Connective Architecture in the High Weald.

Bridging between our senses and the physical world beyond, we look for ways to create buildings which articulate connection between body and landscape. Architecture is conceived as an instrument which has potential to build relationships with and convey new understandings of landscape.

Connective architecture seeks to augment sensory experience through architecture, to bring a meaningful experience of place. One way buildings can speak to us is through the re-presentation of specific characteristics of the local and cultural landscape. This approach to design prioritises searching at the outset for existing elements which evidence the particular relationships of the locality. We explore within our drawings notions of place as an ever changing set of relationships subject to continuous transformation.

The focus of our exploration in studio 06 this year will be wood. This building material, the most significant regenerable resource used in architecture and design, is the substance of the 21st century. Our sites for both design projects will be based in the High Weald district, less than 30 miles from Brighton.

We will investigate the life-cycle of timber from seed to saw mill, to workshop and construction site and consider how to design to accommodate the completion of this carbon cycle. We are interested to learn from precedent timber structures, both within and beyond architecture, to understand the potential of the material and specific characteristics of different species. We will learn how its material properties can be enhanced through forestry techniques, treatment processes and engineered solutions. We will adopt an attitude towards design which begins with the material itself. Through understanding its properties, potential and technical detail we will subsequently define its architectural deployment and composition.

In more than 400,000 years of its use as a building material, we will question whether, in architectural use, the shift from frame to high-performance panel represents the maximisation of the material’s potential or is there an opportunity to challenge the current attitudes propagated by the timber industry, in speculating towards a new direction in the use of the material?

Studio 06 is taught by Graham Perring and Andrew Paine.