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Student shows 2013: University of the West of England Architecture School

Matt Somerville reviews University of the West of England Architecture School’s end of year show

At UWE the study of architecture, planning and environmental design is joined in collaborative studio work and the broad spectrum of investigation yields some impressive results at this year’s show. This is especially evident in the graduating studios of architecture and planning, and architectural and environmental engineering, where a series of beautifully resolved projects are grounded in a careful analysis of location and meticulous consideration of technical detail. Working at Spike Island in Bristol, the MArch graduating studio took this analysis in a more subjective direction, viewing their site through radical utopian thinking. This generates some provocative manifestos that see the island re-imagined as an archipelago or independent state.

Standout unit The MArch studio, whose ambition and creativity provide a glimpse into a parallel universe, is compelling and memorable.

Standout students Liza Varnavides’ centre for interpreting tide provides an ever-changing experience of a place where territory is uncovered and reclaimed by the vast tidal range of the river Avon. At undergraduate level, Lewis Callen’s ingenious and thoughtful spa and botanical garden hothouse allows total immersion in nature.

In a word Resourceful

Matt Somerville, architect, FCBS

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