MArch Architecture – Unit 4 – 2016/17
Alex Gore, Matthew Wells, Andrew Clancy
‘The design simply worked itself out through its making. The temptation for all architects is to talk about your work as if it were the conclusion of all that you had previously been thinking. In fact, you only really discover what you do by doing it. At the back of your mind are all sorts of complicated motives and memories and references. But just as with painters, these sources are not hierarchical, and sometimes you seek out a reference only after you have developed something.’ – Neave Brown in conversation with Mark Swenarton and Thomas Weaver, AA Files 67 (2013) p.83
We are interested in architecture as a continuum of built thought, as simultaneously the archive and the laboratory of our discipline. We are concerned with looking closely, and seeking to build the ground under our feet through looking at the works that have influenced us with new eyes. Our ambition is not for mimesis or proficient copyism, but rather the use of the city as a means to produce new knowledge, new ways of looking.
This year, in conjunction with Queens University Belfast and Drawing Matter we will commence our year with an in-depth study of Neave Brown. In particular we will examine his three seminal projects (Winscombe St, Fleet Road, Alexandra Road) through the lens of Neaves statement that they are in fact a single project, a continuous exploration. We will survey and document these spaces in their as found and inhabited condition and use this material to produce a book and exhibition. In addition we will make studies on their tectonic assembly, the incipient figuration and character of the projects, and to use this to build to our own speculative works. Our concern here is with this act of translation, and exploring representation as a means to make personal discoveries about the character of our own work.
Architecture is generally complex and nuanced, even contradictory. We are interested in these ruin-like estates for their domesticated monumentality and abstracted humanism. We will seek parallels in other types, other places – including almshouses and other prototypical social projects.
We will allow our architecture to be formed from what is found.