Alan Dunlop reviews the Mackintosh School of Architecture’s end of year show
Things are changing at the Mac. Stage 1 and 2 studios are as lively as ever but, further up, under new head Chris Platt, the switch from hard-edged urban projects presented in über-real CGIs to a bone-deep investigation of the art and craft of architecture is evident. The school is also getting out of Glasgow. Kathy Li now leads stage 3, and her unit has focused on two west-coast towns, Saltcoats and Culzean. Students were required to draw and sketchbooks are peppered throughout the exhibition supporting excellent projects, particularly by Jordan Stocks and Emmeline Quigley. Sadly though, stage 4 is still ploughing the same Glasgow urban building and housing programme it has for the last 25 years. Stage 5 is overwhelmed by the prolific work of Wearn Hong Chua and his project for a spice factory in Hamburg. His exceptional models and dramatic CGI dominate the exhibition, but the project seems to have developed little since first ideas. In contrast, the work of Yashan Zhang for a crafts institute in Genoa is beautifully executed.
Standout unit Stage 5. A meticulous study of the urban fabric and built form of Genoa, presented throughout by working models and hand drawings.
Standout students Jordan Stocks, Emmeline Quigley and Yashan Zhang.
In a word Transition
Alan Dunlop, director, Alan Dunlop Architect