Cameron McEwan reviews Aberdeen’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture
The Scott Sutherland School at Robert Gordon University in Aberddeen emphasises material exploration and the production of physical models as investigative tools. For instance, domestic-scaled buildings were modelled at 1:20; urban blocks, streets and construction studies at 1:50; and city districts at 1:1000. These were constructed from a range of materials including timber, plastics, card, metal and glass, by techniques from casting to 3D printing.
In Year 3 (Part I) students develop a project for the reuse and extension of an existing building then a mixed-use multi-storey urban design, both within Aberdeen. At Masters (Part II) – undertaken over two years – there are three units, divided as follows: Resilient Towns and Cities, led by Gökay Deveci; 21st Century City, led by Alan Dunlop; and The Parochial, by Neil Gillespie. Students write a dissertation and develop a studio project in response to a unit specific brief.
Standout unit & student
While the 21st Century City Unit was coherently structured and neatly curated – indicative of a collective effort – it is Gillespie’s The Parochial Unit that has formal and conceptual purposiveness with stronger individual talent. Standout students include Fiona Thaddeus’ circular-plan Primary School/Swimming Pool in Gillespie’s Unit, developed with elegantly produced models, was powerful in its formal clarity.
- Cameron McEwan, architectural writer and AE Foundation Associate