiddletonBaker, Asha Pooran, Andrew Slack, Deniz Varol, Angeline Wee, Alec Scragg, Gary Edwards Year 3: Natalia Eddy, Aaron Shun Wing Ho, Rachel King, Maryna Kuchak, Tess Martin, Sirisan Nivatvongs, Aimee Salata, Sandra Youkhana, Kun Bi


landscape providing ice cream refreshments and a social space for free political debate located in close proximity to the governmental buildings of Havana. Fig. 5.5 Fergus Knox, Reconstructive Performance Structure, the plazas of Old Havana. A Cuban strategy for recycling scaffolding structures after the restoration of Cuba’s crumbling facades. Structures may be reused as performance pavilions with a canopy that echoes the previous facade.

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Fig. 5.1 Angeline Wee, Music Pavilion and Electrical Charging Point, Malecon. A pavilion that utilises the power of the waves of the Malecon to generate music that celebrates Havana’s outdoor culture whilst providing a space in which to charge small electrical items. Fig. 5.2 Alec Scragg, Mobile Hotel Lobby, Plaza Vieja, Havana. Responding to the separation of locals and tourists economically and spatially, the project tests this boundary by taking the typology of the hotel lobby into the public squares providing an information point for tourists and a shop selling hotel lost property to the locals. Fig. 5.3 Andrew Slack, Community Dance Centre, Casablanca, Havana. The dual programme includes a Santerian church and dance school to help bridge communities through a common interest in dance. Fig. 5.4 Harriet Middleton-Baker, Ice Cream Parlour and Free Debate Park, Il Capitolio, Havana. An articulated urban

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Fig. 5.6 Rachel King, Tropicana Car Wash and Casting Workshop, Havana. The memories of classic 50s cars are preserved in this labour-intensive car wash facility, casts of redundant car body parts nestle beneath the arcades to become street furniture. Fig. 5.7 Sirisan Nivatvongs, Agricultural Research Facility, Pinar Del Rio. Conducting a range of research on modern farming techniques, including organic, hydroponic, floating and vertical agriculture. The building generates a self-sustaining environment for its occupants by both growing its own food on site whilst generating its own energy and introducing a new agriculture to the surrounding areas. Fig. 5.8 Marina Kuchak, La Regla Fish Market, Havana Regla. Taking into consideration the Master Plan Congress of the XXI century on Havana’s redevelopment, the building aims to respond to the ideas of this congress and the general infrastructure of the city. The proposal is for a fish market that aids

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regeneration of the local area by attempting to link it to Old Havana. Due to the climatic conditions of the area, the project introduces a self-cleansing system that responds to the daily waste of a fish market. Fig. 5.9 Natalia Eddy, Hurricane Boatel, Havana. The design proposal reinvents the notion of a motel. Catering for sailors, the site becomes a series of plug-in islands enabling the boats to integrate and become part of the architecture. The hotel structure provides the additional facilities that boats are limited in offering. The scheme takes advantage of its coastal position by integrating a series of devices, which not only protect the architecture but extract energy from the waves. Elements such as a pivoting harbour wall are used to dampen wave height and extract energy. The scheme has enabled the design of harbours to be challenged and reexamined. Fig. 5.10 Aaron Ho, In-between House, Havana. Responding to the Cuban government’s restriction


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on the buying and selling of houses, the proposal provides an agency for the swapping of properties and includes configurable temporary living units for ‘swappers’ in transit between accommodations. Fig. 5.11 Aimee Salata, Light Pavilion, the Plazas of Old Havana. Acting as a stage set, the structure transforms and adapts to different times of the day, manipulating light, drawing it into the camera obscura during the day and illuminating the square at night. On an urban scale the pavilions serve as an orientation device for tourists lost in the old part of the city, creating a network of light above the rooftops.

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Fig. 5.12 & 5.13 Tess Martin, The New US Embassy in Havana. In the future world of post-embargo Havana, the US and Cuba are allies. While the new Embassy presents itself as a gift to the city and a gesture of friendship, the history of conflict casts an inescapable shadow on the newly reinstated relationship — the Embassy is prepared for an attack. The project explores the tension between the need for security and a US message of transparency and diplomacy. The Embassy holds a comprehensive catalogue of security devices — subtle takes on traditional defence mechanisms; from the moat and drawbridge, to escape pods and water cannons, which take advantage of its position on the Bay of Havana. Fig. 5.14 Sandra Youkhana, Pelican Palace. Havana’s damaged ecosystem has made survival of marine wildlife impossible. Resting upon the cheek of the bay on safer waters, the site stands as a green belt – an untouched stretch of coastline on

the brink of becoming Hiltonised in the emergence of the post-embargo situation. The proposed scheme is Pelican Palace, a pelican sanctuary and resort, preserving the land and protecting pelicans by diverting them towards the site through the release of fish, with interactive lodgings dotted amongst these constructed habitats in a resort setup. A series of water scenarios within the excavation of the undulating landscape create an interface between man, bird and fish. The aesthetic intentions rely heavily on an ongoing theme within my work of composite architectures — displacing functions through the intervention of technical components concealed within seaside follies.

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2010 ‘Genius Loci’ Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Bruce Irwin


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Charlie Blanchard, Max Dowd, Joe Paxton, Asha Pooran, Alex Sutton, Nada Tayed, Su Jin Kwon Yr 3: Khalid Al Sugair, William Armstrong, Chris Leung, Hugh Moncrieff, Sabina Nobi, Frankie Pringle, John Wu, Yan Yan

‘Genius Loci’ ‘In Roman mythology a ‘genius loci’ was described as the protective spirit of a place. It was ancient belief that each place was possessed by an ‘earth spirit’ and, if the ground was to be disturbed and built on, that spirit needed to be placated to grant good fortune to its new habitants. From extraordinary myths about workmen being immured within the walls of cathedrals and castles to sinister legends of wives being built into bridges with their breasts exposed to nurture their babies, sacrifice was deeply embedded in building culture.’ FT.com Today, we use the term genius loci to describe the essence of a place that has an unmistakable atmosphere – a palpable character that permeates the site and manifests an unforgettable presence. With our environment becoming jaded by international and cultural homogeneity and conformism, the concept of the genius loci is in need of critical reinvention. This year our unit investigated the genius loci as the point of departure for meaningful, unique, imaginative but site-specific architecture. We looked beyond the visible substance, form and surface of places and investigated sites that have been repossessed and transformed, where extraordinary events, myths or anecdotes have re-appropriated places. We uncovered lost chapters of history and everyday fiction, traced the passages of explorers that have imprinted their stamp on different landscapes, and looked at places that have been traversed as much by narratives as by footsteps. We encouraged students to reinvestigate conventional model making, drawing techniques and other forms of spatial representation.

Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba & Bruce Irwin

Top: Joseph Paxton, London Lost Rivers and Timanfaya Centre for Earth Studies. Middle: Asha Pooran, Dorset Street Sugar Device; Alex Sutton, Modern Times. Bottom: Nada Tayed, Table for One; William Amstrong, Speakers’ Corner Theater.


Top: Joseph Paxton, Timanfaya Centre for Earth Studies; Nada Tayed, Table for One; Max Dowd, Residencia de Menores, Las Palmas. Middle: Francesca Pringle, Brick Lane ‘Bollywood’. Bottom: William Amstrong, Speakers’ Corner Theater; Alex Sutton, Murgas’ Club; Su Jin Kwon, Tea Auction Dephvice.


Left: William Armstrong, El Salar Fireworks Factory. Right: Charlie Blanchard, Mas Palomas Sea Turtle Rescue Centre; John Wu, El Golfo Geological Research & Interpretation Centre.


Top: Chris Leung, Mas Palomas Skin Clinic. Middle and bottom left: Khalid Al-Sugair, Mas Palomas Brinewater Spa. Bottom right: Yan Yan, El Confital Surfing and Flora Reintroduction Station.


Top and left: Sabina Nobi, Lanzarote Cetacean Research Centre. Right: Hugh Scott Moncrieff, Arrecife Sailing Academy. Opposite: Hugh Scott Moncrief, Arrecife Sailing Academy.


2009 Nothing is Neutral Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Karen Au, Robert Burrows, Anton Chernikov, Haesung Choi, Eleonora Hadjigeorgiou, Grace Mark, Lucy Rothwell. Yr 3: Jonathan DeWind, Tamsin Hanke, Yong Lik Lee, Young Woo Lee, Nicola Perrett, Marcos Polydorou, Felicity PriceSmith, Harriet Redman, Suyang Xu.

Nothing is Neutral pi·o·neer 1. First person to explore territory: a person who is one of the first from another country or region to explore or settle a new area 2. Inventor or innovator: a person or group that is the first to do something or that leads in developing something new Within many cultures there has often been the desire to pioneer and travel to unknown territory in search for a new beginning. It was the pioneer trails and settlements that discovered unexplored worlds and distinguished the known from the unknown. Pioneering was associated with risk taking, determination and persistence but most of all curiosity. The French philosopher Michel Foucault states that ‘curiosity’ evokes an acute interest in and concern for everything that exists, a sharpened sense of reality, a readiness to find what surrounds us strange and odd; a certain determination to throw off familiar ways of thought and to look at the same things in a new and different way; a passion for seizing what is happening now and what is disappearing; a lack of respect for the traditional hierarchies of what is important and fundamental. This year the unit went on a journey to venture out to hidden territories, new realities, strange and overlooked spaces. We investigated landscapes that inhabit the ambiguous zone between human and natural environment and wonder about the existence of yet undiscovered universes. In true pioneer spirit, we took risks and speculated about inventive, experimental and innovative architectural propositions.

Julia Backhaus and Pedro Font Alba

Clockwise from top left. Martin Tang, Pioneering Weather; Joseph Desjardin, Hook’s Portrait; Megan Townsend, The Warren; Max Walmsley, No-Mansland; Yuchen Wang.


Clockwise from top left. Martin Tang, Pioneering Weather; Vinicius Cipriano, Homage to Donald Judd; Janinder Bhatti, Salt Spa; Amalia Hunter, Hollywood horses; Janindfer Bhatti, Moss Garden.


Top and middle: Martin Tang; Gliders Club – The Wind Puppet. Bottom: Jin Hong Leow, Mobile Market in Marfa.


Above left: Philip Poon; Bird’s Pavillion in Regents Park. Above Right: Philip Poon, Marfa Lights.


Top: Tasmin Hanke; Spaceport near Guadalupe Mountains. Above: Victor Hadjikyriaki; Tex-Mex Blood Bank


This page:. Victor Hadjikyriaki; Tex-Mex Blood Bank


2008 mi·cro·cosm (m?’kr?-k?z’?m) Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


BSc Unit 5 Yr2: Leander Adrian, Olivia Crawford, Theodore Games Petrohilos, Ben Hayes, Paul Leader-Williams, Keong Lim, Jailun Mao, Jack Spencer Ashworth. Yr3: Zahra Azizi, Ross Leo Fernandes, Wanyu Guo, Alexander Kalli, Kate Marrinan, Afra Van’t Land, Gabriel Warshafsky, Elizabeth Watts, Christopher Wong.

mi·cro·cosm (m?’kr?-k?z’?m) 
 A small, representative system regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger. Amongst a diffuse and complex urban landscape some very specific spaces, microcosms or individual refuges often succeed in asserting themselves. Although sometimes barely perceptible, it is the little things, small accretions, micro movements, minute disequilibriums that silently undermine our environment and often lead to large and unexpected consequences. The thought that the patterns of existence resemble and influence each other from the smallest (micro) to the biggest (macro) unit can be traced throughout history; it shaped the contours of philosophy, mysticism, alchemy, aesthetics and the arts. But at which point does the seemingly selfenclosed system of the microcosm become permeable? Where does it interface with the outside? Which is the influencing and which the influenced component? Over two projects we speculated on scale, order, pattern and systems inherent to microcosms to understand and be surprised by their gigantic programmatic possibilities. We investigated the magic of ‘the small’ to discover what influences a microcosm might have on a large scale.

Julia Backhaus and Pedro Font Alba

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Clockwise from top left: Wanyu Guo, Chris Wong, Leander Adrian, Theodore Games Petrohilos, James Spencer.

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Clockwise from top: Zahra Azizi, Zahra Azizi, Theodore Games Petrohilos, Afra Van’t Land.

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Clockwise from top left: Ross Fernandes, Cornfield Community, Paul Leader-Williams, Alexis Kalli, Louis Lim.

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Clockwise from top left: Ben Hayes, Olivia Crawford, Wanyu Guo.

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Top: Gabriel Warshafsky, Bottom: Kate Marrinan. Facing Page: Chris Wong.

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2007 Ephemera Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Emma Bailey, Weng Sam Iu, Marina Karamali, Rina Kukaj, Na Li, Nathaniel Mosley, Gordon O’Connor Read, James Purkiss, Edward Scott, Catrina Stewart, Ruofan Yao. Yr 3: Zahra Ahmad Akhoundi, Victoria Bateman, Sheila Clarkson Valdivia, Amanda Ho, Alexis Kalli, Thomas Kay, Janice Lee.

Ephemera By close-ups of the things around us, by focusing on hidden details of familiar objects, by exploring commonplace milieus under the ingenious guidance of the camera, the film, on the one hand, extends our comprehension of the necessities which rule our lives; on the other hand, it manages to assure us of an immense and unexpected field of action. Our taverns and metropolitan streets, our offices and furnished rooms, our railroads stations and factories appeared to have us locked up hopelessly. Then came the film and burst this prison- world asunder by the dynamite of the tenth of a second, so that now, in the midst of this far-flung ruins and debris, we calmly and adventurously go travelling. With the close ups, space expands, with the slow motion, movement is extended (‌). Walter Benjamin This year our unit will look into the ambiguous zone between film making and architecture. Perhaps our fascination with film and architecture is that there are no other two arts that are so unlike each other: the film, intangible and fleeting, an image on a wall; and architecture, the most tangible and eternal. However, like architecture, film is dynamically perceived, obsessed with the immersion in its own created world. And, like architecture, film is able to transform the world, albeit through isolated moments. Over time movies have become a catalyst, an El Dorado of what architecture could be about: freed from everyday constraints, building codes and financial realities it has created an ideal medium to test the fantastic, ideal visions and new approaches to architectural design.

Julia Backhaus and Pedro Font Alba


Top: Zahra Ahmad Akhoundi, Animated Landscape. Middle: James Purkiss, Bottle Architecture. Bottom left: Catrina Stewart, Stunt School; right: Thomas Kay. Facing page, top and bottom: Janice Lee, Toy Theatre. Middle: Gordon O’Connor Read, Sushi Bar.


Top left: Thomas Kay, Cornfield Community; right, top to bottom: Rina Kukaj; Victoria Bateman, Green Embassy; Thomas Kay, Cornfield Community. Bottom: Catrina Stewart, Stunt School. Facing page, top left: Victoria Bateman; right: Rina Kukaj, Aroma Spa. Middle: Nathaniel Mosley, Lipstick Farm. Bottom: Catrina Stewart, Stunt School.


This page: Zahra Ahmad Akhound, Fashion Institute. Facing page: Janice Lee, Light Institute.


2006 'In-Between' Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Amanda Bate, Philip Cottrell, Brian Hoy, Momo Hoshijima, Lois Farningham, Saman Ziaie, Bridget Johnsonm, Peter Webb, Rosanna Kwok. Yr 3: Damian Groves, Richard Hardy, Desmond Hung, Zac Keene, Nancy O’Brien, Gen Otsubo, William Trossell.

'In-Between' The 'in-between' is an ambiguous but dense zone, folded and tucked away, neither here nor there, more implicit than obvious, residual but multilayered. Through three interlinking projects Unit 5 explored the spatial, temporal and programmatic aspects of this condition. Project 1, Unveiling the 'poche', a training ground: experimental The students' home underwent a detailed investigation into accidental interstices, forgotten cracks and hidden poches. This precise study of detecting, slow seeing and revealing resulted in a full scale device. Project 2, Mind the gap, a test site: room for speculation. Whilst the former investigations were based on the notion of occupation and enclosure in the domestic environment, the second project explored the 'in between' as a threshold, a connective device in an urban context in the form of a small building. Our field trip brought us to Arizona, a state that is itself full of poches and gaps. It is a landscape of hidden drama, its soil is scarred and cracked by merciless desert sun and eroded by the fast flowing Colorado River. We visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, Paolo Soleri's Arco Santi, Arizona's Ghost towns, the cemetery of American War planes and buildings by Rick Joy and Will Bruder. From the Grand Canyon we took route 66 to Las Vegas. Project 3, ' breach'. The major building was sited in the sublime vastness of the desert floor. It explored the flux of boundaries and occupation, time and weather, culture and history. It created an immediate response to the understanding and reading of the site, framing the landscape in an architectural context.

Julia Backhaus and Pedro Font Alba

Clockwise from top: William Trossel, Surveyor’s School; Amand Bate; Rosanna Kwok, Grand Canyon Site Model; William Trossel.


Clockwise from top left: Brian Hoy, Poche; Peter Webb, Geological Survey Station/Grand Canyon; Philp Cotters, Sleeping Centre; Zac Keene, Harvesting Light.


Top: Damian Groves, Paper Architecture. Clockwise from middle left: Damian Groves, Painting The Desert; William Trossel, Roof Studies; Gen Otsobu, Casino.


Clockwise from top left: Desmond Hung, Molding Landscape; Damian Groves, Inflatable Installation; Nancy O’Brien. ?; Damian Groves, Paper Architecture.


This and facing page: Richard Hardy, Desert Community With Whisky Distillery.


2005 REIsabel Brebbia, Niall Maxwell


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Pascal Bronner, Robert Brown, Charles Catto, Ronald Cheape, Sulawan Isvarphornchai, Klementyna Klocek, Keiichi Matsuda, Rebecca Tappin, Yr 3: Anna Deacon, Gregory Froggatt, Emily Lewith, Tetsuro Nagata, Itai Palti, Clare Richards, Nicholas Williams.

REIs there a future for the ‘icon’ building? With buildings accounting for 40% of the nation’s energy consumption, can we really afford to go on designing one-off buildings? Most façades are designed to last just 15 years, while office interiors are designed for just 5 years. Is icon architecture the ultimate ‘purchase’ in our consumerist age? Is this architectural approach appropriate given our current environmental crisis? Maybe the future of architecture lies in the ingenious development of not just a beautiful object but the design of a flexible, adaptable architecture that allows for re-use, re-design, and re-invention. Unit 5 re-considered the everyday, finding ways to use the seemingly redundant or forgotten. If it’s broken do you fix it, ditch it or make something new from it? Why is the new model better than the old? Newer … better … faster … obsolete. Do we dispose of, or reinvent for? In the pursuit of progress, are we blind to the possibilities of that which surrounds us?

Isabel Brebbia and Niall Maxwell

Top: Tetsuro Nagata, others: Emily Lewith.


Clockwise from top: Anna Deacon, Gregory Froggatt, Tetsuro Nagata, Clare Richards, Nicholas Williams. Overleaf, left: Itai Palti, right: Pascal Bronner.


2004 Urban Stress Isabel Brebbia, Niall Maxwell


BSc Unit 5 Yr 2: Sarah Brighton, James Davies, David Di Duca, Joel Geoghegan, Andrew Marshall, Amreen Phul, Benjamin Ridley, Vanessa Salambassi, Soraya Somarathne. Yr 3: Jonathan Cory Wright, Thomas Dunn, Jonathan Hagos, Lisa Iszatt, Nadia Kloster, Iain Smales.

Urban Stress Unit 5 have been investigating ‘urban stress’ and exploring the in between, forgotten and seemingly inconsequential spaces left over by large-scale infrastructure. What is the impact of this type of urban stress on the individual and the community? Studies were undertaken both in London and Wales before moving to Genoa, Italy – this year's City of Culture, a city transformed by the imposition of large scale infrastructure – to discover sites and spaces suitable for new interventions.

Tom Wood passed away in May this year after a long illness. A student with immense talent, potential and charm, he will be greatly missed by his many friends at the Bartlett.

Isabel Brebbia and Niall Maxwell

Clockwise from top: Jonathan Hagos, Jonathan Hagos, Ian Smales, Lisa Iszatt, Tom Wood.


Clockwise from top left: Thomas Dunn, Jonathan Cory Wright, Nadia Kloster, Lisa Iszatt, Nadia Kloster.


ucl.ac.uk/architecture

Bartlett Design Anthology | UG5  

Architectural design teaching on The Bartlett School of Architecture's BSc and MArch Architecture programmes is organised around ‘units’: co...

Bartlett Design Anthology | UG5  

Architectural design teaching on The Bartlett School of Architecture's BSc and MArch Architecture programmes is organised around ‘units’: co...