Eccentric models and visionary utopias define the show at Greenwich
Greenwich School of Architecture and Construction Degree Exhibition, now closed
Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS http://digitalstudio.gre.ac.uk/exhibition2009/
Greenwich is a School of Architecture with exciting developments on the horizon. After years of having to parasitically inhabit University buildings from Eltham to Dartford, it can finally look forward to a space of its very own. A competition is underway for the design of a new School building to be situated close to the outstanding architecture of the Maritime Campus, Greenwich where this year’s show takes place.
Many of the exhibition projects reflect the sense of looking to the future, or at least, breaking free of restrictions. The entrance display is a chaotic collection of fragmented models, broken chairs, doorless fridges, dirty cups and dramatically strewn dust sheets. While the scene may be reminiscent of frantic last days spent in the studio, it is actually the output of the Diploma atelier ‘Thinkers and Makers: Moving from Device to Building,’ led by tutor Ed Frith. Models and drawings delight in their eccentricity but belie much of the serious environmental concern behind the work. Jacob Hussey has exhibited two beautifully crafted wood and thread models which speak more of the maker’s artful obsession with mechanism and material than the effects of Trombe walls and stack effect ventilation they claim to investigate.
Anam Hasan, Dynamotel
Diverse project briefs exemplify the School’s ‘plural’ approach to education and there is a strong sense of students taking ownership of their projects. For the atelier ‘Desert Fictions’, degree student Anam Hasan has designed a hotel constructed using salvaged washing machine and airplane parts for a site amongst abandoned WW2 bunkers in Dunkirk. Again the technical aspects of the project are played down, but the poetic aspirations of its author are successfully described through imaginative and well-observed drawings and collages.
While the new School building will literally put Greenwich back on the map, the quality of the show proves that work on announcing itself as a stimulating and progressive place to study is already quietly underway.
Eccentric and individualistic design belie serious environmental concerns
Riya Patel is a graduate of the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and completed her Part 2 last year.