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Student Shows 2012: Waterford Institute of Technology Department of Architecture

Relocation to a new building has brought a fresh energy to Waterford says Stephen Best

After seven years in Portakabins the school has relocated to the city centre. It now occupies a beautiful 19th century Granary on Merchant’s Quay, overlooking the magnificent River Suir. Architects understand and promote the idea that the environment you inhabit can make a difference. It certainly has here. And this year there seems to be fresh energy.

The school emerged from a technology course in 2005 and its tectonic focus remains. Many of the studios are in the Waterford region, although there is also a broader remit, which includes a successful collaboration with students at Marne Le Vallée and a high-rise project based in China, a collaboration with its newly aligned partners at the Shanghai Institute of Technology.

Standout unit

The Final Year Thesis Studio (Alexsandar Kostic) demonstrates the school’s strengths. Although the display is fragmented across two buildings, it is perhaps a reflection of the disparate nature of the work.

Standout students

Shane O’Donnell’s Water Treatment Centre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was full of high ambition and strong on architectural detail. The project proposes a social assembly of public bathing facilities, supported by convincing and thorough research.

In a word

Diverse

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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