UWE Planning and Architecture Show 2010

Issue date: 07 June 2010

Wayne Mannings designs for Gloucester's Fleece Complex Students at the University of the West of England will use nearly three kilometres of coloured ribbon to create a trail with giant geometric shapes to guide visitors around this year's Department of Planning and Architecture Show at the University of the West of England.

The Show will begin at 17.00 on 11 June 2010 in the Studios building on the Frenchay Campus of UWE and continue the following day from 10.00 to 17.00. The opening event will be hosted by Sunand Prasad, Immediate Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The exhibition will showcase the work of around a hundred students graduating from UWE in BA (Hons) Architecture and Planning, Bachelor of Architecture and BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and Design. There will also be work on show from around two hundred students on a range of related undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering Architecture and Environmental Engineering; Town and Country Planning; Spatial Planning; Geography and Planning; Property Development and Planning; and Urban Design.

A rainbow of coloured ribbons will guide people around the students' work. Giant geometric shapes up to five metres high will be suspended from the ceiling in the atrium of the Architecture Studio and a waterfall of coloured ribbon will lead visitors to the work of some students.

Programme Leader Elena Marco says, “The fourth year is one of the best years we have had so far. The students' architecture project work reflects planning elements - a key aspect of the integrated course. It shows that we are now producing students who are architect-planners in the way they think about design. This year major architectural project work in the Department has focused on our region and its cities, both the final year Architecture and Planning students and students in the postgraduate Bachelor of Architecture have based projects in Gloucester, while other Bachelor of Architecture work has proposed contemporary 'utopian' concepts for Bristol.

“The project work the students do gives them real world experience of designing within a community, considering all the urban planning options and the pressures that city councils face. We also ensure that health and sustainability in the built environment are key concepts we build into students' professional approach.”

In Gloucester the theme of the project was 'The Good Life – a new benchmark for the future'. It looked at solutions for the historic city of Gloucester from within the city's own context and students were encouraged to challenge preconceived ideas of iconic architecture and focus on creating briefs that define an environmental philosophy and a social agenda.

The work of three fourth year Architecture and Planning students reflects the regional theme of their projects.

Wayne Mannings worked on a design for Gloucester and he is now taking steps to turn his student project into a real vision for Gloucester. Wayne says, “The Fleece Complex, a vacant historical site within the centre of Gloucester is due to go onto the market in September. The site contains several buildings of historic value currently in a dilapidated condition as well as a building of no architectural or historic interest. Following detailed research and analysis of under-provided cultural facilities within the city centre, I came up with a vision for the 'Gloucester Music and Dance Factory' – which aspires to bring an identity to the submerged creative interests of Gloucester. Through providing education in a range of formats, the facility aims to strengthen pathways into music and dance within the city centre. A number of small music and dance organisations who desperately need adequate facilities for creative arts have been in touch with me and it is their aspiration to eventually submit a bid to the National Heritage lottery funds. Work has begun to submit a grant application to carry out a full feasibility report of the project.”

Another student Peter Spall, worked on a design for the Gloucester Sump Works in Greater Blackfriars. He said, “The concept involves abandoning 'landmark' architecture and reinstating the historic urban grain to re-establish a link with the river. This includes an exterior exhibition space fluctuating with the large tidal range of the River Severn. The ephemeral nature of this void is reinterpreted in the interior spaces as the reflectivity of surfaces emphasise daily processes, and seasonal fluctuations.”

Melissa Patterson created a scheme for Greyfriars in Gloucester called the Culinary Garden. Melissa says, “The proposal combines a number of programmes that work together to provide a unique scheme for all aspects of the food cycle, enabling the community to grow, cook and eat their own food, and understand the way in which it is farmed. The scheme will transform the Greyfriars area from a derelict mass of concrete and car parking that rejects its heritage into an organic landscape of activity that reinstates the quarter's traditional use and enhances its most important historic assets.

Students who worked on the Bristol-based project were asked to consider issues of sustainability and to anticipate ways in which society and the economy might change in the future. Students were encouraged to develop a stance on climate change, to question existing values and beliefs and to look at alternatives in their proposals.

As well as the work of students graduating this year there is also work on show from students on related courses including BEng Architecture Environmental Engineering, MPlan Town & Country Planning, MPlan Spatial Planning, MPlan Geography and Planning, MPlan (Property Development and Planning) and MA Urban Design.

UWE's Department of Architecture and Planning is also applying the principals of sustainability to a whole range of courses across the University and is contributing to the University's master planning process for the new campus development.

As well as creating their projects, students have worked on designing and preparing the show and this year they have also produced their own newspaper, “Works” featuring the Architecture and Planning project work. They have also designed the front cover of this year's Journal of the Department of Planning and Architecture featuring the work of UWE students and staff.

For further details see Planning and Architecture Show


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