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Student Shows 2015: Northumbria University

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Mary Kelly takes a look at Northumbria University’s end-of-year show

Northumbria University’s show presented final year work by BA Hons Architecture students along with work from those on Master of Architecture and the BA Hons Interior Architecture programmes.  

The show reflected the school’s emphasis on contextual exploration and responsiveness while encouraging opportunities for a deeper critique, both directed and self initiated. Featuring fewer hand drawings than in previous years the show nonetheless has many well-presented drawings and models with good linking narratives.

As in previous years the projects presented by the BA Architecture students focused on the manifold historic and natural aspects of the region. The show features the sixty -three diverse responses to the four locations offered by the final year Northumbria Project at Druridge Bay, Thirlwell Castle, Holystone and Hadrian’s Wall through a good range of presentation styles and models on display. 

Students on the BA (Hons) Interior Architecture programme have continued their live project involvement with the National Trust at the ruined estate of Gibside and the show features a lively mix of further proposals for re engaging and attracting visitors to this at risk building.

Projects shown by the final year MArch students represent the culmination of a year long personal investigation of, and engagement with, a site and context both physically and socio economically. Taking a number of different starting points and propositions we saw an interesting mix of architectural proposals and responses on a range of issues – including island population decline, the forging of a new identity for a forgotten industrial river or the dismantling of the peace walls in Northern Ireland. There was much sensitivity and invention driven by the students investigations of regeneration and rejuvenation of communities isolated or separated by geography, industrial decline or ideology. A wide range of stylistic approaches were on display but projects were united by serious engagement with the context and character of their sites and the way they would be used. Care, intellectual rigour and attention to detail were consistently demonstrated through investigation, process, drawings and models.

Mary Kelly is an independent architecture and planning professional


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