What kind of an architecture will our city leave us to design?
Continuing a preoccupation with the post-infrastructural peripheries of London, the unit focused on the area around Whitechapel – a fringe of the city swayed gently by autonomous development, property speculation and the steady decline in industry.
These fluctuations have left the area with a strange accumulation of leftover space, service networks and incomplete urban narratives. By drawing the actuality of this Bataillean ‘dust’, the unit compiled a matrix of fragments, speculating on their socio-spatial potential whilst reinterpreting the city as a catalogue of beautifully incomplete objects.
By indexing – and then collaging together – the surplus, the historical, the anticipated urban condition, students were able to imagine alternative futures for Whitechapel’s major transitions: a super-block extension to the Royal London Hospital and the subterranean tunnelling of Crossrail. Students explored their designs by borrowing from reverse urban engineering, making and remaking the city through drawing, collage and model, the latter used to explore new structural vocabularies and their associated textural details.
Proposals occupy the realm between localised service structures and reimagined infrastructural typologies, reinvigorating the dge conditions produced by proposed masterplans and explicating intricate crossutilisations of public facility and service infrastructure, each mindful of the formulation of an inner-city based prototype architecture: the micro city, whereby the exceptions within the city survive to represent a new spatial anthology.
Supplementary investigations this year included: reworking Friedrich Kiesler’s Endless House, Brussels fieldwork, two Tokyo workshops on urban erasure and infrastructural possibility, and frequent testing of materials at Hooke Park.