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Student shows 2013: University College Dublin

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Stephen Best reviews the University College Dublin’s end of year show

The ability to sew thoughtful, sensitive architecture into its context is the school’s strength, and this year this has been done with aplomb. The projects have been closely attuned to the external socio-economic environment, and have produced some striking results. The undergraduate BSc course final project is a highlight. It tackles a familiar typology, the school, but the brief was extended to explore social conflict.

Standout unit The graduating cohort was split between the new Masters of Architecture course and the BArch programme. The extra depth of exploration in the MArch group was clearly evident, which falls roughly into two areas - urban interventions and productive landscapes. If the former provided familiar territory, the latter offered an interesting critique of how architects can and should respond to the appropriation of our inhabited landscape by big infrastructure.

Standout students For ambition and relevance, Edwin Jebb. His beautifully modelled ‘Pleasure Garden’ is a delightful concoction situated atop Ireland’s first ‘super dump’. A proposition that is part-machine, part-school and part-garden, it results in an Archigram-esque fun-derland of giant animal sculptures, inhabited frames and gas extraction towers.

In a word: Élan

Stephen Best, senior lecturer, Dublin Institute of Technology

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