James Jones reviews Manchester School of Architecture’s end of year show
It’s the final year in ‘the shed’ before the MSA moves into its refurbished permanent home, and this time the show has been hung to make the most of the quirky space. More room for the MArch, and a tightly curated BA in seven separate student-designed atelier exhibitions. Far more interesting to see seven different approaches to brief, studio and display than the parade of identical panels shown last year. Both BA and MArch ateliers reflect the school’s continuing engagement with the urban, particularly Manchester - although some MArch ateliers explored as far afield as Argentina and Venice.
Standout unit This year the MArch ateliers all demonstrate the school’s research-focused teaching. This is certainly to the advantage of the students’ education and future practice, although not necessarily to the production of typical set piece architecture/drawings. Standout unit - for its novelty - is ‘Contested Peripheries’, notably Emily King, Mark Turner and Bryn Lee.
Standout student For his synthesis of detailed urban/cultural analysis into realistic architectural proposition, Jack Penford Baker from Atelier [Re_Map] 606 with ‘The Defragmentation of Bradford’, a much-needed attempt to heal the city centre ‘Wastefield’ hole.
In a word Urbanomania
James Jones, associate, Sheppard Robson