University of Westminster architecture students share “varied design approaches” across 10 projects
Of the more than 750 graduates and undergraduates that make up the university’s School of Architecture and Cities, 10 students’ work is showcased below, spanning disciplines from environmental and urban design to interior architecture.
The rest of the department will exhibit its projects at the Virtual OPEN 2020 exhibition starting from 16 July.
School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster
University: University of Westminster
School: School of Architecture and Cities
Courses: BA Architecture, BSc Architecture and Environmental Design, BSc Architectural Technology, BA
Designing Cities, BA Interior Architecture and Master of Architecture (RIBA Part II)
Tutors: Ro Spankie, Julian Williams, Jane Tankard, Benson Lau, Richard Difford, Giulio Verdini, Roudaina Alkhani, Thomas Grove, Sean Griffiths, Kester Rattenbury, John Cook, Laura Nica, Ben Pollock, Gill Lambert, Geoff Shearcroft, David Scott, François Girardin, Constance Lau and Stephen Harty
“The School of Architecture and Cities offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as research degrees a few moments from Baker Street. Here, students can enjoy access to state of the art facilities including the extensive Fabrication Laboratory and dedicated open-plan design studios.
“OPEN 2020 is a rolling programme of events and an evolving virtual platform being created by the school’s staff and students, which reflect the varied design approaches of the School of Architecture and Cities and their place at the heart of London.
“It will feature the works of more than 750 students, drawing on the vast body of developmental and finished work imagined and realised over the course of the last academic year. The show will transform student work into digital assets, creating an extraordinary display of new architecture and a compelling visitor experience.
“The show is set to run until 30 September at openwestminster.london.”
Thursday 2 July, 6:30pm
OPEN 2020 catalogue and film presentation
Introduction to the VirtualOPEN2020 programme and the collaborative openwestminster.london exhibition platform
Thursday 16 July, 6:30pm
Opening of the Virtual OPEN 2020 Exhibition Platform
Opening speech by Professor Sadie Morgan OBE
Alive Inside by Anna Gregory, BA Interior Architecture
“Alive Inside is a dedicated dance school for people over 60. It provides classes that encourage movement and enable those with deteriorating bodies and minds to feel alive and reduce their social isolation. This proposal consists of pneumatic cushions restrained in aluminium extrusions and supported by a lightweight structure.
“When you have dementia, you are lost in time as much as you are lost in space. Therefore, semi-permeable modular cushions create a freestanding, multi-sensory interior and modest furniture interventions, that helps occupants to orient themselves in space using textiles and light. The structure itself is like a drawing in space, marking out territory and framing key visual landmarks to prompt memory when cognitive mapping fails.”
Theatre of Senses by Carina Tirnavean, BA Interior Architecture
“This project embraces the concept of performance and transforms a traditional theatre into a Theatre of Senses. The silhouette of the building merges with the colourful silhouettes of its interior design and with those of the visitors, creating an atmospheric, mysterious and innovative theatrical path.
“By walking through the interior, visitors’ senses are animated and six fundamental feelings are elicited through a sequence of performance sets. These represent anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear and surprise. Theatre of Senses becomes a collection of performance rooms and stages, each one facilitating an alternate play of colours and recreational atmospheres as a play of senses and light.”
The Borough SET by Rowan St John, BA Architecture
“Faced with an uncertain future the founders of the MayDay Rooms, a collaborative radical organisation, are deliberating their next move. The Borough SET is an urban enclave and archive that enables an artistic community to operate with access to the library of documents that inspires them.
“The project facilitates low-cost living, working and growing as part of a collaborative, intentional community. The complex is as self-sufficient as possible and feeds off the waste of the city. Rather than being fixed and immobile, it is designed to grow and adapt over time, permitting decay and renewal within the predetermined limits of its mountainous superstructure.”
The Lion and the Unicorn: Taxidermy and the Vertical Garden of Pleasures by Silvia Galofaro, BA Architecture
“This 21st-century version of an urban pleasure garden is inspired by London’s historical approach to leisure and the 1951 Festival of Britain. Originally the lion, as a symbol for the United Kingdom, alluded to establishment, tradition, strength and dependability while the unicorn was whimsy and at times mercurial and capricious.
“This dualism is translated into the architectural language of the project, where the Lion takes on a calculated rigour inspired by baroque geometry. This is contrasted with modern glass and steel to represent the unicorn. This Janus-faced approach programmatically alternates between the science of freeze dry-mounted taxidermy and the pleasures of urban landscapes.”
Meditation Healing Retreat by Ella Reed, BSc Architecture and Environmental Design
“This design brief proposes a meditation healing retreat centre, where visitors are taught meditation to improve their mental health long-term. Guests will be referred to stay at the centre for a period of time through the NHS and will have the opportunity to learn mindfulness meditation as a non-traditional means to manage mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
“The aim is to remove the stigma around mental health and to educate people about how they can change their life for the better without the need for expensive therapeutic treatment and medication.”
St Saviour’s and St Olave’s Church of England School by Elina Mieme, BA (Hons) Designing Cities
“Old Kent Road in Southwark has been recognised by the mayor as one of London’s ‘opportunity areas’. It will be redeveloped and become home to thousands of new people in the near future. This project looks at the site of the St Saviour’s and St Olave’s Church of England School and explores ways of using the space more efficiently, improving quality of life for residents and students.
“It provides much-needed facilities such as a modern and sustainable sports hall, covered courtyard, cultural centre and public library, as well as attempting to reimagine the area around Bricklayers roundabout as a place for people.”
The Really Really Real by Sinead Fahey, Master of Architecture
“This proposal encompasses a student accommodation block, located near and inspired by the eclectic Dagenham Sunday Market on the riverside in Barking, East London. The building is situated within a wider masterplan for a technical college, developed collaboratively using experimental methods by four members of the studio.
“The architecture derives from various types of ‘chance operations’, which generate compositional studies characterised by experimental representational techniques, alongside an array of unique architectural components with distinct material and formal qualities. The project is also influenced by our studio’s trip to see the buildings of Le Corbusier.”
The Micro-Plastic Parliament by Katherine Dechow, Master of Architecture
“The Micro-Plastic Parliament aims to encourage debate and policy formation around anthropogenic air particle contamination and air-based micro-plastics. The masterplan is defined by local wind movements and areas of high and low velocity, which dictate the shape of a space for public engagement.
“The envelope of the building aims to accelerate the deposition of micro-plastics through its form and use of electrostatic charge, building up over time to conceal the building and make visible the downwind consequences of urban life.”
Watney Plaza Reminiscence Home by Archie Stroud, Master of Architecture
“Buildings should make our lives more joyful. But to create joy, I first had to define it. This intensely personal investigation resulted in the thesis that eggs are the purest form of joy. To apply this thesis to architecture, I turned to Tower Hamlets where I highlighted a public service that joy would best serve.
“The resulting proposal gives people with dementia a positive blast from the past through reminiscence therapy. By creating an artificial bubble that mirrors the past, the scheme helps to slow the decline of cognitive abilities in its residents, allowing them to live a fulfilling final chapter of their lives.”
Eiderland Wildlife Data Gathering Centre by Martynas Kasiulevicius, Master of Architecture
“Eiderland investigates pressing issues surrounding the remote island of Flatey in Iceland‘s Westfjords region. Problems such as rural depopulation and ageing pose a threat to the harvesting of feathers, called Eiderdown, from local Eider ducks. With the aim of preserving the current state of Flatey and conserving the historic down collection process, the Eiderland centre occupies one of the adjacent remote islands.
“The project proposes a diverse set of interventions that aim to use local wildlife as a means of gathering ornithological and climatological data for the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, thereby adapting the remote islands to the Networked Age.”
Virtual Design Festival’s student and schools initiative offers a simple and affordable platform for student and graduate groups to present their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details.
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