Huguenots and Walloons: Immigrants in South-East England

Netherlandish architectural influence was the subject of a paper presented by Alison Charles from the Kent School of Architecture at a local history study day held at the University of Kent Tonbridge Centre on 23rd June, 2015. The event focused on Huguenot, Flemish and Walloon immigrants in south-east England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and highlighted their contribution to and wider influence on, among other things, the built environment. Alison’s paper discussed her research into stranger accommodation in Kentish towns and provided an overview of Netherlandish-inspired buildings in east Kent. These topics are related to the part-time Architectural History PhD she is undertaking in CREAte, KSA’s Centre for Research in European Architecture.

Broome Park - Alison Charles

Image attribution:

Interpretation of a photograph of Broome Park taken by Julie Anne Workman [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

KSA End of Year Exhibition

11cOn the Friday 19th of June 2015 at 5:30pm, the Kent School of Architecture hosted its 10th End of Year Exhibition. The show comprised work of all 5 years as well as additional work from foundation and postgraduate years. The Marlowe building on the University of Kent campus (marked using an enormous pink X to symbolise the number 10) was unsurprisingly bursting at the seams with high quality work and scores of people who had travelled to see it.

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The exhibition was officially opened by special guest and Architects Journal Editor Rory  Olcayto who spoke shortly about the need for high quality schools of architecture and about the nature of architectural education itself.

The evening then progressed to the presentation of prizes including the Eliot Cloister design competition winners prize for Prinka Anandawardhani and Tracy Hulley, presented by Eliot College Master Stephen Burke. There were many other prizes awarded by the school and also sponsors including an award from Guy Holloway for Stage 2’s module Form and Structure. Guests who were in attendance commented on the richness and quality of the work on show, and their delight at how quickly the young school is progressing.

Also on show were the schools latest technological advancements including 3D printers, scanners and a drone in the foyer.

The Kent School of Architecture is in a constant state of progression, in both reputation and therefore quality of work, which means that future end of year exhibitions will continue to rise in quality. We look forward to seeing you all there next year!

By Edward Powe – Stage 2 BA (Hons) Architecture

Strong CASE presence at the Symposium on Applied Urban Modelling in Cambridge

Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou and PhD student Christina Chaztipoulka will be presenting their work at the Symposium on Applied Urban Modelling in Cambridge, 24-26 June 2015.  The theme of the conference is ‘green cities’.

Marialena’s presentation “Limitations of thermoregulatory models in outdoor thermal comfort: have we forgotten the person?” will focus on some of the challenges of using thermoregulatory models of biometeorology in outdoor thermal comfort.  It will be based on her extensive work in the field looking at field surveys in different climatic contexts.

Christina’s research aims to establish a method for the environmental assessment of urban forms using a set of urban parameters as environmental indicators, and will be presenting “The impact of urban geometry on the radiant environment in outdoor spaces: evidence across London”.

AUM2015 is the fifth in a planned series of annual symposia on applied urban simulation models that offer insights into urban change and the realisation of practical policy initiatives. The interdisciplinary nature of the symposia attracts delegates from diverse areas, as well as academia, professional institutions and government agencies.  The theme of AUM2015 is ‘green cities’.

For more information please click here.

Literary Language: An Architectural Design Tool

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An architectural PhD is an odd beast; we deal with design, space and physical phenomena and we have to write about it. Yet, in previous stages of our architectural education we draw and model our thoughts rather than construct them with words. This dichotomy is not just a part of the PhD though; it is inherent in all phases of the architectural education. Why write when you can draw? Why speak when you can pin up work and let it do the talking for you? My research examines this and asks ‘Can we use language as a part of the design process instead of pushing it aside?’

In order to discover whether language, specifically literary language, can be used as an aspect of design I have looked at The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. He created a vast architectural environment for his characters to inhabit. It is not only his fictional creations that exist in this world, however. When you read you become a part of the text, you can explore his spaces because he shows you them. He pauses the events taking place and then describes the space containing them as if it were one of the characters. So these spaces become a reality, an imaginary reality, but still fully formed and ripe for exploration. So much of architecture is personal and created by our imagination: we guess what is behind the next corner, we remember places we have visited and we understand our environment by telling stories. We then describe these experiences with words; we talk and write about them so that we can share them with others.

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In my research I want to show that words can form space, so I have taken Mervyn Peake’s description and drawn his spaces architecturally. Using his text and my interpretation of it, I have examined his use of language and shown that space can be shaped from only words. This means that a large part of my PhD is formed of drawings and models (as well as a great deal of writing). From these I show that if language can create space then we can design using language. The visual results of this study are being exhibited in the Studio 3 Gallery from the 13th to the 24th of July so why not come and see these spaces for yourself?

Billhook Nook Theatre by SHED

There are few opportunities when studying architecture to translate your designs into built projects, except if you actively seek those projects which allow you to do so. This extracurricular project gave us an opportunity to put our design skills to the test and produce a multifunctional events space for use by both staff and future students. The theatre took about 2-3 weeks to complete and has inspired many of us to seek future projects with which we can develop our skills further. The difference between working as a team on an academic project compared to an active, built project is significant, and we have all learnt valuable lessons about both team work and designing as a result.

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The theatre concept originated from the study of popular natural artist Andy Goldsworthy and his technique of ‘ordering’ nature using materials found on site. Billhook Nook Theatre consists of a large sculptural roof structure designed to represent the ‘ordered’ interpretation of the surrounding woodland. This ‘birds nest’ form is built around a triangular structural frame which is then supported using chains by the surrounding trees. The benefit of securing the structure to the trees is that the roof, although static, moves gentle with the trees in the wind adding a dynamic character to the theatre (unlike many traditional theatres). The theatre is also intended to not only draw your attention to the focal point (in this case the stage area), but to draw your eye up to the canopy of leaves above.

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The SHED (Studio for Hands-on Experimental Design) team, led by myself currently includes second year students Benjamin Nourse, Aut Angpanitcharoen, Luisa Pires, Andrew Warwick and Prinka Anandawardhani Choesin. We all look forward to experiencing Billhook Nook Theatre throughout the seasons, and we encourage everyone else to do the same as it will soon be available as a bookable education space on campus. The theatre can be found below the new business school development near parkwood on campus, just look for the door.

This project would not have been possible without the help of Creative Campus and Ian Bride, and we look forward to future projects together.

By Edward Powe – Stage 2 BA (Hons) Architecture

 

CREAte Symposium – Parallel Motion: Modernism and Dystopia in European Planning ca. 1935 – 1950

CREAte are pleased to announce that their next symposium will be taking place on Thursday 25th June 2015. The event is being organised by CREAte (Centre for Research in European Architecture) as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Kent School of Architecture, and will be graciously hosted by the Twentieth Century Society.

KSA staff and students will get in free with their University ID, others can pay through the 20th Century Society either online or at the door.

Parallel Motion: Modernism and Dystopia in European Planning ca. 1935 – 1950

In the 1930s the field of planning in Europe became established at the regional and even national scales, embracing the drive towards modernisation through the creation of new infrastructure such as highway systems and electrification projects. At the same time, countryside planning and related conservation efforts aimed to protect and integrate historic and natural landscapes. The advent of World War II provided a new impetus to planning at all levels, for it demanded the mobilisation of all forces, not only military. European planners continued to look beyond the end of the War, envisioning a new, more orderly world of the future. As the historian Niels Gutschow recently noted, one British planner referred to the destruction of Coventry as a ‘blessing in disguise’, for it provided a blank slate for new plans.

To register for the event, please visit the Twentieth Century Society website or contact Dr David. H. Haney for further information.

Architecture Student Aut Angpanitcharoen’s Travel Diary

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Just before the exam I took a trip to the beach with a couple of friends for an afternoon of revision, tea, oysters and eventually dinner. Whitstable turned out to be a great venue for reading, although if you are planning on doing this yourself, do remember to bring paperweights with you.

The beach can get pretty windy and wet notes aren’t quite as informative as dry ones.

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After the stress of the Nineteenth Century Architecture exam and the final structural report hand in passed, I found myself with plenty of free time to start enjoying life again. So I picked up my sketchbook and my favourite watercolour set and have been busy. Well, not that busy.

Yesterday whilst waiting for the clock to strike seven, I got bored and decided to go for a stroll around the city centre. I have to admit it wasn’t the best day for a walk, hence I only ended up with this fairly quick sketch. The line work is particularly rushed as by the time I decided to put pen to paper, I was already late for dinner.

This is one of my favourite spot in Canterbury, the cobbled narrow street and shop signs frame Bell Harry perfectly.

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I have been drawing the cathedral a lot recently. Just a few days ago, fellow aspiring architect, Prinka Anandawardhani and I took an impromptu visit to the cloisters and spent half an hour sketching. Hers is a little better than mine so I chose to omit a scan of it to avoid competition.

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The restoration process for the cathedral is forever on going, the result of the successful “Save Canterbury Cathedral” Appeal launched in 2006. Though it is a shame that in order to save it, parts of the building and its surrounding complex has to be covered up. It was slightly frustrating that when my friends came for a day visit, Christ Church Gate was concealed behind scaffoldings and tatty white fabric. Well guys, if you’re reading this, here it is. Through my eyes. For more accurate representations go to google images.

http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/supporting-us/

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Finally, to end this ramble. My favourite sketch at the moment, this one of St Paul’s Cathedral from the 1 New Change rooftop, right by St Paul’s station. I would seriously recommend going there for a great view of London and a day out sketching.

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By Aut Angpanitcharoen – Stage 2 BA (Hons) Architecture

Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt took part in workshop at the Royal Society

Last week, Dr. Schoenefeldt took part in a three-day research workshop at the Royal Society, which was organised by the AHRC with the aim of bringing together researchers from various fields in the sciences, arts and humanities, as well as practicing artists with an interest in science. Participants were chosen through a competitive selection process, following a call in April 2015.

The aim of the workshop was to explore how collaborations between scientists and researchers in the arts and humanities could enable new ways of studying the ‘Lived Environment’, which was the theme of the workshop.

Dr. Schoenefeldt has written a blog on the institutions website.