Stage 2 Coordinator: Rebecca Hobbs
The autumn term modules contributed to a greater understanding of Renaissance to Neoclassicism, Climate, Architecture and Landscape. The spring term, students returned to the School to engage with the second design module, Collective Dwelling, 19TH Century Architecture together with Form & Structure.
Architecture and Landscape:
The threshold between a working landscape and a building to support it was located at the Simon Langton Girls Grammar School in Canterbury. With the encouragement and enthusiasm of teachers, Professor Becky Parker and Sam Goodfellow, the brief was developed under the umbrella of ‘Biojoyversity’, a website identifying the need for a research centre looking into the relationship between the health, wellbeing and time spent in a landscape. The concept was to, “encourage and develop innovation by young people in schools on the climate”. Through a discussion with key members of staff, the brief was designed to include a lecture theatre, an exhibition space, research spaces and a café. The integrated landscape offered school students and visitors a kitchen garden, a fruit and nut orchard, a small vineyard, a tree walkway, micro-climate, an amphitheatre and yoga space. The architecture and landscape were to be fully symbiotic spatially, conceptually with sustainability and the environment at its heart. In parallel with this module, students engaged and integrated the Climate module which looked at embedding environmental strategies and a sustainable approach to both architecture and landscape.
Our Collective Dwelling module this year began with this composite set of questions: How shall we live? Where shall we live? What and who, gets to decide? Over the course of the spring term, we explored evolving typological possibilities of communal housing design for a brownfield site in Sittingbourne using the site layouts and massing proposals, presently under consideration by the Local Planning Authority, as a point of departure for our own design responses.
Inviting our students to imagine their project’s prospective inhabitants of as versions of their future selves, simultaneously engaging with many of the current housing parameters that drive real development in the UK, this design journey encouraged a melding of current commercial reality and idealised future possibility.