Students on the Centre for Alternative Technology’s part 2 course exhibit their work
More from: Obituary: Nathan Jones (1985 – 2013)
The Centre for Alternative Technology Professional Diploma in Architecture graduate show was held last week in the WISE Building, Machynlleth, Wales.
The ethos of the CAT part 2 course is concerned with the search for sustainable and ecologically sound technologies and ways of life, and this is reflected in their approach to teaching.
The course reinforces the architecture profession’s ambition to introduce specialist teaching through its focus on sustainability, providing the knowledge and experience architects are increasingly likely to require if the profession is to meet its obligation to meet environmental targets.
Students on the course are free to explore their own interests in their projects and this has resulted in a diverse range of subjects and schemes. From schools to performance spaces, and co-housing to market spaces,the students aretackling the sustainability agenda with very different approaches.
With these projects,it is interesting to see such a broad geographic range in choice of sites.This may be attributed to the format and location of the CAT course. Students travel to the centre for just one week each month and spend their remaining time spread across the county, resulting in each project being located in a completely different part of the UK.
The work may be diverse, but the focus on sustainability is deeply rooted.
Below is a selection of the students work.
Not just a brick in the wall by Emily Partridge
Emily Partridge’s project located in the market town of Thetford in Cambridgeshire explores the design of Special Educational Needs schools, treading a ‘delicate line between security and open liberation’.
Re-working the ‘Works’ by James Thomas
This project explores the links between the Cyfratha Works in Wales and performance arts. The project proposes installation of art companies such as theatre, music, sound recording and experimental lighting research inside the large volumes of the Works’ industrial spaces.
Reclaiming the public realm by Rebecca McKinney
Rebecca McKinney’s project in Milton Keynes involved work with existing urban design campaign groups, UrbanEden and Xplain, analysing the new development plan being formed by the CMK Alliance under the Localism Act.
Reconnecting the city by Rebecca Robinson
This project utilises redundant railway arches in Manchester, with co-housing, gardens and allotments at its heart, and small businesses and retail on its new street perimeters.
Education for the land by Robyn Cumine
This project situated in Haverfordwest re-forms a new agricultural college bringing together related uses and a new college building which aims to reconnect its uses to the land.
Skills sets for the future by Andre Baugh
Andre Baugh’s project in Jamaica is a new business and skills college providing an adult skills training centre, refectory, exhibition area, restaurant and workshops/market booths, developing employment within a deprived area.
Land End’s visitor centre and wave research laboratories by Marcus Smith
This project aims to enhance the visitor experience at the Land’s End site, celebrating views, offering tourist facilities including cafés, retail, backpackers and cyclist’s facilities, and separate wave research laboratory.
Stadia for the 21st Century by George Bevan
This new eco-stadium for Crystal Palace football club provides an alternative to the usual heavy embodied energy designs by providing one that has a more flexible use when not used during the football season, linking up with the nearby sports centre, providing venues for hire and entertainment as well as landscaping the historic site.
Troubled Brewing by Alasdair Harrison
This project set in Lancashire, re-imagines the architectural language of the traditional brewery aiming to make brewing more sustainable and accessible to public scrutiny and awareness.
Water Sanctuary by Clare Harms
This Bristol-based scheme re-uses a collection of derelict grade II listed buildings, establishing a natural swimming pool, a Turkish bath and hot tubs.
Boat building school by Tim Oswald
This project for a boat building school in Bristol looks at the careful stitching together of old and new whilst addressing the environmental performance of the existing buildings.
Cornish Establishment of Ecological Design by Daniel Ranson
Daniel Ranson’s project establishes links with the newly formed Wave Hub research centre, the surrounding RSPB reserves and the Cornish Coastal pathway, developing the town’s currently derelict central quays into a new ecological starter businesses centre within the area.
An alternative narrative to off-shore tax haven by Martyn Howes
This project based in Guernsey re-masters the planning of the harbour adding a new museum and rebuilding the facilities for boat arrivals and departures.
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