OSA Magazine Issue 13: REMOTE

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Graphics By Wura Bolarinwa



contact us Facebook: OSA Magazine Instagram: osabrookes Issuu: www.issuu.com/osa_magazine Twitter: @OSA_Mag

with thanks to Marcel Vellinga Interim Head of the School of Architecture Rekha Giddy Programme Administrator OxArch School of Architecture Student Society

editorial It has been more almost a year since the World Health Organisation announced the Covid-19 pandemic. The year 2020 has been unlike any other in recent history - faced with the threat of the virus, we agreed, without much protest, to close national borders, limit our movements, ban gatherings and trace our contacts. Symbols of oppression have become essential tools in a worldwide effort of fighting the pandemic. As architecture students, we have been removed from the studio and secluded to our bedrooms. As a community we are scattered, yet connected to each other through our screens. Remote has become the default. This has created new opportunities, but also highlighted existing inadequacies and injustices in the functioning of our institutions, countries and the world. The pandemic has opened its own chapter in the history of design and architecture. And while many ideas won’t stand the test of time, the coronavirus will leave a permanent mark on design. The awareness of how we occupy space (physical and metaphorical) in relation to each other has been driven to the forefront of our consciousness. It is very likely that even with the rollout of the vaccines, we will need to continue living with forms of social distancing and restrictions for years to come. And, unless drastic and decisive action is taken, the threat of a future pandemic will always loom over our shoulders. How will we live, work and play in the ongoing Covid reality? What can we learn as architects learn from this, and how can we adapt?



Meet the Team EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Zanna Krzyzanowska

graphic director Ashling Wall


graphic designer Wura Bolarinwa

EDITOR Alice Latham





Open Letter

By Future Architect Frontier Pg 8


Collective Power in Architecture

By Future Architect Frontier Pg 12



By Bernard Biju Pg 22

By Canisius Bong Pg 24

The Reading Block

The Reframe


Covid- 19: The Demise of Traditional Studio Culture By Alice Latham Pg 14


London 2050: Garden City into Urban By Delfina Couceiro Pg 26


How will the British Modern Meets History Highstreet adapt to reflect By Marina Georgiava Pg 36 the societal changes brought about Covid 19?

Repair Makerspace





By Maia Sherratt Pg 32

Oxford Centre for Environmental Innovation By Pui Yee Lim Pg 44


Architits VS Artificial Intelligence By Architits Pg 58


A Pandemic Proof Environment: Observing Oxford Brookes University


By Odeng Anuar Zahin Pg 38

Co - Exist

By Lok Chi Chan (Rainbow) Pg 52

By Ashling Wall Pg 48


Retail Revolution By Sam Manton Pg 62

23. Zero Waste Lab By Selin Ucar Pg 64




By Architits Pg 16

By Anis Mohamad Khairi Pg 18

The Apocalyptic Social Distance Studio


Castle Mill

By Isaac Nourie Pg 28


The Canalside Brewpub By Pavlina Kolotroni Pg 40

A Memorial For Dover Street


A Controversial Facade By Eric Lai Pg 30


Deconsecrated Spirit By Pareyk Kubica Pg 42

19. 20.

Trouble in Paris By Rodney Sihlangu Pg 54

Human Powered Odeon Art - House By Roxiana Dimutru Pg 56

24. 25. Unfold Florey Building By Stephen Chan Pg 66

Architecture in the time of disease By Zanna Krzyzanowska Pg 68



Graphics By Wura Bolarinwa 6   | OSA. VOL XIII



remote /







secluded, far apart; far distant in space;situatedatsomedistanceaway being, relating to, or involving a means of doing or using something indirectly or from a distance.



RIBA Open Letter By Future Architects Front

Unethical business conduct has been a decades-long problem in the field of architecture and has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In the wake of these events, it is important for those of us in the early stages of our careers to think critically about our own position in the industry. For many architectural assistants, the lack of support and the dearth of opportunity during this pandemic has demonstrated what we have long suspected: the current pathway to qualifying as an architect is dysfunctional and exploitative. As students and young practitioners yourselves, we would encourage you to read the RIBA Open Letter written by the Future Architects Front and follow the debate as it unfolds. This letter calls for RIBA to finally address the exploitative state of the profession and implement change according to five demands which have been formulated through surveying the experiences of 166 architectural assistants and junior staff. Grassroots change is not something we witness often in the field of architecture, but it is certainly something we believe is possible and necessary for a more equitable professional future. READ HERE

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Collective Power in Architecture By Charlie Edmonds

In 2021, it is easy to make a nihilistic assessment of the current state of architecture in the UK. In many ways our universities, our governing bodies, and our employers are failing us. Those of us who graduated during the pandemic have been met with severely limited job prospects and new heights of exploitation within practice. From as early as April, architectural workers were subject to more unpaid overtime, surveillance from employers through webcams, and even furlough fraud. A particularly brazen practice went as far as to email employees the following: “Just to let you know that you’ll still be working but don’t tell the govt!!!!!”. Of course this masochistic culture has existed in architecture for decades, but the pandemic has demonstrated exactly how pervasive this issue is within our profession. One of the biggest challenges of our time is remaining hopeful in the face of relentless negative news. I believe it is of vital importance that young people do not allow this condition to overwhelm our resolve; we must preserve our drive to become a healthier and more equitable generation of architects. Criticism without envisaging alternative realities, however, will only contribute to nihilism. I believe that an essential step in resolving the systemic faults of architectural practice is to identify their origins and to understand the ways in which they have been perpetuated by architectural culture. In a strange case of professional Stockholm Syndrome, many architects have justified the long hours, the low pay and the precarious job security as the price you pay to pursue your calling as an architect. This aspect of architectural culture has permeated not only our professional environments, but our institutions and universities as well. The truth is that despite our delusions of grandeur, architecture is still a profession and we are still workers. Though this dispels the popular narrative of the architect as the individual creative visionary, it does provide a much more valuable opportunity for solidarity and collective power. In October 2019, we saw the launch of the United Voices of the World – Section of Architectural Workers (UVW-SAW). The union represents an exciting new voice in architectural discourse and an opportunity for grassroots reform in the

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Architecture is one of the most self-destructive professions in the world – that’s the bad news. The good news is that now there’s something you can do about it. industry. By unionising, workers gain the ability to organise en-masse and exert their collective power in order to influence the profession at large: “Members of SAW organise both in their workplaces and across the sector around overwork, underpay, unstable employment, a toxic workplace and university culture, discrimination and unethical practice. Members facilitate collective casework, host training and events, and run campaigns.” -UVW-SAW In addition to SAW, new and influential voices from the likes of Sound Advice and New Architecture Writers have called for reform. It was such activity that inspired me to contribute in whatever small way I could. I had noticed a shocking lack of clarity regarding the architectural assistant position; it is treated as part of our education and yet we are often expected to bring years of experience to the role. This contradiction simultaneously limits the opportunities of recent graduates while also trapping experienced practitioners in entrylevel positions. It appeared evident to me that the architectural assistant role was not being properly implemented. In order to gauge the opinions of other architectural assistants, I put out an open call for experiences through my Instagram page (@charlie_ edmo). I was overwhelmed by the number of responses: over 160 in just two weeks. The survey supported my concern about the current conditions of young people in architecture; out of 166 respondents, 96% did not feel supported by RIBA, 87% had worked unpaid overtime, and 74% had felt exploited by an employer.

sense of collective power in architecture, we can end the self-destructive culture of unpaid work, long hours, and undercutting fees. Instead, we may manifest a more hopeful generation of future architects that are empowered with the ability to collectively influence both practice and education.

If you’re interested in following this campaign find @charlie_edmo on Instagram or email studio.edmo@gmail.com

We utilised this wealth of data and individual experiences to generate the content and demands of the RIBA Open Letter. This is a call for reform of the architectural assistant position and a demand for the Royal Institute of British Architects to address the exploitative conditions that the majority of junior architectural practitioners experience. This effort has mostly been coordinated through Instagram, the accessibility of the platform has allowed effective communication among the large online community of young architects and students. Through collective action, I believe that we may finally reject unethical practice and thus increases the value of the profession as a whole. With a greater



COVID-19: the demise of traditional studio culture By Alice Latham

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused upheaval when it forced the closure of Universities during the first national lockdown in March 2020. The education sector and the traditional method of in-person teaching was forced to adapt quickly to the new norm of the virtual classroom. Since then, education establishments have been working tirelessly on creating a blended learning environment to mitigate the loss of in person teaching, whilst still adhering to government restrictions. Institutions have had to adopt their teaching to cater to the reality that they could be forced back into remote learning anytime the infection level of the pandemic is considered to be out of control. Prior to the pandemic, the use of studios and the established studio culture in many schools of architecture were considered by students, tutors and academics to be fundamental in the pedagogy of the profession. The traditional design studio is seen to be more than the physical access to drawing boards and workshops; it is the ability to work cooperatively with other students to create a positive learning environment through the casual critique of each other’s work. The importance placed on studio work is demonstrated by the RIBA, the gatekeepers of the profession, who stipulate that a minimum of 50% of teaching within schools of architecture must be delivered through design studio projects. This reinforces the unique teaching method that is described as 'architecture's signature pedagogy'. The subject benchmark statement for Architecture schools states that there is a strong correlation between an individual's contribution to their studio environment and the quality of work produced. Which is why Oxford Brookes had previously promoted its 24 hour access to studios, as positively facilitating peer learning across all year groups. The spontaneity of meetings with peers and the casual dialogic nature of studios is identified as a key component in the success of architectural education. So what happens when you remove this? The National Design Studio Survey conducted by Wright and Grover in June of 2020 was able to capture the current attitudes of architecture students and tutors at the height of remote learning. Overall the move to remote learning was regarded by students as being a considerably negative experience, with the most impacted area associated with peer learning and compromised relationships. Whilst virtual learning offers more flexibility and convenience by allowing for students to engage from the comfort of their own environment, online platforms are devoid of personality. It is significantly harder to engage in a constructive conversation when mics talk over

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each other and signal cuts out; creating a stale and unproductive learning environment. It is also more difficult to receive support from peers and tutors when you have to schedule a zoom meeting; something that could have previously been resolved causally over a cup of coffee. Even as schools begin to open up in a blended-learning approach the environment within studios has significantly changed. Social distancing, designated studio rooms and even bans on food and drink all act as deterrents to students by preventing the socialbility within studios, an integral part of studio culture. The pandemic has also exacerbated resource inequality among students. Access to design studios within Schools of Architecture previously allowed for a more level playing field when it came to acquiring resources. The work process both in an education and professional setting have shifted in the 21st century to become more reliant on CAD/BIM softwares, 3D modelling and other design technologies such as VR. By limiting access to these expensive technologies students, who are unable to fund these resources themselves, will find the final output of work may be limited. This could ultimately lead to the profession once again becoming elitist; undermining the progress made in recent years to diversify the sector and having detrimental impacts on the future of the profession. Despite the apparent loss of studio culture in remote learning, the traditional studio culture wasn't a perfect model. It was often criticized for encouraging unhealthy working habits such as all-nighters, which had a significant impact on students mental and physical health. Perhaps the positives gained from the shift to remote learning is the ability of the students and tutors to quickly respond to a dramatic shift in teaching methods through the adoption of digital capabilities. This will perhaps close the gap between architectural education and the realities of working in practice. Whilst many students are keen to return to the studio, it is clear that the pandemic will have significantly altered the approach to the pedagogy. Perhaps this will provide the opportunity for the studio environment to evolve to incorporate the positives of remote learning, such as the flexibility of teaching, whilst still providing a place for support, resources and friendships. In any case, the ramifications of architectural learning within a pandemic will result in a more resilient and adaptive graduating cohort.



The Apocalyptic Social Distance Studio By Architits

We were trying to predict what the studio will look like this year. In this design we followed the current government guidelines,highlighting the unrealistic expectations. This is our extreme, abstract proposal on a new layout and order of the studio space, taking into account social distancing measures. The area taken up by one way systems is spatially inefficient. Many students already find the studio space to be limited; especially around the deadline season. This will also decrease access to resources and an expected limited capacity of students allowed in at once. Due to the social nature and environment of the studio we don’t believe this will encourage collective creativity and studio culture as it did previously.

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a fun few ideas (almost apocalyptic measures) include: • Disinfecting zone before entering • Queuing for tutorials with digital tutors • Traffic light system and one way highlighted paths • Social distance hats to ensure a safe distance is upheld between colleagues • Abundance of hand sanitiser stations • Holograms of students who can’t attend crits • Separated computer stations at safe distances which are disinfected after usage



A Memorial for Dover Street By Anis

Mohamad Khairi

Semester one’s project, The Room, is a physical manifestation of themes regarding physical and mental invasions in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which were explored in the earlier group video Invading Belfast; A Journey Through Scales. The Room aims to be a device for re-connecting the current generation to 1969 Belfast. It is a re-construction of the now demolished No.87 Dover Street, a house that was central to the debate of initial placement of Peace Wall barriers as it lies between the Catholic Falls Road neighbourhood to its south and Protestant Shankill Road to the north. The project is a means of resurfacing the erased memories of forgotten neighbourhoods and brings awareness to the political amnesia the government has imposed upon Belfast in their efforts to re-image the city, affectively re-developing inner-city neighbourhoods into impermeable cul-de-sacs with control in mind.

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The project is a means of resurfacing the erased memories of forgotten neighbourhooD


A memorial for dover street


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VOL 13




The reading block By Bernard Biju

The Reading Block provides a quiet and intimate space for local residents to read and study at the heart of Broad Street, Oxford. The cabin design acts as a bridge that connects Weston Library with the Clarendon Building. It uses moveable wooden blocks to form the exterior of the building, allowing the building users to sit anywhere on the site to read or admire the amazing architecture of the street. The inspiration for the design came from the existing architecture on Broad street, especially the steps/spaces in front of the two buildings which I wanted to connect together.

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The Reframe The Reframe By Canisius Bong

This project is located in Belfast, a city divided by the ‘peace walls’, the architectural legacy of the Troubles, ethno-nationalist period of conflict in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. This room allows visitors to reimagine Belfast and reframe it, by creating a layered, multidimensional reality within the room. As the user walks through the space the openings appear the same, but their different materialities create a false reality, adding layers to the experience. Lights reflect inside, adding dimension to the room by projecting views of Belfast inside to allow people to reframe their reality and perspective on the city. Onto the next journey in the room, once the experience of darkness has been established, visitors will be exiting into a different coloured space. They will relook or reframe their surrounding context and be more appreciative of the light, colours and views they see therefore re-experiencing the journey in the room.

the openings appear the same, but their different materialities create a false reality, adding layers to the experience. 24   | OSA. VOL XIII




london 2050 garden city into urban By Delfina Couceiro

London’s 2050 Garden City movement inspired urban housing to encourage community living and the integration between working and living communities in the Square Mile. The Garden City movement includes broad outlines to be properly planned to the convenience of the community as a whole, secure the outmost degree of healthfulness, and proper regard to communication with the surrounding spaces. Number of houses should be limited, so that dwelling should have ample light and air and Suitable garden, public recreation ground and open space should be provided.

open space public recreational ground apartments for 4 people suitable garden 26   | OSA. VOL XIII





Castle Mill By Isaac Nourie

Castle Mill is a graduate student housing complex located north of the Oxford railway-station and provides over 300 units for Oxford University students. Oxford City Council wishes to preserve the heritage of the city and restore the lost view of the Oxford skyline and St. Barnabas Church from Port Meadows. The design takes into consideration the positive environmental impact of new construction techniques and the excellent opportunity to connect the east and west. These areas contain a significant amount of green and blue networks, divided by the Oxford central railroad. The design process will introduce an innovative way of relocating some parts of the existing buildings over the railway to preserve the skyline and connect fragmented valuable land.

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Fusion frame system construction method which has been used for phase two, can enhance the speed of the relocation process in a tight site and reduce cost and logistics demands.

innovative way of relocating some parts


Relocating some of the existing buildings to preserve the skyline and re-connect fragmented land.



A Controversial facade By Eric Lai The augmentation transforms the controversial facade of Rhodes Building, Oriel College into a gallery museum – where its previous political connotations become open to discussion and inquiry. Cecil Rhodes – the benefactor of Rhodes Building and a controversial figure – has his statue situated prominently on the building’s High Street facade. The politically provoking statue, during a time where global racial tension is at its peak, incited protests (what is now called the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement) calling for its removal. The project seeks to alleviate the political baggage of the building and through architecture reconcile with the past. The architecture educates on the country’s colonial past, and thus its demographic is wide-ranging and is not specific.

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A Controversial facade



How will the British H adapt to reflect the so changes brought about COVID-19?

By Maia Sherratt Accelerated downfall of the Great British Highstreet It is certainly well recognised that the downfall of the GBHS is not a new phenomenon, though many argue that the rate at which it has been declining has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several reasons pertaining to the decline of the GBHS:, firstly, the significant increase in online retail, which in 2018 has approximately reached 18.2% and 1/5 of all purchases are made online. Online retail, although a significant factor is not solely responsible for this decline; stagnant growth, rising business rates as well as parking issues and the over expansion of ‘out of town’ shopping centres are the most significant reasons for decline in the GBHS. The concept of a ‘convenience culture’ is highlighted as a key contributor to changes in consumer behaviour and often the reason for ‘out of town’ shopping centres being more attractive in terms of retail. 1 in 7 retail units across 650 British town centres now stand empty, which demonstrates how the GBHS has been declining for an extended time period. The situation is similar to the 2007 economic crash which even saw larger chain stores struggle significantly. Thus, the issue of the declining GBHS has been the focus of attention for many disciplines for some time. The future considerations of the GBHS are evident in the development of schemes and funds such as the shopping centres retail recovery fund. Analysing changing consumer habits within society is critical to understanding how spaces, functions and even architecture may need to adapt to best fit such new habits. The future of the GBHS is increasingly being challenged, even more so now as a result of the restrictions implemented by the government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Image by Maia Sheratt

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COVID-19 – Direct impacts on society behavioural habits “A pandemic is not just a medical phenomenon, it affects individuals and society and causes disruption, anxiety, stress, stigma, and xenophobia”. The social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic predominantly relates to the social distancing and isolation rules implemented to reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19 The home has now become the new office and within this new working environment people are eager to reconnect with work colleagues. It is important to recognise that, although there are positive aspects relating to remote working such as better work-life balance, finding such balance has been a significant challenge for some individuals. Generally, the majority of the negative impacts relating to remote working pertain to social isolation.The lines between home and work life have been blurred especially for those who work in the same space that they live in. 30% of Brits working from home have stated instances of struggling to separate their home lives from their working lives, with over a quarter of all participants identifying that they encounter significant challenges in switching off at the end of the day. In addition to this, up to 36% of people working from home struggle to take a break from working, in particular to step away from their home workstation. It is important to recognise that both the negative and positive aspects here create a new environment in home life, especially for those with families. Classic workplace social support systems are considered to be a key factor in maintaining wellbeing - social support is emphasized as a coping mechanism. On the other hand, the pandemic



What will the ‘new highstreet’ need to provide for a postpandemic world?

has created the opportunity for digital platforms to respond to the need for social interaction and several digital platforms have excelled in providing the ability for social activities. This is more prevalent among adolescents, who are more accustomed to using digital communication. What will the ‘new highstreet’ need to provide for a post-pandemic world? Previous evidence has demonstrated how the downfall of the GBHS was occurring prior to the onset of the pandemic. Arguably the rate of its current downfall is indeed accelerated by the sanctions imposed by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many argue that the GBHS has been a place of continuous evolution over the years; it has adapted to many factors and changes within society. COVID-19 could be considered just another factor that it must again adapt to, in order to respond to the current societal needs. Several argue that the full purpose of the GBHS has never purely been about shopping, it is a place of mixed-event activity which reflects the dynamism of the society at any given time . Despite the highstreet downfall, the highstreets have always been dynamic and adaptive and have constantly been reshaped by periodic economic and competitive shocks. Activities in the vicinity of the GBHS include companionship, recreational space, entertainment leisure, liveable, networks/partnerships with local councils and governing bodies and experiences. The changes in society that have the most impact upon the evolution of the highstreet is commonly recognised as changes in consumer behaviour. The need for social interaction and activity post-pandemic lockdowns and restrictions will be the greatest it has ever been. Tragedies such as that experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic often work towards bringing us as a society closer together in the long run. The new GBHS will need to develop “new social construction”. This predominantly will demand the need for increased local economic diversity. Furthermore, there will be significant demand to establish more coherent connections within the community and other sectors as well as improved planning and governing arrangements. Planning and governance over buildings and land-use will play significant roles

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people mus and error i establishin successful highstreet


in the future changes and evolution of the GBHS. Neil Bennett mentions that one of the greatest failings of the GBHS is in fact down to the issues surrounding the shop units being independently owned rather than as a group that manages the entire street. This in avertedly creates further pressures and competition on the retailers inhabiting the units. Furthermore, Neil Bennett identifies that both temporary short-term and medium-term solutions are reasonable in aiding the adaptation and evolution of the GBHS as long as they are managed by one entity alongside the management of the rest of the street’s units etc. Overall management of the new evolving highstreet is absolutely critical, alongside establishing connections and coherency within the local community, as they commonly know what is best for a certain place. Wrigley and Lambiri identify this so-called relationship to be a case of symbiosis between the different stakeholders involved and running the revitalisation of the specific highstreet. Leo Hammond from Urban Nous critically states that people must be prepared to fail, that trial and error is the only way through to establishing a good route towards successful reestablishment of the highstreet. With all factors considered a newly sustainable retail space within the highstreet can be achieved, whilst at the same time supporting the new needs of the communities so heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adapting to a post-pandemic world following so many losses and societal changes will be extremely challenging however, as Norman Foster highlights that following the pandemic our cities overall are likely to be improved with alterations to infrastructure and liveable space, cities could become more appealing places that are more liveable and resilient to future health issues. It remains largely unknown how the GBHS will adapt to the new society that emerges from the grip of COVID-19 but for many sectors and of course the population this will be an exciting evolution to watch.

st be prepared to fail, trial is the only way through to ng a good route towards l reestablishment of the t. REMOTE | 35


Modern meets history history Modern meets Modern meets history By Marina Georgieva The Blavatnik School of Government is a new addition to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. This modern building isn’t reflective of the surrounding historically sensitive context. The approach taken was to uncover the reasoning behind it and propose a concept, which is more sympathetic to the surrounding neighbours. The aim is to make people curious about what’s hidden inside this beautiful circular building, which has a prominence within the city. The proposal is to integrate ruins taken from locally abandoned sites and degrade the building to achieve an adaptive reuse of modern meeting history. The idea behind the abstract collages of exploding the building’s façade by smashing the glass and introducing alternative materials, which are more reflective of BSG’s surroundings, is to achieve a greater harmony with the existing context. Whilst also investigating how modern architecture can be detrimental to architecturally and historically rich cities like Oxford.

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Repair Makerspace By Odeng Anuar Zahin

Gothic revival was a means of recovering the more humane methods of an earlier period in the face of mechanisation and change. This brief asks whether we could revivify gothic revival as a retreat from today’s industrial revolution where disruptive technologies and trends such as robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are changing the way we live and work? Gothic revival was considered a return to the perceived community of designer-artists, artisans, and craft labourers who built the country’s great pre-Reformation cathedrals, manors and churches; it seemed the ideal retreat from the dark, mechanised urban world of the nineteenth-century industrial revolution. Craft is an activity with meditative qualities, it requires focus and attention providing a healthy distraction from modern day stresses. The restorative practices of crafting help us to engage in mindfulness by keeping us in the present moment.

Today we have makerspaces: locations where people gather to co-create, share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. These spaces are open to children, adults, and entrepreneurs using high tech to no tech tools. The core mindset is to make something out of nothing and to explore your interests and creative expression. By manifesting a creative makerspace you are able to construct a space where designerartists, artisans, and craft labourers can express their ideas. The most significant element in this project is the notion that the chapel is to be considered the canvas, not the space.

Creating solace in uncertain times 38   | OSA. VOL XIII




Deconsecrated Spirit By Patryk Kubica

In 2020 the world as we used to know it changed, and many people’s aspirations were altered. The aim of the project is to produce an architecture that gives a new lease of life to the site. My design methodology is to create a sustainable intervention that responds to its immediate context, whilst throwing punches at the Blavatnik School of Government. The architecture will be focused on maximising energy efficiency and will work as a well oiled machine. The addition of a gin distillery will provide additional purpose to the existing bar & café, maximising on the energy efficiency and recycling the wasted energy from the process. The existing building will be turned into a ruin, with a proposed structure within the ruin concept addition to create a zero emission building.

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giving life to the brewing process in Oxford 42   | OSA. VOL XIII

The Canalside BrewPub The Canalside BrewPub The Canalside BrewPub


The The The The

Canalside Canalside Canalside Canalside

BrewPub BrewPub BrewPub BrewPub

The Canalside BrewPub The Canalside BrewPub The Canalside BrewPub By Pavlina Kolokotroni The existing site consists of 2 main elements; a Nando’s restaurant and the Worcester car park on George Street, Oxford. The development of the project aims to create a new Brewpub typology in the era of (and post) Covid-19, giving life to the brewing process in Oxford again, while inviting the public to experience it by visiting the openair pub/beer-garden. The creation of an open-air pub/ beer-garden aims to be adaptable to today’s issues and restrictions due to the pandemic, keeping up with the need for outdoor drinking and dining spaces. In more depth the existing Nando’s restaurant will be redeveloped into a Semi-Public House that will accommodate a microbrewery, which will serve the new development of the Car Park, the Beer-Garden (open-air pub). The project aims to explore the significance of pubs and breweries in the British culture throughout time and highlight their wider purpose, which is not only to serve beer but to bring people together. The site has played a significant role in the development of the area and Oxford in general, which the project aims to embrace. The former canal basin will (partly) come back to life as it will be used for delivery and sustainability purposes as well as aesthetics.



Oxford Centre for Environmental Innovation By Pui Yee Lim

This project is about bringing new life and vigour into the centre for innovation. The building currently lacks public exposure and needs to be more visually connected to the public domain in order to engage with the city. The term “innovation” is broad, and in the case of this project is being used to create a multi-tenant creative office space. It will offer accommodation space for invited resident artists: which includes workshops and studios as well as gallery spaces for the artists to exhibit their work. The building programme also includes communal spaces for social purposes, allowing individual tenants to socially engage with each other. The concept is to transform the existing brutalist architecture into a modern space, optimised for innovative collaboration. The aim is to reuse the disassembled elements and structure for any new design proposal in order to minimise the negative environmental impact and increase the efficiency of the existing building.

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To transform the existing brutalist architecture into a modern space, optimised for innovative collaboration.

Image by Pui Yee Lim 46   | OSA. VOL XIII




A Pandemic Proof Environment: Observing Oxford Brookes University. By Ashling Wall

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as ‘a state of complete, physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or in infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health as one of the fundamental rights of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, political brief, economic or social condition’ (WHO, 1945). The world has been engulfed by a pandemic and governments globally are tailoring a response to mitigate the impacts of it (Foreignpolicy, 2020). COVID-19 hit the UK in January 2020, testing the pandemic preparedness of the UK. Several local areas are implementing COVID-19 precautions and Institutions are having to adapt in order to continue to operate (Duddu, 2020). Design and planning have the power to be a positive force for change, aiming to promote health and human wellbeing (Bartonet al, 2015). Historically, pandemics have shaped interiors, planning and the built environment. Cities have been redesigned to minimise the risk of disease. For example, in the 20th century, pandemics such as the Spanish flu had prompted urban development with the clearing of overcrowded cities, waste management and improved urban planning (Megahad, Ghoneim, 2020). The WHO and UN Habitat have recognised the need for an agenda to improve health, as risks and challenges to urban health increase from factors such as climate change, ecosystem, and biodiversity loss (WHO, 1945). Oxford Brookes has developed a list of policies that will ensure working safely on campus, carrying out risk assessments in line with the Health and Safety Executive guidance. All students, visitors and staff must wear face coverings while indoor on campus, except if there is a valid medical reason. Cleaning has been implemented hourly with antibacterial products for high intensity touch points, such as door handles and handrails. Plenty of hand sanitiser units have been placed in key areas around the campus. Teaching rooms have been assessed and ensured that room capacity was adjusted to maintain an appropriate distance. Signage is positioned

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strategically around the university such as directional ‘give way’ arrows located on the ground, ‘one way’ stickers and stickers that remind people to stay 2 meters apart. Additionally, circulation throughout the campus has been dictated by specific access through certain doors; they are only accessible using a valid student or staff access card, they are either for exits only, entry only and very few allow both. All measures are placed to control the circulation of the people on campus and prevent people from passing each other in different directions. Moreover, social distance monitors have been placed around the university to ensure everyone on campus is adhering to the health and safety guidelines. A time lapse of the Clerici building entrance taken on a Monday morning at 10am for an hour showed how during this hour, one member of the cleaning staff stood at standby the whole time and periodically cleaned surfaces after use. At least one campus monitor was present in the area at all times to ensure people are following the new measures. A total of 9 members of COVID-19 staff circulated the area within the hour and the time lapse revealed that everyone who passed through did follow the directional stickers and listened to the campus monitors who directed them to the correct doors. This suggests that the newly implemented measures have been successful in controlling the circulation of the area. The time lapse of the forum area was taken from the second floor of the library overlooking the forum on a Thursday morning at 10am for an hour. The forum pre COVID-19 was an open plan communal area, the university has now taken the precaution of removing furniture and creating an enclosed space of furniture. The time lapse revealed that the passers-by and the people sitting in the communal spaces were all abiding by the new COVID-19 measures, the only measure that was not fully abided by was keeping to the left in the two way circulation. Though these implementations do control the circulation, the two-way system does encourage the crossing of paths by people walking in opposite directions, which may warrant increased transmission of


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COVID-19. This suggests, more discussion as to how to encourage the following of rules is needed. Although most lectures are now online, there are still a few sessions in university to attend in person. Here is an account of entering university on a weekday: I ensured my mask was on and walked onto the Headington campus via the Clerici Building. I immediately saw the COVID-19 testing site situated at the Oxford Brookes restaurant. Approaching Clerici, I intended to walk through the normal set of doors however, I was met with a campus monitor who directed me through the rotating doors. Already there was an instant feeling of frustration, I was informed that there were 2 units of hand sanitisers located by the entrance and I sanitised my hands as instructed. I saw 2 campus monitors in the entrance and turned right to approach my classroom, I saw another unit of sanitiser wipes to wipe down surfaces such as keyboards and desks. I entered my classroom and found a seat with a green ‘sit here’ sticker. During class break, I wanted to go outside to the courtyard through the doors by the entrance however the directional stickers on the ground directed me to an alternative exit. I felt a pang of frustration as I was not able to walk the route I intended to. I continued to follow the directional signs, which pointed towards what was normally a fire exit in the Abercrombie building. I then walked across the green space in the courtyard towards the John Henry Brookes building. However, I found that I was not able to enter without my student access card. I had to search through my backpack to see if I had my student

card. Upon entry, I instantly saw 4 sanitiser units and 5 campus monitors dotted around the forum area. I followed the signs in a large circle around the forum noticing that the area allowed a two-way system. I attempted to walk up the stairs to the next floor but was met with a campus monitor who prevented me from doing so. Instead, I was directed towards another set of stairs towards the library. I was again inconvenienced with my route outside JHB. I could see the exit but was not allowed to walk the few steps to reach the front of University. I walked to the library stairs and followed the ‘keep to the left’ signs. On the 1st floor I walked towards the JHB reception but again was told that this was not the correct way to exit. I felt increasingly annoyed by the diversions I had to make to leave the building. I was finally directed by a campus monitor towards the terrace and found myself leaving the building through a set of sliding doors that I have not REMOTE | 49


Weekday Desired Route (Illustrated map) exited out of before. These doors led to a rooftop above the deli area and I did not end up exiting out the building doors that I initially wanted to. Pre-Covid Oxford Brookes University was a public building allowing pedestrians to visit on weekdays and weekends (Oxford Brookes University, 2020). I went to the campus on a Saturday as I needed the University facilities to complete some work. I planned to enter the building through my normal entry of the Clerici building. However, I found that the building was locked and I was unable to enter, my access card did not work either. I was forced to walk around the university to the front of JHB, where I was allowed to enter. The journey out the building was much more straightforward; I was able to walk down the stairs from the JHB reception to the forum area, through the correct doors which led to the back of the building. Based on my research, the university successfully considered the three control points stated by government advice. Results from the time lapse suggests that the factor of personal control was well received. Individuals that were observed abided by the rules of the university by wearing masks and following directional signs that navigated circulation across the university. However, not all individuals followed all physical safety indicators, and this brings up the question of how to mitigate this. Though Oxford Brookes did implement campus monitors, they did not manage to identify or correct this behaviour. This suggests that the root issue that needs to be targeted is the individual motivation to follow these rules. The processes and policies implemented by Oxford Brookes has been evident around the campus in the form of safety signs, controlled circulation, and campus monitors. Lastly, the university has placed limitations and controls on the built environment with restrictions on entry and exits. My autoethnographic research of walking through campus suggests interruption and frustration in walking the desired routes throughout the university on weekdays and especially weekends. The frustration felt by passers-by can be a deterrent from travelling into the campus, reducing the chances of the virus

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Covid Interrupted Route, Weekday


being caught onsite. However, this would not be the ideal goal as the university aims to function as normal and safely as possible encouraging its primary aim as being an educational space. Though these measures have been put in place, the campus was not designed with disease control measures in mind and operations on site have been highly disrupted by the pandemic. Giving rise to the question, whether this event will encourage the rethinking of the campus in terms of the built environment and how design could naturally protect its occupants without great inconvenience. Architects and planners are considering solutions such as increasing handsfree automated entry into buildings, seen in Oxford Brookes implemented in its entries and exits. In addition, the integration of larger outdoor, open educational spaces, which encourages natural social distancing has been favoured and acknowledged as being beneficial in any design (Stathaki, 2020). Further steps are needed for a more pandemic-proof future for Oxford Brookes, trialing the success of these measures. Oxford Brookes must continue to welcome discussion on how to continuously increase preparedness for the next unexpected pandemic and mitigate the current issues faced by the university measures. The largest issue faced by several institutions is the ability to change the individual and encourage them to adhere to these rules.




Co-Exist By Lok Chi Chan (Rainbow)

Wolfson Building is an architecture masterpiece of the 1960s, constructed by ARUP Associates, architects and engineers. It is sited at the Saomerville College of the University of Oxford, along Walton Street. It is a residential block for students and staff, with a ground floor meeting room. Its prominent feature, the bay window, projects through the exposed concrete skeleton, attempting to plan against loneliness in university accommodation with large window seats and a design aimed at encouraging self expression within a small space. This project aims to disrupt Wolfson Building by relocating and replicating its iconic bay window as stacked architecture. This brings up how living areas seamlessly extended regardless of building footprint, and create spaces for small balconies and gardens. In addition, a ramp connecting all floors in the core block is added to tackle the original building design issues of disconnected circulation and disabled access. It has provided a strong identity; encouraging and facilitating interaction on all levels.

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Trouble Trouble Trouble Trouble in paris By Rodney Sihlangu

A building designed for secrecy in plain sight, to hide a double life.

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Human Powered Odeon Art-house By Roxiana Dimutru The project is a Film Creator’s House, a platform to learn about the art of film-making. The aim of the building is to catalyse urban interaction, welcoming students, film enthusiasts and the general public who can partake in workshops and enjoy the public facilities, which include screening and editing rooms, production studios, temporary and permanent exhibits, and social spaces. The fundamental idea of the project is to bring transparency in the film-making process and screening. The process will be revealed to the public as a counterbalance to the black box from which they have emerged. By emphasizing on disorder and asymmetry the visitors will have the opportunity to wander from any path and create a unique and un-programmed event, thus immersing in the world of film-making.




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A Paradigm Shift: Our Lifestyles Post-Lockdown collaborative drawing

By Architits For our first collaborative series we reached out to a number of designers, illustrators and visionaries and asked them to show us how our future may begin to look post-pandemic. As future designers, we asked for their take on potential solutions to restore our lifestyles post-covid. We are excited to share this series of posts, which displays how like-minded people continue to come together during the pandemic.

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Retail Revolution

By Sam Manton

This project aims to propose a new fashion house typology, that introduces an exchange of knowledge into the processes of creating sustainable fashion. The building proposal will allow the public realm to weave through the spaces, encouraging public engagement at all levels in the Textile Workshops, the smaller pop-up shops and the rooftop areas. The design will achieve complete transparency, showcasing the lifecycle of the products manufactured. Hoping to target the younger generations, the honesty of this process aims to be broadcasted across social media, spreading awareness of sustainable slow fashion. Using social media can aid self-esteem and self-responsibility, through providing access to information as well as access to physical evidence, to create trends that sustainable clothing and bio-textiles can be just as “fashionable” as unethical and unsustainable garments from cheaper fast fashion stores. Human behaviour has boosted the fast pace of fashion for far too long, and now we must claim responsibility for saving our planet by shopping cleaner and more intelligently.

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Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero

Waste Waste Waste Waste Waste

Lab Lab Lab Lab Lab

By Selin Ucar

St Catherine’s is the youngest of the 39 colleges at Oxford University. The college was designed in 1962 by Arne Jacobsen, a Danish architect. The architect took a holistic approach designing the gardens, pool, furniture, lighting and even the cutlery. The columns and beams of the college, the distinctive architecture and the integrated designs of the landscape and buildings are inspiring. Unlike other colleges, St Catherine’s does not have a chapel and is secular in this respect. The Quad, unlike the traditional one, is an open area connected by walkways. The history of the college pre-exists this design. It started

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in 1886 with the community called “Delegacy for Unattached Students”. This movement was intended to exempt Oxford University students from college memberships and the associated expenses while continuing their education. However, this had some negative consequences in terms of identity and belonging. The project aims to develop this movement and bring it back to college. A community centre, where non-college students will be invited to become a part of the community. It also aims to be a base where research for a sustainable environment can be undertaken, new ideas can be discussed and presented, tests and controls can be

made for new technologies, student representatives appointed and tasks distributed to reduce energy waste and recycling. Creating a space for recycling/collecting recyclable materials.



unfold: Florey Building By Stephen Chan

This project aims to rejuvenate the Florey building in Oxford. The brief is to design a laboratory to develop vaccines for future viruses.The building should be publicly accessible to transform the perceptions of laboratories as being hidden from view. The research and people involved on the front line should be visible and valued. The issue of homelessness in the neighbourhood has been controversially described as a kind of “virus”. In order to change public opinion surrounding this issue, the homeless community needs more local support to address and improve their current situation. The support from local establishments can be the key in changing the life of homeless residents in Oxford. The building should not only be a laboratory, but also a safe place for the homeless in the community.

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architecture in the time of disease By Zanna Krzyzanowska The modern city has very much been shaped by diseases. tangle of buildings, streets, and other people. When cholera once again gripped New York City in 1849 It was cholera that influenced the modern street Pandemic architecture post.jpg (killing some 15000 people), the current thinking grid. During an outbreak in London in the 1850s, was that the disease it was spread through miasmic the link between contaminated drinking water and gases, or “bad air”. Among those who embraced the deaths was made. This resulted in water-based miasma theory was Frederick Law Olmsted, the man sewage systems being developed in many cities, behind the design of Central Park. Olmsted described requiring the roads above them to be wider and the park it as “the lungs of the city”—a place straighter. Later, the fear of tuberculosis and where people could breathe free of fear of disease. the desire to eradicate dark and dusty rooms where He believed that the green open space would provide it lurked, became the driver behind much of the a respite to New Yorker’s living in an overcrowded modernist movement. It inspired architects like Le

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humanity’s responses to pandemics have had a fundamental role in shaping the built environment. Corbusier and others to bring fresh air and lights into their designs with expansive windows, allowing for improved ventilation of spaces. This sanitarium style brought in an era of white-painted rooms, hygienic tiled bathrooms and the ubiquitous midcentury recliner chair. As Beatriz Colomina writes in her book X-ray Architecture, the austerity of Mies van der Rohe or Marcel Breuer “is unambiguously that of the hospital, the empty white walls, bare floors, and clean metal fixtures are all surfaces that, as it were, demonstrate their cleanliness.” On the urban scale, planning theorists like Ebenezer Howard argued that diseases such as tuberculosis made overcrowding of cities deadly. Cities had to be depopulated, their teeming streets replaced with green open spaces. Patrick Abercrombie’s Greater London Plan of 1944 put these ideas into practice, declaring that a large number of Londoners should be moved to new, “healthy” towns. Once antibiotics pushed back the fear of tuberculosis, the virtues of city life once again came to the forefront. Jane Jacobs celebrated these virtues in The Death and Life of Great American Cities of 1961, after which it became the creed of right-thinking urbanists that the density and vibrancy of cities were to be encouraged. Theory was eventually put into practice with success, at least in economically powerful and attractive cities such as London and New York. The 1980s the phrase “inner-city deprivation” gave way to the estate agents’ buzz-term “urban lifestyle”. Once again cities were good and big cities were best. That was Uuntil in 2020, when COVID-19 has once again made us question the safety of crowded urban areas. It has forced us to be more conscious of the ways we occupy space in relation to each other. Our immediate environments have been reshaped in response to the need for physical distancing – be it clearing space for queues outside of shops, reducing the number of tables in restaurants, the placing of protective screens, the one way systems. The situation has allowed us, temporarily, to reclaim the streets from cars. People walked, ran and cycled in what had been the domain of the vehicle, the standard pavement width feeling inadequate and confining, the prospect of using the usually packed public transport system discomforting.

Many of the changes caused by lockdown were temporary, yet the pandemic is playing a role in accelerating infrastructure works that might have otherwise taken years to accomplish. Some of this is due to the unprecedented reduction in road traffic, but the impact that the situation is having on the public’s attitudes cannot be underestimated. Many cityies authorities used the lack of cars on streets not only as an opportunity for road repair works, but also to trial new solutions. Athens is widening its pavements, enlarging public squares and banning traffic from areas beneath the Acropolis. The Dublin city council has set aside space for pedestrians and cyclists to enable social distancing in a “temporary mobility plan” that may become permanent. London too is improving its network of bike lanes. Low traffic neighbourhoods are on the rise across the UK, and while the opposition to them is loud, it appears to be in the minority. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have strengthened the case for making neighbourhoods self-sufficient: Melbourne plans to put shopping, leisure and work within 20 minutes of its residents’ homes; the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, promises to transform it into a 15-minute city. Until now, the tangible impacts of the pandemic on urbanism and architecture have mostly shown up in changes which can be implemented quickly we are yet to see the effects of this on building codes or zoning plans. Rather, it has changed the way we interact with the built environment that already exists. However, as we have seen, humanities responses to pandemics have had a fundamental role in shaping the built environment. With scientists unified in the stance that it is not if, but when that the next pandemic comes, and with the other, more immediate threats of climate breakdown, social crisis and a global recession looming over us, it is high time we make our cities and towns more resilient. Perhaps the glimpses of alternative realities we are witnessing should become guides to the future?



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