UWE Planning and Architecture Degree Show

Issue date: 01 June 2009

Bell foundry at Ludlow designed by Emily Marshall On 12 and 13 June, the degree show of the Department of Planning and Architecture at the University of the West of England, Bristol features the creative and design work of students on undergraduate and postgraduate architecture, urban design and town planning courses.

The award-winning studios building will be filled with the designs, models and installations of students from all years on the following courses:

BA Architecture and Planning
BEng Architecture and Environmental Engineering
BSc Architectural Technology and Design
Master of Planning
MA Urban Design
MA Town and Country Planning

Janet Askew, Head of the Department of Planning and Architecture, says,
“This is the tenth exhibition of the work of the department, illustrating our unique approach to architectural education that emphasises the importance of the context of design. It is important for a department to constantly evolve and visitors to our exhibition will see the way in which we are developing in our subjects, this year witnessing the ways in which we are integrating sustainability and tackling the challenges of climate change in inter-disciplinary teams of architects, planners, urban designers and transport planners.”

Student profiles

Architecture student Lucy Inder's final year project was to design a film school for the Mile End Road in London. She designed a building from a simple kit of parts that could be manipulated for both individual and social needs. Created on an empty site on the road, the building used the existing walls as its own internal structure, with the marks of the past life of the city standing alongside the marks carved into the building by its new users.

She said, “One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the design process was to offer freedom for the creation of individual environments whilst fulfilling the prescriptive requirements of modern legislation and the technical and practical needs of the accommodation.

“One of the highlights of the BArch course at UWE is the effort made by tutors and module leaders to interlink design studio with simultaneous modules. This allows us a freedom of exploration to embrace our own interests, and learn what those interests are, in preparation for entry into the professional world of architecture. The final project gave us the opportunity to design to our own developed brief and responses to a site, and also to study the conceptual, theoretical and practical aspects of our design in real depth. My two years of study at UWE have given me confidence and independence that will both help and guide me in my career from this point.”

Luke Bowden, an architectural technology and design student, has completed a final year project to design a prefabricated kit of parts for a sustainable, modular building in Newcastle. The kit had to be flexible enough to adapt to three different sites, with differential climates and cultures.

Luke says, “My basic kit was a series of regular sized prefabricated timber framed pods arranged in several orientations to create spaces for various types of use. I developed it for a large unused area close to the regenerated harbourside in Newcastle, producing a detailed and technically resolved design appropriate for building regulation approval and production/construction drawings.

"This process involved analysing thermal performance, acoustic performance and sustainability to reach the required buildings performance standards. The project helped me appreciate aspects of the project life cycle with an emphasis on phased construction, allowing me to understand the interrelationship between the pre-contract design, buildability and site production activities.

"The project allowed me to develop in-depth knowledge of the regulations that apply to the design of medium/large buildings. The course as a whole has given me the basic tools to bridge the gap between the concepts of architectural design and the technologies required to produce a practical 'buildable' solution. Along with a great experience in my placement year, it has been a good foundation from which I can build a successful career as an architectural technologist.”

Emily Marshall, an architecture and planning student, submitted a project for a bell foundry set in the historical Shropshire town of Ludlow, a place envisaged as an international centre for craft manufacture. She says, “Ludlow is a conservation area and great attention was needed to respond to preserving and enhancing the nature of the town.

"We were asked to unearth, embrace and recapture the art of one craft and then design a manufactory where the process would be undertaken. It was more than just a simple building design - we needed to take into consideration how people would inhabit the building both to live and work.

"My bell foundry specialises in hand bells, a particularly traditional British craft which has remained unchanged for centuries. The character of the building portrays dominance and presence and captures the solidity and simplicity of such a beautiful and defined object – being of such a large scale and brutality allows for the finished bells to sing proudly over Ludlow and the surrounding area.

"The course allowed me to understand how to combine art and technology and made me realise that, as an architect, it is essential to adapt to new situations and open up to new aspects of knowledge and expertise to create innovative and responsive designs. It enabled us to work together and progress with our peers and gave us the ability and freedom to be creative yet rational and analytical. It teaches many more skills than how building design, such as confidence, organisation and time management skills, and encourages you to push yourself to reveal your potential.

"This has been a fantastic course and I have thoroughly enjoyed it – it has given me a strong start for beginning my career in the built environment.”

For further information contact bne@uwe.ac.uk or 0117 32 83000.

Editor's notes

• Visuals are available of design work by Lucy Inder, Luke Bowden and Emily Marshall.

• If you are unable to attend, we would be pleased to send you a copy of our new journal that will include the work of staff, students and alumni.

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