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Student Shows 2012: University College Cork Centre of Architectural Education

Stephen Best observes a new approach at Cork

A new school that brings a new approach, CCAE has laid down strong foundations and instilled an idea that architecture can emerge from thoughtful reflection, coupled with clear aesthetic judgement.

The drawings and models throughout are beautiful, hand-crafted works of art. Giant 1:50 sectional perspectives are rare enough but ones carefully drawn in black ink are almost unheard of today. Not here: there are several in the fourth year alone. This almost forgotten medium confers sensitivity for detail and understanding of space on the work that just cannot be achieved by the CAD/plotter combo and raises questions about the current rush to embrace Building Information Modelling at the formative stages in the education of an architect.

Standout unit

The standout feature of the show is the contrast between the BSc(Hons) and MArch programmes. Whereas the undergraduate show demonstrates a thoughtful progression through basic skills to development of a clear understanding of the rich complexities required to attain master craftsman status, the master’s is thought-provoking and speculative. Where one is full of control and restraint, the other is liberal and free.

Standout students

In the MArch programme, Richie Fenton’s Re(sistance), and Eoin French’s Terminus were exuberant demonstrations of the potential of reimagining Istanbul’s Golden Horn.

In a word

Thoughtful

AJ reviews of every student show in the UK are in AJ26.07.12. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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