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MArch Architecture – Unit 1 – 2016/17

Unit-1-Intro_16-17

This year Unit 1 will continue investigating community and place along the Amalfi coast towards Salerno, southern Italy. Conscious of the emerging school wide research interest in the periphery of London, we will be making direct comparisons with places within the estuarine bowl of the Thames.

The Bay of Naples and the Amalfi coast form a highly legible topography, a cauldron of mountainous volcanism with distinct profile; the Thames bowl perhaps more subtle, alluvial soft tidal marsh with undulating downland offering a more gentle horizon. Both topographies present to the sea and the river respectively.

Settlement in both cases is often compromised by the decline of past industry and the recent additions of strident transport infrastructures that challenge picturesque notions of sedate dwelling next the waters edge.

One edge faces the threat of new lava flow and consequent land growth, the other facing tidal breach of rising waters.

We will encourage searching for ‘as found’ pieces of previous settlement and explore possibilities of how with research and imagination, an Architect can make places of tectonic substance and volumetric public space that guides future catalytic rejuvenation on a broader scale.

We will build upon last years investigations which encouraged artisan life among communities where employment, industry, proximity of living and working had declined. We will investigate possible architectural models that promote mutual support and a visibility for manufacturing and making, entwined with intimate community quarters.

We will be looking for an architecture beyond mere programme, encouraging conglomerates of buildings which positively affect the context around them and with a resilience in their plan, form and material expression to support future change.