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Student Shows 2012: Dundee School of Architecture

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Mark Chalmers sees the standard rising at Dundee’s atmospheric show

Dundee’s degree show was the first to open, and arguably set the pace for the rest of Scotland. The school continues to strike a balance between building technology and design-led projects: full-scale models of dormer windows sit alongside thoughtful sketchbooks.

All five years are represented at the show, with the Master’s Unit awarded its own gallery space. The final year was split into several studios: Rationalist Traces generated a cluster of austere urbanism projects, although the most successful ones lay at the poetic end, including Sharon Chatterton’s Physicians’ Library.

The most imaginative schemes stemmed from the Adaptive Re-Use Studio, including Hannah Oza’s well-resolved restoration of Torwood Castle, in the manner of Sverre Fehn. However, the most complete vision belonged to Sam Wilson, whose project to recast Brymbo Steelworks in Wales stood out for its rigour. It was beautifully presented, and the tonal drawings captured the grain of industrial ruins very effectively.

If the standard at Dundee was higher than in previous years, which I believe it was, hopefully the Royal Scottish Academy and others will exhibit the best of this session’s work.

Standout unit

Adaptive Re-Use Studio

Standout students

Sam Wilson

In a word


AJ reviews of every student show in the UK are in AJ26.07.12. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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