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Student shows 2013: University of Dundee Architecture School

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Mark Chalmers reviews the University of Dundee Architecture School’s end of year show

This year’s show forces the visitor to dig deeper than in previous years. Beyond the polite rationalism of projects for Dundee’s waterfront lie schemes by Andrew Stark and Douglas Sturrock which revivify Slains Castle and the fortress at Dunnottar, respectively. Both are carefully crafted studies in materiality, which sums up much of the school’s output.

Standout unit ‘Rooms and Cities’ is the most exploratory of the MArch units, drawing inspiration from the new V&A at Dundee without stealing its clothes. It’s evident that pen and ink has triumphed over computer-generated imagery in 2013.

Standout students In the final year, Magnus Popplewell’s drawings outline an inhabited bridge spanning the river Tay: his three-kilometre megastructure is the one piece of ambitious architectural thinking on show. The bridge’s formalism hints at Corb’s Plan Obus, and Popplewell’s line drawings display a refreshing economy of means.

Further upriver lies Hugh Ebdy’s housing at Kenmore on Loch Tay, a scheme for an artist’s retreat. One beautifully composed sheet features plans and elevations, and a gouache perspective is cut away to show a warm cocoon in the blue twilight. It’s encouraging to see this calibre of work in the first year.

In a word: Well-crafted

Mark Chalmers, writer and architect

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