Mark Pearson is engaged by post-industrial Plymouth
There was a pragmatic idealism to the work - theoretical and philosophical ideas are certainly present, yet design responses were grounded in spatial propositions arising from realities of social experience. Intriguing host city Plymouth, now almost in a post-industrial state, provided a fertile ground for briefs, and academic links to Riga, Spain and Poland confirmed an interest in positive urban re-structuring as a consequence of decline.
The degree school has nine units, ranging from conservation to culture, with strong undercurrents of environmental responsibility.
Krzysztof Nawratek’s unit is intensely concerned with urban transformation, as seen in Requiem for a City by Rob Sawyer - proposing an industrial facility for dissembling the urban fabric combined with a counselling suite for the orphaned citizens. Referencing Kahn, the language was low technology from reclaimed material but the mood was sublime.
In the unit led by Simon Bradbury, the work of Isla Melville suggested not merely a building but a regeneration strategy. (Comm)Union Street took a notorious thoroughfare that refused to die and re-vitalised it with elegant temporary low-cost constructions. Melville was discussing prospects for its realisation with interested business leaders.
In a word
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