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MArch Architecture – Unit 6 – 2016/17

Relief
Timothy Smith & Jonathan Taylor

“Architecture arouses moods in people, so the task of the architect is to give these moods concrete expression.” – Adolf Loos.

A classical building is a world within the world. It is not meekly contextual but a statement of ideals. When these ideals face inevitable constraints surprising and delightful spaces result. A classical building is a descendant of a very broad family encompassing an enormous range of buildings: from small to very large; modest to opulent; old to new; and from serious to playful.

We will spend a week in Rome where we will explore the classical language from 70AD until the early twentieth century. We will carry out a study of Piazza Augusto Imperatore, which surrounds the Emperor Augustus’s tomb and was was built in the 1930s by a little known architect called Morpurgo. We will study Morpurgo’s building in great detail and at various scales, and participate in an evening salon with students of the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Studies Programme.

This year we will investigate the means by which a contemporary facade might have a monumental expression; an overall order within which relief is used to adapt its nature to circumstances of scale and proximity. Students will work on designs for a large building in London, focussing intensively on the facade and on an interior room for eating and drinking in; a pub or dining room (offering temporal and bodily relief!)

Our investigations will be intensively tectonic and necessarily deeply engaged with the nature and qualities of construction materials. We will continue Unit 6’s exploration of colour, surface and lettering. We are interested in spaces of comfort, delight and festivity. Our buildings will make the external fabric of the city, and offer an internal world of public festivity. We will collaborate with the restauranteur behind the Trullo and Padella restaurants in London.

An understanding of the classical language of architecture enables students to design fluently and with confidence in whichever future area of study or practice they pursue. Unit 6 is the only Part 2 design unit in the UK teaching the principles and application of the classical language.