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Vertical School of Architecture

Part 1 Project 2003
Stefan Tribe
Terence Tang
London South Bank University | UK

The school of architecture project was largely dominated by a long, non-linear process where pieces were selected, or became key to the project, for their aesthetic and compositional qualities. In this way the process becomes an extensive palette of work, all bound together by recognizable traits, which ultimately is used as reference when making decisions about the finished building.
Using Jean Nouvell’s Arab institute as a precedence study provided a launchpad from which the process began, as well as laying down some basic principles concerning layering, light and transparency which were put into practice, at least initially, on the work which was being produced. These principles were added to and refined as the work commenced.
Concerns about public misconceptions as to the way in which architecture is studied were introduced to the project when a publicly accessible ’route’ leading up the building was proposed. This was done in an attempt to expose the public to the multimedia, arts and experimental side of studying architecture, as opposed to the ‘counting of bricks’ image of studying architecture shared by most other students and members of the public. A member of the public would be guided round and up the tower, and allowed different views into the various studios, workshops, display areas and classrooms of the school, of architecture. In the same way as someone subconsciously takes in what they see when walking past shop fronts on a high street, one would soak up the essence of a school of architecture whilst making their way up to the shops, lecture rooms or restaurant at the top.

Stefan Tribe
Terence Tang

This project was initiated through a series of experiments where concepts were evolved by translation from one media to another. Techniques such as photography, collage decoupage, video computer animation model-making and plain old photocopying were used to develop evocative pieces of work from waste material which were tested on a vertical armature.
Architectural precedents were examined, used and abused and their visual characteristics transformed playfully using a wide range of experimental investigative techniques and radical changes in scale. The process of testing and evaluating decisions was not linear rather based on an intuitive sense of what felt right.
The process elaborated and a rich personal spatial and architectural vocabulary was evolved.
The journey became a personal odyssey into all the stuff that architects love, layering form, space, technology and detail never losing the lightness of touch of the original experiment.
The experimental process both informs and interrogates the proposal for a Vertical School of Architecture and demonstrates the education of a young architect.
In this sense, the project takes a real pleasure in the making of architecture and is very much about the drive to find a personal architecture.


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