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Student shows 2013: University of Greenwich

Phineas Harper reviews the University of Greenwich’s end of year show

The narrative at Greenwich is one of seismic change, every element of their 2013 show is configured to emphasise a school in rebirth. It is just 2 years since Neil Spiller was parachuted in from the Bartlett to turn around the school’s fortunes with a dramatic change of staff, location and pedagogy. With this in mind it is frustrating to see a body of work apparently intent on resurrecting Spiller’s idiosyncratic style of structural insectoid fantasy schemes, but little that speaks of architecture fit for a 21st-century of environmental and economic crisis.

Standout unit Unit 2 is most successful. Taking the over 200 folk stories collected in The Brothers Grimm as starting points, the brief is to design an archive in future Berlin. Wielding superb hand-draftsmanship and structural ingenuity, the students have produced a collection of impressive proposals. Acknowledging head-on the fairy tale roots of their design process and channelling them into fascinating designs has ironically produced some of the most socially resonant projects in the show.

Standout student Diploma student William Lamburn’s accomplished drawings most elegantly embody Greenwich’s new style. They are disturbing, saturated with historic references and tectonically evasive.

In a word Relapsing

Phineas Harper, The Architectural Review

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