Following four years of the AA Summer Pavilion programme, Inter 2 engaged in a full architectural project: the Caretaker’s House for Hooke Park. Taking the opportunity presented by the outline planning permission for the development of the Hooke Park campus, the unit worked through the year to produce, for construction, a fully detailed design for a family house.
The first term consisted of case-studies, site-visits and individual explorations of design concepts for houses leading to competition proposals for the schematic concept. These were developed by pairs of students mentored by architects who had recently received the Manser Medal award for house design. Time spent at Hooke Park exposed students to the subtleties of the site and the lives of the user family. Visits to Frei Otto at his house near Stuttgart and to the Finnforest Merk fabrication facility near Munich introduced the philosophies and technologies underlying the project.
The four competition entries presented a range of responses. David Hellstrom and Elisha Nathoo proposed a free-form three-storey lattice-gridshell structure; Andrea Kloster and Harpreet Marway’s Tree House was based on a spiral of rooms suspended by ‘trunks’ representing an imagined continuation of the forest; Beom Kwan Kim and William Stanley’s Nature Bath proposal placed a single-storey house under an umbrella-like roof that framed views into the woods. The selected scheme, Rebecca Spencer and Harshit Kothari’s Breathing House, was arguably the most contextually rich but least developed proposal, provoking strong debate in the competition jury.
In term 2, the unit relocated to Hooke Park and began work as a collective design team. The team worked hard to establish consensus decisions towards a full scheme design. Back in London, the focus turned to detailed design, drawing production, planning application and, with the input of consultants and suppliers, the full definition of the technical systems of the house. Inter 2 has tested the premise of doing architecture (actual construction) in architecture school.