Pleasure and Urban Delight.

We are story tellers – real or fictional. Our studio is interested in the latent qualities of residual, urban pockets and architectures that embody a character and engage with the public. Last year we investigated the “Edgelands“ of the Isle of Dogs, London. This year we will migrate to a central urban pocket, to Soho and explore the notion of “pleasure and urban delight”. How can we as architects contribute to a contemporary concept of pleasure? Urban strategies for a city like London suggest a need for discovery, subversion, fantasy, temporariness, and mobility. We will use this year to research ideas of pleasure and students will conceive projects that promote urban delight.

In term 1 our studio will discover, understand and communicate ideas through MAKING (model and drawing). We will analyse and explore spaces and places to which we feel connected by – be it through familiarity or curiosity, or a social or cultural belonging, and describe these spaces in a document that will represent our Soho findings. By the end of term 1 you will have produced an EVENT SPACE that discusses the dynamic relationships between your proposition and Soho.

Terms 2 and 3 will be informed by your research of T1 and conclude in a comprehensive building proposal “A THEATRE” for Soho. Theatre is omnipresent across Soho and to this it owes a large part of its appeal. There are many ways we can interpret ‘theatre’ and the architectures that characterises it. Your Theatre might embrace the notion of mechanical architectures, discovery, subversion or you might be attracted by its fantasy, temporariness, or mobility.

We will question the presence of your building carefully. You might place your building in a daring location, or add it in modestly or speculate on a new theatrical landscape as a way of attracting people to places. Through these intimated personal site readings, we make connections that others might oversee and conceive ideas and delight in the most unlikely of places. You will develop a personal building programme that embodies a character and engages with the cultural, social, economic and democratic context of Soho. We want third year students to be able to place your work into the wider context of Soho and the UK, as well as the broader historical field of architecture.