This is website presents the research activities by staff in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. It is intended to keep students, teachers and scholars updated on research related activities, events and awards by members of the department and to allow them to share their work and achievements with the wider academic and professional community.

Kane, J. (2013). The Architecture of Pleasure: British Amusement Parks 1900 – 1939. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-1075-1

The amusement parks which first appeared in England at the turn of the twentieth century represent a startlingly novel and complex phenomenon, combining fantasy architecture, new technology, ersatz danger, spectacle and consumption in a new mass experience. Though drawing on a diverse range of existing leisure practices, the particular entertainment formula they offered marked a radical departure in terms of visual, experiential and cultural meanings. The huge, socially mixed crowds that flocked to the new parks did so purely in the pursuit of pleasure, which the amusement parks commodified in exhilarating new guises. Between 1906 and 1939, nearly 40 major amusement parks operated across Britain. By the outbreak of the Second World War, millions of people visited these sites each year. The amusement park had become a defining element in the architectural psychological pleasurescape of Britain.

This book considers the relationship between popular modernity, pleasure and the amusement park landscape in Britain from 1900-1939. It argues that the amusement parks were understood as a new and distinct expression of modern times which redefined the concept of public pleasure for mass audiences. Focusing on three sites – Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Dreamland in Margate and Southend’s Kursaal – the book contextualises their development with references to the wider amusement park world. The meanings of these sites are explored through a detailed examination of the spatial and architectural form taken by rides and other buildings. The rollercoaster – a defining symbol of the amusement park – is given particular focus, as is the extent to which discourses of class, gender and national identity were expressed through the design of these parks.

Contents: Introduction; A fortune in a thrill: the rise of the amusement park 1900-1920; A whirl of wonders! Technology, machine bodies and moving images; A great fun city: crowds, space and time; Putting order into chaos: the amusement park 1920-1939; Shifting modernities: pleasure and leisure at the amusement park; Conclusion: modern pleasures; Bibliography; Index.

Bodies of Water, Elizabeth Ogilvie, 2006

Reading and Exhibiting Nature – International Conference

Date: 7-9 February 2014

University of Westminster, London

In January and February 2014 Ambika P3, the flagship exhibition space at the University of Westminster, will present OUT OF ICE by visual artist Elizabeth Ogilvie. This new commission will involve environments created with ice and ice melt, constructions, films of ice systems, film of scientific expedition from Antarctica, and poetic film, much of it created through collaborations with Inuit in Northern Greenland, and reflecting on their deep and sustaining relationships with ice. The exhibition will portray the psychological, physical and poetic dimensions of ice and water and draw attention to ice processes. It will describe the presence of ice in the world from a human perspective in which the observational traditions of fieldwork will be combined with the artist’s trademark visual splendour.

In concert with the exhibition, the University of Westminster is convening ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’, a three-day conference examining how nature is being understood in contemporary cultural and artistic production. With a focus both in and beyond the polar regions, we will explore how artists and scientists are apprehending and representing natural phenomena, engaging with emerging non-human materialities and translating environmental data into aesthetic experience. The conference seeks to explore the shifting definitions of nature and how nature, including plants, animals, land, water/ice and weather inserts itself into human affairs and is represented culturally.

The ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’ conference is planned in association with project’s host institution, the University of Westminster and co-hosted by Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Anchorage Museum, Alaska. The organising committee includes Elizabeth Ogilvie, visual artist, Edinburgh; Mark Eischeid landscape architect/artist, Edinburgh; artist and curator Michael Maziere, University of Westminster; Lindsey Bremner, Director of Architectural Research, University of Westminster; Katharine Heron, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Westminster; Jo Vergunst, anthropologist, Aberdeen and Julie Decker, curator, author, artist, Anchorage Museum. Scholars and practitioners from any relevant discipline are invited to interrogate both the fine-grained nuances and broad contours of reading and exhibiting nature.

Four half-day sessions will explore the following themes:

Exhibiting Nature

The natural world and its exploitation are a key concern for many involved in contemporary art. How can current trends in media and environmental art contribute to moving us beyond the conception of nature as resource, towards nature as situated materiality, a complex system of energy, materials and information flows, of which people are only a part?

Reading Nature

Western philosophies have often portrayed nature as passive externality, subject to human exploitation. There is an increasing need to articulate alternative emotional, perceptual and cultural interactions with nature. What kinds of diverse strategiesexist to let nature speak? Can new aesthetic and exhibition practices provide a vehicle to reveal nature differently?

Communicating Science

Scientific enquiry translates nature into data using procedures, protocols, instruments and techniques that are obscure and mysterious to those not initiated into its world. Can the humanities and creative arts provide alternative representations of scientific data that improve public understanding of natural processes? What new partnerships are being formed, and what power relations do they involve?

Changing Nature

How is environmental change conveyed by and through the media and how is it being interpreted by artists through data gathering and visualisation?

Keynote Address by Professor Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen

Confirmed participants will include:

Allison Warden, performance artist, Anchorage; David Dernie, University of Westminster, London; Jo Vergunst, University of Aberdeen; Joan Navlyuk Kane, poet, Alaska; Jon Goodbun, University of Westminster, London; Julie Decker, author and Chief Curator Anchorage Museum, Alaska; Katharine Heron, University of Westminster, London; Karo Thomson Fleischer, Inuit explored and lecturer, Ilulissat, Northern Greenland; Layla Curtis visual artist, London; Liam Young Architect, AA, London; Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster, London; Marek Ranis, visual artist, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Mariele Neudecker, visual artist, Bristol; Mark Eischeid, University of Edinburgh; Martin Siegert, University of Bristol; Matthew Dalziel Louise Scullion, visual artists; Suna Christensen, anthropologist, Metropole University, Copenhagen; Tom Corby, University of Westminster, London; Tony Payne University of Bristol


We welcome proposals for papers of a maximum of 20 minutes or 3000 words addressing any one of the above. Send abstracts of no more than 250 words. They must include the presenter’s name, affiliation, email and postal address, together with the title of the paper and a 150-word biographical note on the presenter. Abstracts should be sent to Helen Cohen at and arrive no later than Monday 11 November 2013.


This conference will take place from 4.00pm on Friday 7 February to Sunday 9 February 2014. Full conference: Standard rate £200. One day rate £110. Full conference: Student rate £90. One day rate £65. This covers all conference documentation, refreshments, lunch, receptions and administration costs. Registration will open in December 2013.

Graham Stevens – Desert Cloud and Other Works

Thursday 10th October, 6.30pm Room M421
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
“The purpose of creating events such as Walking on Air or Walking on Water is to explore the relationship between people and their environment.” Graham Stevens, Pneumatics and Atmospheres, Architectural Design (AD), 1972.
In 1966, Stevens presented his Walking on Water series, which comprised a variety of playfully inventive works presented throughout Battersea Park in London. Among these were inflated spheres that participants could climb inside; floating atop bodies of water, walking along the inside surface, a little like a rat in a spinning wheel. Other works included Atmospheric Raft 1968, an art work, which proposed changing the world’s energy supply from fossil fuels to ‘atmospheric’ sources of the sun, wind, rain and ‘Energy Farms’. Inflatable pontoon or Pontube, and Overland, Overwater, Airborne, Submarine Transport System 1971, was an inflated tube lying across a variety of terrains for participants to traverse. These works were not just extensions of the body but experimentations and opportunities for participants to extend themselves, and, for a moment, feel as if they were superhuman within a widened perceptual field.
For Lecture details
Pete Silver / Will McLean

Montpelier Community Nursery, Photograph by Daniel Stier

The RIBA has announced AY Architects’ Montpelier Community Nursery as the 2013 Stephen Lawrence Prize winner.

Montpelier Community Nursery is a small building in Kentish Town, London designed for Camden Community Nurseries by Anthony Boulanger and Yeoryia Manolopoulou of AY Architects. Anthony Boulanger runs DS16 in the MArch programme at Westminster University. The project has wide reach as a model for participatory design processes in dense urban neighbourhoods, serving as an instrument of community building and urban regeneration.  Its design adopts responsible environmental strategies and promotes the idea of natural play by opening freely into a part-sheltered play area with a park beyond.  Daylight is brought into the building through strip windows located within the roof with a north-south orientation, spanning the floor plan diagonally.

Montpelier Community Nursery, Plan, AY Architects

Deep overhangs allow passive solar heat gain during times of the year as needed, but block out high summer sun.

Montpelier Community Nursery, Section, AY Architects

The superstructure is made of a pre-fabricated solid timber panel system, which facilitated an efficient building sequence.  The jury of the Stephen Lawrence Prize said this about the building:

The selection of materials is a key part of the scheme’s success. The black stained Siberian larch sits inconspicuously in the tree-scape and contrasts with the white-washed internal woodwork allowing the playful objects to come to life. All the details were well controlled, from exposed conduits to the selection of nursery furniture and material finishes. Simple decisions made for an all-encompassing education experience: thoughtful pram stores and recessed entrances took some of the madness out of drop-off and pick-up times; the door on to the park allowed quiet surveillance; and there was a seamless link to the outer play area and garden.

The RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize is funded by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, and was set up in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993. The prize, which rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million, is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets.

Montpeilier Community Nursery Photograph Nick Kane

Each academic year speakers from in and around the field of architecture present talks as a part of the Technical Studies Programme at the University of Westminster’s School of Architecture. Architects, engineers, social theorists and artists discuss the social use and function of technology in the context of design. The lecture series captures a contemporary philosophy of technology and introduce students to current and future trends in the technological development of architecture. Biomimetics, fluid dynamics, lightness, deployability, machine logic, material construction and geometry are all included as are economy, climate, performance and appropriateness.

The Autumn 2013 MArch Level Technical Studies Evening Series of Lectures is as follows:

Thursday 3rd October, 6.30pm: Stelarc, The Cyborg Artist

Thursday 10th October, 6.30pm: Graham Stevens, Desert Cloud and other Lightweight Wonders

Thursday 17th October, 6.30pm: Neil Thomas and Aran Chadwick (Atelier One), Liquid Threshold

Thursday 24th October, 6.30pm: Tim Lucas (Price & Myers), The Kew House Project

Thursday 31st October, 6.30pm: Daniel Ptacek (Kinnickkinnic), The Adjacent Possible

Thursday 7th November, 6.30pm: Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt (University of Kent), Environmental Experimentation

Thursday 14th November, 6.30pm: Nick Crosbie (Inflate), Air Structures

Thursday 21st November, 6.30pm: Paul Bavister (UCL), Sound, Acoustics, Music and Architecture

Thursday 28th November, 6.30pm: tbc

Thursday 5th December, 6.30pm:  Jaisha Reichardt, Our Dreams Change, We Don’t

Thursday 12th December, 6.30pm: tbc

Lectures are free and open to the public.

For Lecture details

Will McLean / Pete Silver


Stelarc – The Cyborg Artist

Thursday 3rd October, 6.30pm Room M421

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

University of Westminster

35 Marylebone Road

London NW1 5LS

Stelarc is a performance artist who has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has made three films of the inside of his body. Between 1976-1988 he completed 25 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems, the Internet and biotechnology to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. In 1995 Stelarc received a three year Fellowship from The Visual Arts/Craft Board, The Australia Council and in 2004 was awarded a two year New Media Arts Fellowship. In 1997 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He was Artist-In-Residence for Hamburg City in 1997. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Laws by Monash University. He has completed Visiting Artist positions in Art and Technology, at the Faculty of Art and Design at Ohio State University in Columbus in 2002, 2003 & 2004. He has been Principal Research Fellow in the Performance Arts Digital Research Unit and a Visiting Professor at The Nottingham Trent University, UK. He is currently Chair in Performance Art, School of Arts, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK. He is also Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Artist at the MARCS Lab at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Stelarc’s artwork is represented by the SCOTT LIVESEY GALLERIES in Melbourne.

For Lecture details

Will McLean / Pete Silver

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif’s work on the revitalisation of Birzeit Historic Centre; Birzeit, Palestine for Riwaq – Centre for Architectural Conservation was one of  five projects awarded the prestigious 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture earlier this month.

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

This five-year project, part of a rehabilitation master plan initiated by Riwaq, has transformed the decaying town of Birzeit, created employment through conservation and revived vanishing traditional crafts in the process. Community involvement was encouraged from the start, including local NGOs, the private sector, owners, tenants and users, all working with the municipality. Both historic buildings and public spaces have been rehabilitated into community activity hubs.

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

Replaced sections of wall remain distinguishable from the original structures, without harming architectural coherence.

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

Lost features were replaced where there was clear evidence for their former appearance, such as floor tiles with Palestinian motifs. Affordable traditional techniques and local materials were used throughout. Where no historical models were available, new elements were made in a bold contemporary spirit.

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

The Aga Khan Jury stated:

By reversing a process of neglect and erasure within a complex and difficult political context, the project manages to transform not only a neglected historic core but also people’s lives, and restores not only buildings but the dignity of their users.

Image copyright AKAA / Riwaq

Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif practice as Nasser Golzari Architects. Nasser Golzari teaches architecture at the Univresity of Westminster and Yara Sharif was awarded  her PHD at the University of Westminster in 2012.


Peckham, A. and Schmiedeknecht, T. (eds.). (2013). The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and Rationalism in Europe 1920-1940 and 1960-1990. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-415-604436-9.

The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and Rationalism in Europe 1920-1940 and 1960-1990, edited by Andrew Peckham and Torsten Schmiedeknecht has just been published. The Reader incorporates the first documentary collection of writing on rationalism in twentieth century architecture, providing an accessible introduction to the subject, direct insight into the thinking of architects and their critics, and a current re-evaluation of the context from which they emerged. For a 20% discount on the book, click here.

Andrew Peckham teaches architecture at the University of Westminster. He is currently working on a new book, Architecture and its Imprint.

Four staff from Westminster’s Department of Architecture, and their practices, received awards in the Royal Institute of British Architects 2013 National and Regional Awards.

Montpelier Community Nursery, image courtesy Anthony Boulanger

Anthony Boulanger and AY Architects received a RIBA National Award for their Montpelier Community Nursery. Montpelier Nursery is run by Camden Community Nurseries (CCN), a charity and voluntary organisation providing childcare for 2-5 year olds. AY Architects worked closely with CCN and the local community to secure funding to replace an old dilapidated building with a new building on a site in Montpelier Gardens. The new building is planned around a central flexible playspace that generously opens out to a garden of mature trees. Indoor/outdoor play, children’s learning through nature, the experience of a bright and airy space and the architects’ continual engagement with parents, staff and children were central to the project.

Beverage Mews, image Morley von Sternberg courtesy Peter Barber

Peter Barber of Peter Barber Architects won a RIBA National Award for Beveridge Mews,  otherwise known as Hannibal Road Gardens, which comprises eight contemporary houses forming one side of a community garden on a 7.5 metre deep plot created by the demolition of disused garages at the rear of another Southern Housing Group block. Peter Barber’s clever three dimensional solution provides access through the shared garden to shared private courtyards, giving entrance to each house, each of which has at least three areas of outdoor space. The client wanted large homes for multi-generational families. As a result, the houses, with between three and seven bedrooms, achieved Lifetime Home standards. By incorporating features such as high thermal insulation, rainwater harvesting, low energy fittings and grey water recycling, the scheme alos achieved Level 3 Code for Sustainable Homes.

Wakefield St Townhouses, image courtesy Piercy & Co

Stuart Piercy of Piercy & Co received a Regional RIBA award for the Wakefield St Townhouses, part of the Great Marlborough Estates, Bloomsbury. The three light-filled, open-plan townhouses were among the first to be built in the Bloomsbury Conservation Area for more than 90 years. The contemporary design echoes the materials and proportions of the surrounding historic fabric. Heavily textured masonry and finely detailed stone cills, lintels and stringer courses create a contextually sensitive skin whilst the window proportions and generous floor to ceiling heights reflect the rich architectural language of neighbouring Georgian buildings.

Living Workshop, image courtesy Ullmayer Sylvester

Allan Sylvester of Ullmayer Sylvester won a Regional RIBA Award for Living Workshop.  This residential flat is located on the top floor of a Victorian terrace with views across a hop-scotch of gardens. The concept is that of the living workshop with all the spaces designed to be multi-use: the mezzanine houses a mobile bed and a retractable washing line. The kitchen at the lower level contains sliding storage walls and a kitchen island. Every single valuable corner was considered in the design for light quality, storage opportunity and theatrics.


‘The Oil Baron’s Club,’ Smart Gallery, Aberdeen, 2012. Courtesy John Walter.

The Department of Architecture is pleased to announce the award of its 2013 AHRC Research Studentship in design/practice-based architectural research to John Walter, an accomplished practicing artist, for his PHD proposal ‘Alien Sex Club.’ This will enable him to undertake three years of full time study towards a PHD at the University and engage with the wider research and teaching and learning communities.

John studied art at the University of Oxford and the Slade School of Fine Art. Since 2000, he has been in a number of one and two person exhibitions, performances and group shows, including the latest solo ‘Rococo Riots’ at VITRINE Gallery in London in 2013.

‘Hot Corners 1,’ Painting, 2013. Courtesy John Walter.

He has been recipient of a number of scholarships, residencies and awards, including a Sainsbury Scholarship at the British School at Rome (2006-2008). John’s work started in drawing and painting, but his ‘maximalist’ aesthetic soon extended to printmaking, sculpture, installation, performance and costume. He also has a long association with architecture. He worked with Bruce and Will McLean on the experimental primary school they designed for the North Ayrshire Education Department and has taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the AA since 2008. John’s methodology has led to complex and large-scale installations such as ‘The Tarot Garden’, at MEANTIME Project Space in Cheltenham, which brought together painting, installation, artist’s books and performance. Beginning in 2010 with ‘Bar Zsa Zsa’ at Paradise Lost Gallery, he organized a series of bar projects that used hospitality as a mechanism to question the status quo of what an art opening is and how art should be seen.

My work is visually excessive and its appearance initially deterred it from being exhibited alongside the work of others. Over time I have taken responsibility for contextualising it by using my methodology as a curatorial strategy or by working collaboratively with others.

This process of reorganizing and reclassifying the relationship between objects in the world was exemplified by his 2011 curatorial project ‘Two Peacocks’, which transformed Gallery North in Newcastle into a Department Store, as a means of rethinking the group show. The project used architecture as an organisational device for interrogating authorship and the rhetoric of the artist as originator.

‘Two Peacocks,’ Gallery North, Newcastle, 2011. Courtesy John Walter

John has recently been collaborating with Victoria Watson on ‘SUPREMATECA,’ a four-storey hybrid of architecture and painting designed as a series of portals into another world and is currently working on a moving image project entitled ‘An AIDS Opera’ in collaboration with the UCL research group A Comprehensive Assessment of the Prevention Role of Antiretroviral therapy (CAPRA) to investigate the effect that antiretroviral therapy (ART) has on sexual transmission risk.

My application to work on a PHD is the next stage in my attempt to find a place for my work in the world.

John’s PHD proposal, ‘Alien Sex Club’ aims to problematize HIV-AIDS awareness using research methods from the disciplines of art, architecture and immersive theatre. The project will investigate the relationship between internal, psychophysiological drives, habits of cruising and the interior architecture of the gay sex club. This space is designed to allow for sexual contact with multiple partners through a prolonged stay. A recurring feature is a ‘cruise maze,’ a form of architectural puzzle designed to entertain the brain through a temporary loss of whereabouts. Cruising is a hermetic courtship, the rules of which necessitate that it never blossoms into an enduring relationship. The temporariness of this human contact causes the participant to experience a number of traumas that impact on the self. John suggests that for gay men, cruising re-enacts alienation through role-play, imagination, practice, abandonment, avoidance and dispersal of self. This results in an ego death, which corresponds to an increase of risk. If the architecture of cruising can beintervened in to alter the behaviour of its members then perhaps rates of HIV infection can be reduced.

‘The News,’ 6 hour long performance streamed live at Vanilla Galleries, Leicester, 2012. Courtesy John Walter.

The PHD will incorporate six key research strands, which will inform a written thesis and an installation. These will use spatial design (‘Invisible Mazes’), language (‘Post Polari’), costume design (‘Exoskeleton’), sculpture (‘Prophylactic’) video and performance (‘Replacement Trance’) and painting (‘Pill Burden’) as modes of practice based research. John’s PHD will contribute to the Experimental Practice (EXP) research group. He will be supervised by Adam Eldridge, Victoria Watson and Francis Ray White (Department of Social and Historical Studies).

For more of John’s work click here.



Courtesy Ayse Senturer

Professor Ayse Sentürer from Istanbul Technical University will be visiting the architecture department as part of our ongoing Erasmus Teaching Mobility scheme in June 2013. She will attend the MA Architecture final crits on June 5th and will deliver a lecture on June 6th entitled  ‘Designing through layered archi-cine sections / sectional-montages.’ The lecture will take place on Thursday 6th June, 13.00 – 14.00 in M421. For those who are interested in reading this paper, it is published here (Senturer, A. 2012. Designing through layered archi-cine sections / sectional-montages. In E. M. Formia (Ed.) Innovation in Design Education (Proceedings of the Third International Forum of Design as a Process), (pp. 286-307). Torino: Umberto Allemandi & C).


Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif’s work in Birzeit for Riwaq, The Palestinian Centre for Architectural Conservation, has been short listed for an Aga Kahn Award. This five-year project, part of a rehabilitation master plan initiated by Riwaq, has transformed the decaying town of Birzeit, created employment through conservation and revived vanishing traditional crafts in the process. Community involvement was encouraged from the start, including local NGOs, the private sector, owners, tenants and users, all working with the municipality. Both historic buildings and public spaces have been rehabilitated into community activity hubs. Replaced sections of wall remain distinguishable from the original structures, without harming architectural coherence. Lost features were replaced where there was clear evidence for their former appearance, such as floor tiles with Palestinian motifs. Affordable traditional techniques and local materials were used throughout. Where no historical models were available, new elements were made in a bold contemporary spirit. For more information about the project click here.

Golzari and Sharif are founder members of the Palestine Architecture Regeneration Team (PART). Golzari is a PHD student and teaches at the University of Westminster; Sharif completed her PHD with us in 2011. Both are members of NG Architects in London.




The School of Architecture and the Built Environment’s Global Itineraries Research Cluster invites you to a seminar that will examine the changing nature of capital cities and the fluidity of their definitions, roles and representations for different publics over time.


Professor Robert Maitland, Professor of City Tourism, Director, Centre for Tourism Research

Tourism and National Capitals in Globalised World

National capitals play a central role in tourism in a globalised world, but their special qualities – their capitalness – can be elusive. Yet tourism representation shapes the ways in which capitals and nations are seen. Capitals appeal to visitors through accumulations of heritage and cultural assets, as centres of power and as symbols of national identity, representing the nation to itself and the outside world.  Globalisation, territorial change and the rise of sub-state nationalisms have seen cities acquiring, aspiring to, adapting or abandoning their national capital status. This involves the creation, reinterpretation and revalorisation of buildings, spaces and national symbols to emphasise new status and negotiate contested identities. Tourism representation reflects and reveals how tensions between capitals’ cosmopolitan and distinct national roles are played out, how new versions of the national story are developed and the centrality of architecture and the built environment in these processes

Dr Davide Deriu

Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, M Arch Course Director

Picturing Modern Ankara: New Turkey in Western Imagination

With the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, in October 1923, Ankara became the laboratory and showcase of the nation-building project led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. A number of European architects, planners, and artists were involved in the transformation of this small Anatolian town into the political and symbolic centre of the ‘New Turkey’ At the same time, European observers were drawn to witness a place that was described as ‘the most extraordinary capital in the world’. At a crucial juncture, in which the geopolitical space of the Orient was radically reconfigured, Ankara provided an unexpected terrain of cross-cultural encounters between East and West. This paper explores the historical traces of these encounters that emerge from an uncharted body of sources, ranging from early-1920s travel writings to the first comprehensive accounts of the new capital published in the mid-1930s. The analysis of this diverse literature shows that Ankara destabilised the discursive frame through which the West had hitherto constructed the Orient as its irreducible other

Ben Stringer and Jane McAllister

Principal Lecturer, Department of Architecture; Undergraduate Architecture Course Leader, Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design, London Metropolitan University

Guided by the lights in Palma and Magaluf

To travel 10 kilometres around the bay of Palma, from the historic alleys and squares of Mallorca’s urbane and sophisticated capital, Palma de Mallorca, to the ‘notorious’ beach resort of Magaluf, is apparently to traverse a giant cultural and class divide. This paper discusses the very different modes of tourism that have developed in these two places. It focuses on photographs taken as a means of understanding the contrasting relationships with urban spaces that these two kinds of tourism have, and the ways their respective behavioural patterns are represented and encouraged in media such as guide books, TV documentaries and internet chatrooms.


Professor Peter Newman

Professor of Comparative Urban Planning, Department of Planning and Transport

16th May, 17.30 – 19.30 pm

C422 Postgraduate Teaching Room

Chiltern Building, 35 Marylebone Road



The Department of Architecture is pleased to announce that the University has just appointed Leon van Schaik and Michael Sorkin as Visiting Professors for three years.

Professor Leon van Schaik is Innovation Professor of Architecture at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. He has taught at the AA and at Harvard and served on numerous boards, including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Australian Housing and Research Institute and the UIA Science Committee. At RMIT, van Schaik pioneered the innovative practice-based Masters and PHD programs for architects and designers whose work already demonstrates mastery in their field. This has been run successfully for over 20 years and now includes a European version run in partnership with Sint-Lucas Visual Arts in Ghent, Belguim. The Department of Architecture at Westminster wishes to partner with RMIT and Sint-Lucas in offering the European version of the PHD by practice and in developing joint research grant proposals. One such grant proposal, ADAPT-r (Architecture, Design and Art Practice Training – research) has recently been approved by the Marie Curie Foundation. Professor van Schaik’s appointment will build on the relationship developed during his previous period as a Visiting Professor, during which time he provided valuable support to the development of the department’s research profile. This was acknowledged by the previous director of architectural research, Murray Fraser, in his submission to the RAE in 2008.

Professor Michael Sorkin is an award winning architect and Distinguished Professor of Architecture who has taught at numerous schools of architecture around the world, including the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the AA, and Yale and Harvard universities. His books include The Next Jerusalem, After the World Trade Center, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan and All Over the Map. He is currently Director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York. Sorkin is also the Chair of the New York Institute for Urban Design, a non-profit organisation that provides a forum for debate about contemporary urban planning, development and design and runs his own urban design practice, Michael Sorkin Studio. Association with Professor Sorkin will benefit the school by exposure of staff and students to his extensive architecture and urban design practice in Asia and South East Asia, and in debates about sustainable cities. This will be of benefit to a number of the disciplines in the school, including architecture, urban design and planning. An annual public lecture will promote the School’s public profile. Professor Sorkin’s appointment will support the school’s global strategy to build networks and partnerships in Asia and South East Asia.


As part of the Critical Humanitarianism Series at the University of Westminster, Tony Lloyd-Jones will speak on the issue of urban resilience and how it is being used to address heightened concerns about the risks associated with climate change and rapid urban development.

Tony Lloyd-Jones is an architect-planner and development practitioner of many years standing. He is currently a Reader and Course Leader in International Planning and Sustainable Development at the University of Westminster. He also directs the research and consultancy activities of the University’s Max Lock Centre. In 2005, he was part of the team that set up the Tsunami Recovery Network, which later became the Development from Disasters Network. Since 2005 he has been a member of the RICS Major Disaster Management Commission and has been working with RICS and the other built environment professional institutes to highlight and augment the role of architects, surveyors, engineers and planners in disaster management practice. Heightened concerns about the risks associated with climate change and rapid urbanisation are concentrating international attention on the issue of urban resilience. What does this term mean, where has it come from and why has it becomes the current buzz word in the sustainable cities discourse? According to the World Bank: the idea of resilience suggests a proactive stance towards risk. Since the Hyogo Framework of 2005, the idea of risk reduction has been central to discussions concerning disaster management. However, as the recent tsunami in Northern Japan amply demonstrated, it is difficult if not impossible to eliminate all risk arising from a hazardous event. We also need to be prepared, plan for, and work with local communities for managing risk and for effective recovery and reconstruction if and when disasters strike.  This talk will explore the implications of the emerging urban resilience agenda for the built environment professions.

19 March 2013, Room M421, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS.


As part of the Critical Humanitarianism Series at the University of Westminster, Isis Nunez Ferrera, architect, PhD researcher and development practitioner will reflect on the ethical implications, benefits and limitations of ASF-UK’s Change by Design workshops, based on lessons learned in Brazil and Kenya.

12 March 2013, Room M421, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, london NW1 5LS.

Clare Hamman was appointed Visiting Research Fellow of ABE at the School’s Research Committee meeting last Thursday, 28 February.  
Clare has an association with the school going back to 2008. She was key to the research, development and project management of the Archigram Archive. She subsequently worked as a sub-editor for two Supercrit books, working closely with Kester Rattenbury and Samantha Hardingham to source images, check for copyright and to sub-edit the manuscripts. She is currently working on digitizing the three remaining Supercrits, to be submitted with the hard copy books to the 2013 REF. Her appointment will enable her to advise further on other digital publication projects in the department.  
Visiting Research Fellow Appointments are honorary, unpaid appointments for three years. They are made on the basis that the individual appointed will assist in the development of the School’s research and reputation. I am very pleased to announce the formalisation of Clare’s relationship with us in this way and welcome her to the department. 


As part of the Critical Humanitarianism Series at the University of Westminster, The Palestine Regeneration Team (PART: Murray Fraser, Nasser Golzari, Miriam Ozanne and Yara Sharif) will provide insight into their efforts to find ways to enact spatial change in Palestine where the map is becoming ever more fragmented. While searching for possibilities  to heal the fractures caused by occupation, the speakers will share a journey of critical reflection about their experience of working on live projects with NGO’s and the local community in this contested terrain.

5 March 2013, Room M421, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, london NW1 5LS.

Two graduates of Westminster’s Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part II course, Sebastian Kite and Will Laslett, are currently showcasing their installations internationally, with a solo exhibition in Berlin. Lichtspiel runs from 7 February – 9 March 2013 at Import Projects, Keithstrasse 10, Berlin.

Lightplay, the title of the exhibition, signifies the concurrent medium in the installations on show. Light plays both a conceptual and active role in the practice of Kite and Laslett: it is a means by which to explore the immaterial through our interaction and phenomenological experience of architectural space.

Kite and Laslett  studied the Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part II course at Westminster (formerly known as the Graduate Diploma in Architecture) and graduated in 2010. They specialise in producing architectural interventions in the form of interactive installations. They have recently exhibited in Berlin, presenting their dynamic sculpture Panoptic in the former Women’s Prison in Kantstrasse for platform79 – the berlin project 09/12; and kinetic laser installation Orbit + Candescence for the temporary club +-0 in derelict Postbahnhof, 11/12.

For more information about Kite and Laslett visit


London Research Cluster Seminar organised by Expanded Territories, a research group in architecture.

Architecture, urbanism and geology are deeply interconnected.  In creating conditions of habitability, our species has responded to, reorganized, transported and reshuffled earth materials to such an extent that new geological conditions have emerged, many of which will play out for thousands, if not millions of years. We have radically transformed the earth’s geomorphology, its surface, its atmosphere and its climate. Large cities are hotspots in this geological transformation. They are sites where materials that took slow and powerful earth forces millions of years to create have been intensified and where powerful new geological forces have been unleashed. This seminar proposes to examine some of these processes at work in London.

Date: Thursday 14th March at 5.30pm

Venue: M204, Westminster University, Marylebone Campus,

35 Marylebone Road

London NW1 5LS


Lindsay Bremner, Director of Architectural Research, University of Westminster; Nick Beech, Architectural Historian, University of Westminster; Diana Clements, London Geodiversity Partnership; David Dernie, Dean, Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster; Simon Phillips, Construction Logistics Manager, Crossrail Project.

Geology and the Building of London

Diana Clements, Geologist, London GeoDiversity Partnership

Diana is author of the Geological Guide to London and a member of the London Geodiversity Partnership. Her interest in geology and building began when she mounted an exhibition called Beneath your feet: the Geology of Islington in 2001, which demonstrated how geology has influenced London’s urbanization. Diana will give and overview of London’s geology, how it has influenced the development of the city and its materials have been put to good use.

Stone, Time and the City

David Dernie, Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Despite the rapidly changing identities of today’s urban landscapes, the use of stone in building is increasing. Although this archaic material seems to contradict the fast moving image of the modern city, stone still seems to be of worth. On the one hand it can stand for the stability and strength of a government or its civic institutions, on the other it represents the prosperity of financial institutions. It is both a high street commodity, a symbol of corporate identity and collective strength all at once. Stone’s very immobility, mass and natural figurations render it a tableau of geological time, of Arcadian dreams, of resilience and perhaps, hope.  This paper will ask why is stone still such a powerful material in contemporary urban environments? What is that shapes the power of stone in the 21st century city, where every town’s ambition is to be networked into super-modern global systems?

What is London Clay? A Social Democratic Solution

Nick Beech, Architectural Historian, Department of Architecture

Nick Beech is an architectural historian whose field of study is the architectural profession and construction industry of Second World War and immediate post-war London. He will present a paper discussing the way in which ‘London Clay’ emerged through the 1930s and 1940s as an object of new technical procedures, political concerns, and commercial gain. As well as a very brief overview of the changing structure of soil engineering in the period, the paper presents a specific history of London Clay at the South Bank during its reconstruction in the late 1940s.

Wallasea Island – An Innovative Use of Excavated Material

Simon Phillips, Construction Logistics Manager, Crossrail Project

Crossrail is a new railway route through London from Maidenhead and Heathrow via Paddington, Liverpool Street and Stratford to Shenfield, and via Whitechapel to Canary Wharf and Woolwich ending at Abbey Wood.  Crossrail will be constructing 21 km of new sub-surface twin-bore railway through London and 8 new sub-surface stations.  A scheme of national significance and benefit, Crossrail is the largest civil engineering project in Europe.  The route length of its railway system is 118.5km (74 miles) in total.  Crossrail preparatory works started in 2009 with major construction commencing in 2010. The railway will take some eight years to complete. Passenger services are programmed to begin in late 2017. Crossrail will produce approximately 6 million tonnes of excavated material and had committed to find suitable locations for the beneficial reuse of this material to avoid disposal to landfill.  Wallasea Island in Essex has now been identified and agreement reached with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to allow about 4.5 million tonnes of the material to be placed at Wallasea Island to create a major new wildlife reserve.





Religious tension, diminishing resources, urban dwelling and environmental catastrophes continue to create vulneraeel regions throughout the wold. The necessity for architects to address humanitarian and environmental issues in their practices is increasing. Do architects have the means to address these issues through their work? Or are we powerless to act? Through a series of 6 talks on ‘Critical Humanitarianism’ by architects volunteering for charities or working with NGO’s in the development sector, we aim to raise some of the difficult ethical and political questions about humanitarian work and its relations with power.
This is the third of six talks in the series ‘Critical Humanitarianism.’

Religious tension, diminishing resources, urban dwelling and environmental catastrophes continue to create vulneraeel regions throughout the wold. The necessity for architects to address humanitarian and environmental issues in their practices is increasing. Do architects have the means to address these issues through their work? Or are we powerless to act? Through a series of 6 talks on ‘Critical Humanitarianism’ by architects volunteering for charities or working with NGO’s in the development sector, we aim to raise some of the difficult ethical and political questions about humanitarian work and its relations with power.
This is the second of six talks in the series ‘Critical Humanitarianism.’
7pm January 29th 2013
School of Architecture, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
Eyal Weizman Lecture – The Roundabout RevolutionEyal Weizman, architect, curator and author of ‘The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza’ will speak at the first of a 6 part lecture series – Critical Humanitarianism.  Eyal Weizman is Professor of Visual Cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011 he also directs the European Research Council funded project, Forensic Architecture – on the place of architecture in international humanitarian law. Since 2007 he is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine.Religious tension, diminishing resources, city dwelling and environmental catastrophies continue to create vulnerable regions throughout the world.  The necessity for Architects to address humanitarian and environmental issues in their practice is increasing.  Do architects have the means to address these issues through their work?  Or are we powerless to act?  Through a series of 6 talks addressing ‘Critical Humanitarianism’ by Architects volunteering for Charities or working with NGO’s in the Development Sector we aim to raise some of the difficult ethical and political questions about Humanitarian work and it’s relation to power.

The Roundabout Revolution at 7pm, Wednesday 29th January at the School of Architecture, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (Baker Street Underground, opp. Madame Tussauds).


PAPER will host a Panel Discussion on the Limitations of Architectural Zines with guests David Garcia (MAP), Jack Self (FULCRUM), Matthew Butcher (P.E.A.R.) and Mark Prizeman (NATO)

When: Thursday 24th January 2013, 6.30 – 8.30 pm

Where: MG14, Ground Floor, Westminster University, 35 Marylebone Road,  NW1 4LS

Entrance: Free

This will be followed by the launch of PAPER Issue No. 9

Herewith an open call for contributions for PAPER, an inter-disciplinary zine designed and edited by a group of our former students, that welcomes contributions from all fields.
PAPER’s  website is currently under construction. But please check their blog / website in the near future for events and updates.
Contributions should be sent to:

Department of Architecture

School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Three years, full time, £16,000 annual stipend plus fee waiver

We are inviting applications for a full-time AHRC PhD Studentship in the area of design or practice based architectural research, starting in September 2013.

The studentship will be located within the Department of Architecture in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, one of the best-known centres for design and practice-based research in Britain, indeed internationally. In the RAE2008 the department’s research was rated as 20% 4* level, 40% 3*, 30% 2* and 10% 1*. Notably, this included a higher proportion (approximately 35%) of design and practice-based research than any other architectural school in the country. Research staff involved in supervising PhDs are internationally recognized as leaders in their fields. Lindsay Bremner’s Writing the city into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998 – 2008 won the 2011 New York based Urban Communication Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Book Award, John Bold’s work on the built heritage of the Balkans has raised over 60 million euros for heritage-based rehabilitation projects and EXP’s Archigram Archival Project, by Kester Rattenbury et al. is often cited as one of the best online architectural resources in the world.

Research in the department is loosely clustered into four groups – Expanded Territories, Experimental Practice (EXP), Historical and Cultural Studies and Technical Studies. Applications are invited for design or practice based architectural research in the Expanded Territories or Experimental Practice (EXP) clusters. Expanded Territories probes areas normally considered beyond the realm of architecture – the underwater, the underground, the ocean, the air, the informal, the interior etc. as fertile grounds for architectural research and speculation. EXP supports documents and generates major experimental design projects that have acted or act as laboratories for the architectural profession, including built and un-built design projects, books, exhibitions and other forms of practice.

Eligible candidates will hold at least an upper second class honours degree and a Masters degree and must have Home/EU fee status and a relevant connection with the UK, normally consisting of minimum of three years residence.  Candidates whose secondary level education has not been conducted in the medium of English should also demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as 6.5 in IELTS (with not less than 6.0 in any of the individual elements).

The Studentship consists of a fee waiver and a stipend of £16,000 per annum. Successful candidates will be expected to undertake some teaching duties.

Prospective candidates wishing to informally discuss an application should contact Dr Lindsay Bremner,

The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 4 March 2013

For further information, including how to apply, please visit

This studentship is funded under the AHRC’s Block Grant Partnership (CB) with the University of Westminster.  For further information, please visit

We hope to see you all* at the Christmas Lecture next week; a rare London visit from legendary architect/engineer Dante Bini accompanied by his son Nic.

Mince Pies and Drinks served

Dr Dante Bini & Nic Bini
The Binishell Dome and Construction Automation
Thursday 13th December, 6.30pm, Room M421
The iconoclastic Italian born architect and engineer Dr Dante Bini and his architect son Nic Bini are making a rare trip to London from the US. Dante Bini, a pioneer of automated construction systems came to prominence with the invention of his Binishell Dome construction system that used air inflated fabric-formwork to create large span concrete shell structures. This unique construction method was first developed and tested by Bini in the mid 1960’s and notably demonstrated in 1967 with the creation of a 20m diameter dome at Columbia University in New York City at the bequest of celebrated engineer and Columbia Professor Mario Salvadori. Thousands of ‘Bini’ domes have been fabricated all over the world for use as schools, sports facilities, industrial buildings, holiday apartments and dwellings that famously include a domed holiday home in Sardinia for film director Michelangelo Antonioni and his then lover actress Monica Vitti.
In 2013 Bibliotheque McLean will publish an English edition of the Dante Bini monograph ‘a cavallo di un soffio d’aria’.
Free to attend no booking required
Hugh Broughton – Hugh Broughton Architects
The Antarctic Projects
Thursday 6th December, 6.30pm, Room M421
School of Architecture and the Built Environment
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
Working with AECOM, Hugh Broughton Architects won the competition to design the new Halley VI Research Station in Antarctica for the British Antarctic Survey. This extraordinary project has required the practice to investigate a wide range of technical and programmatic issues in the design of buildings for remote locations subject to extreme environmental conditions. Whilst Hugh Broughton Architects (HBA) continue to develop homegrown projects such as their award winning Maidstone Museum, the success of Halley VI project has meant that designing for extreme environments is an increasingly important part of HBA’s work.
Broughton’s international competition winning design for the self-sufficient scientific research base of Halley VI is now operational on a floating ice shelf 900 miles from South Pole. Hydraulically elevated ski based modules respond to annually rising snow levels and the need to relocate the base if the site calves off as an iceberg. A special central module provides a dramatic open plan social area at the heart of the station. The project demonstrates Broughton’s ability to create sustainable design with exceptional technical criteria.
Hugh Broughton Architects have been shortlisted for the Building Design (BD) Architect of the Year Award 2012 in the International Breakthrough Category.
For Lecture details
Will McLean / Pete Silver

The Making of Modern Ankara: Space, Politics, Representation

An international symposium organised by the Architecture Research Group at the University of Westminster in conjunction with SOAS Seminars on Turkey was held on Friday 23 November 2012 at the University of Westminster. The half-day symposium was convened by Dr Davide Deriu and brought together a panel of scholars from architecture, planning, art history, heritage and Turkish studies to revisit the making of modern Ankara in a cross-disciplinary perspective, while also debating its legacy on the eve of the Republic’s 90th anniversary.

The following are the abstracts of the papers presented at the symposium.

Elvan Altan Ergut

Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara

Building for the Nation State and the Economy: The Banks Street in Ankara

The Banks Street in Istanbul played a significant role in the financial life of the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the nineteenth century with the establishment of many banks and companies in other new sectors of the economy. The banking sector became even more essential for the economy after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the foundation of the new Turkish state in the early twentieth century. The banks that had been founded during the Ottoman period were mostly foreign investments – at least partially. The new state aimed at a national system of banking for economic independence, hence financially supported the founding of national banks. Bank buildings were then constructed along the new Banks Street, in the very center of the new capital city, together with the buildings that housed the new political administration. This paper analyzes the Banks Street in Ankara, focusing on the contextual as well as architectural characteristics and discussing the political and economic changes brought about by the Turkish Republic – also in comparison to the Ottoman experience in these terms.

Martina Becker

ENGLOBE/Marie Curie, Middle East Technical University, Ankara

The Institutionalisation of Popular Art in Republican Ankara

This paper seeks to supplement the different perspectives on Ankara with a look into the artistic activities in the early Republican capital. Central in this regard has been the Image-Craft Department [Resim-İş Bölümü] at the Gazi Teachers-Training School and Education Institute [Gazi Orta Muallim Mektebi ve Terbiye Enstitüsu]. Much like Ankara was meant to embody the model for Turkish cities, the Image-Craft Department was conceived as an example for art education in schools and community centres all over the country. Accordingly, the energies and means invested into the Department were enormous. Its agency in Ankara’s artistic domain alone justifies the study of the Department. The main reason, however, why this Department is central to this paper is its very peculiar approach to art, which cannot be labelled as ‘Turkish’ or ‘Western’ either. On the one hand, the first faculty members of the Department chiseled their professional profile outside of Turkey, mainly in Germany. On the other hand, they demonstrated a strong interest in the local. By following the actors, the linkages between the domestic and international activities come to the fore while the possibility or even the sense of re-producing clear-cut geographical delineations gradually vanishes. The paper concentrates on one of the first faculty members, Malik Aksel. After a general introduction to the Image-Craft Department, its situation within the city and its over-all approach to creative practices, the paper focuses on Malik’s studies – which were conducted in Istanbul, Berlin, and in a small village in Sweden. Lastly, it surveys his activities as a teacher and artist in Ankara. In doing so, the paper provides insights into the very individual experience of, and participation in, the Republican momentum of Ankara.

Eray Çaylı

University College London

Architecture, Politics and Memory Work: Ankara’s Ulucanlar Prison Museum

A recent period in Turkey’s history, which was marked by a series of military interventions in politics, has emerged in the past decade as a major reference point for various political discourses and rights-seeking movements in the country. In addition to this sociopolitical legacy, the period has also left a particular sort of architectural heritage to today’s Turkey. This heritage consists of sites that witnessed atrocious events during the period. While most of these sites continue to serve purposes irrelevant to the events in question, the Ulucanlar Prison in Ankara was the first among them to adopt a memorial-museal function. Prior to its redesign in 2010 as the Prison Museum, Ulucanlar served as a penitentiary from 1925 to 2006. In many respects, this makes the site a standing witness to the complicated political history of the Republic of Turkey. Providing an account of Ulucanlar’s history as a prison, its features as a museum, and the discussions around its museumification, this essay seeks to unveil the sociopolitical ramifications of this recent architectural transformation.

Davide Deriu

University of Westminster

The Journey to Ankara: ‘New Turkey’ in Western Imagination

Following its proclamation as capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Ankara became the laboratory of the nation-building project led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As has been widely documented, a number of European architects and planners were actively involved in the transformation of this small Anatolian town into the political and symbolic centre of ‘New Turkey’. Ankara also attracted many Western travellers who were drawn to witness and describe the making of ‘the most extraordinary capital in the world’. At a crucial juncture, in which the geopolitical space of the Orient was radically reconfigured, Ankara provided an unexpected terrain of cross-cultural encounters between East and West. This paper explores the historical traces of these encounters through the analysis of an uncharted body of sources, ranging from early-1920s travel accounts to the assessments of the city published in the 1930s. This multifaceted discourse shows that Republican Ankara became a contested field of representations that posed a challenge to the Western system of knowledge about the Orient.

Zeynep Kezer

University of Newcastle

Ankara: An archaeology of Unremembered Histories

Ankara rose to prominence as the staging ground of the Turkish Independence War, waged by the nationalists to liberate the country from post-WWI occupation (1919-1922). In 1923, upon victory, the nationalists proclaimed Ankara as the capital of the new republic. Building a modern capital was central to their efforts to reinvent Turkey as a nation-state, pronouncing a definitive break with the Ottoman past. In the preceding decades, Ankara had endured a string of disasters, experienced economic decline, and suffered significant population loss. Especially the forced deportation of the Armenians—with catastrophic consequences—during WWI, followed by the exchange of the Orthodox Christians with Greece had decisively changed Ankara’s demographic makeup. Despite their ambivalences about the particulars of this process, the nationalists mistrusted non-Muslim communities as potentially divisive and saw in their departures an opportunity for reinforcing a sense of national homogeneity. Bereft of its diversity, Ankara was seen as a tabula rasa on which to inscribe the structural transformation of the state. Contrary to its official depictions, however, Ankara was far from being a tabula rasa: the making of Turkey’s new capital was as much a process of physical and symbolic construction as it was of destruction. The nationalists considered the persistence of diverse cultural artifacts as vessels of alternative memories that were incompatible with the unifying narratives of nationalism they sought to inculcate in the citizenry. They consequently moved to appropriate and reinscribe public and private sites pertaining to Ankara’s non-Muslim communities with new uses and meanings. A substantial portion of new development in Ankara occurred on land that had been seized from these entities, erasing the physical traces of their existence. The continued omission of this process of destruction has long afflicted not only architectural history, but Turkish historiography in general, downplaying the overwhelming frictions during this profound transformation and their long term consequences.

Melania Savino

SOAS, Kunsthistorische Institut Florence

The display of the ancient past in modern Ankara

The disciplines of archaeology and museology underwent a profound reformation after the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. They became main fields of investment for the government aiming to create a national identity and to legitimize the newborn Republic of Turkey. The Kemalist idea was to found a new state with new traditions, a common heritage to share within the Turkish boundaries, while rejecting the multi-cultural past of the Ottoman Empire. Numerous excavations were conducted in Anatolia, starting in the 1930s, and consequently the archaeological museums were intended to play an important role in showing to the larger public the new archaeological discoveries. This paper explores the change occurred in curatorial practices and the display of antiquities in relation to the national identity of Turkey after the establishment of the Republic. In particular, the case of the Museum of Ankara represents the main institution founded to display the new archaeological discoveries of the Republican period. At the establishment of the Republic only a small depot existed in the citadel where objects had been preserved from the war. In the following years, antiquities from different periods (Hittite, Greek, Roman, Phrygian, Byzantine) were displayed in the Museum of Ethnography, the Temple of Augustus and the Bedesten. In the 1930s, the formulation of the Turkish History Thesis encouraged the government to devote an entire museum to the display of the newly-discovered Hittite finds. Focusing on the early archaeological museums set up in Ankara, the paper looks into the public negotiation of the new Republican identity through material culture over time. It explores the impact that dominant representations have had on the interpretations of archaeological objects in Turkey, and discusses the new relationship between the state and the museums that was established through the visual representation of the past.

For further information contact the symposium’s convenor, Dr Davide Deriu at




Image courtesy of Gillian Lambert

At this year’s summer Secret Garden Party on Abbot’s Ripton Estate in Cambridgeshire, festival goers were invited to pay homage to (wo)man’s best friend, the golden retriever. Responding to the festival’s theme of ‘Standing on Ceremony,’ Roding Projects, a collective of architects,designers and fabricators based in Hackney, created a 9m tall  gilded golden retriever inspired by the scale of giant statues of deities from around the globe. The canine form was carefully devised so that the structure could be prefabricated and dismantled precisely. Over 60 triangular timber panels were cut, then gilded in a workshop in Hackney before they were shipped to the grounds of Abbot’s Ripton Estate where the dog was assembled.

Image courtesy of Gillian Lambert

The towering silhoutte watched over its surroundings, part monumnet, part pet, part folly, part signpost for navigating the site. The golden trinagulaed structure was caught gleaming in the sunlight, whilst inside, a periscope allowed visitors to contemplate a long view into the distance across the festival site.

Image courtesy of Gillian Lambert

Team members: Nick Wood, Gillian Lambert, Andrew Friend with William Trossel, Geraldine Holland, Laura Smith, Matt Andrews and Ryan Roberts

Eric Parry – Eric Parry Architects
Context and Materiality
Thursday 29th November, 6.30pm, Room M421
Architecture and the Built Environment
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
Eric Parry studied at the University of Newcastle, The Royal College of Art and later the Architectural Association. He founded his practice, Eric Parry Architects Ltd in 1983, and the London based firm also opened an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Principle buildings and architectural projects Parry has worked on include Fortress Court, which provides student accommodation at Pembroke College, Cambridge and the office development at 30 Finsbury Square, EC2, which received a RIBA award.

Eric Parry was President of the Architectural Association in 2005 and remains an honorary Librarian of the Association. He served on the Advisory Panel of the Arts Council of England Visual Arts from 1991 – 2003. Parry has lectured at Cambridge, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, the University of Houston and at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Eric Parry Architects are responsible for several highly prestigious commercial projects in the City and West End including 5 Aldermanbury Square, 60 Threadneedle Street, 23 Savile Row and 50 New Bond Street. We are also responsible for cultural projects involving sensitive historic buildings including a significant new wing for the Holburne Museum of Art in Bath, and have completed the restoration and renewal project for the historic St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square. Eric Parry Architects are currently completing the St James’s Gateway project in Piccadilly featuring a unique Faience Cornice by sculptor Richard Deacon.
For details contact: Will McLean/Pete Silver
Ben Morris – Vector Foiltec
ETFE Enclosures
Thursday 22nd November, 6.30pm, Room M421
Architecture and the Built Environment 
University of Westminster
School of Architecture and the Built Environment
London NW1 5LS
ETFE was first patented by DuPont in the 1940s, but went commercial in the 1970s when US manufacturer DuPont and Hoechst in Germany launched ETFE wire and cable insulation. Vector Foiltec, a sailmaking firm set up in 1982, pioneered the architectural use of ETFE. Vector Foiltec, located in London and Bremen, is now the leading fabricator of ETFE cushions.

This talk looks at recent advances in ETFE technology. Ben Morris will discuss variable light transmission, controlling solar gain and ultraviolet rays, speciality coatings and printing, specialist lighting effects, colouring and patterning, full pixelated LED graphic display, enhanced plant growth (including the first grass in enclosed stadia) and cloud (fog) formation in Enric Ruis Geli’s Media-ICT building in Barcelona.

The Department of Architecture would like to announce that Madge, James. (2011). Sabbioneta: Cryptic City. London: Bibliotheque McLean won a commendation in the 2012 RIBA Presidents Awards for Research.  Congratulations to all involved; to James Madge, whose book it is; to Victoria Watson for ensuring the publication of the book and submitting it to the RIBA Research Awards; to Pete Silver and Andrian Forty for their references, to Andrew Peckham for the foreword and to Bibliotheque McLean for the beautiful book. 
For more about the book go here
For more about the awards go here 

The book is available here

Johnny Killock of the MArch (RIBA Part 2) became the first University of Westminster student to receive a prize at the United Nations, after coming 3rd in the individual category in the 2012 Student Design Competition “Integrated Communities: A Society for All Ages.”

His project, The School of Lost Skills, transforms space around a brewery and bakery in East London.  He explores how co-housing can be integrated into the wider community to create exciting, alternative ways of living at different stages of life.

Courtesy Johnny Killock

The award was announced at the UN’s World Urban Forum 6 in Naples, Italy on September 4th, and presented on World Habitat Day, 1 October 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York.

The design competition was established in 1994 to enhance understanding of the Age of Longevity and showcase innovative design solutions, preparing the next generation of designers to enhance the quality of life for the growing greying society. The 2012 competition was organized by the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC)in conjunction with the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT) and other partners.

ICCC’s mission is to help communities worldwide address the social, economic and cultural impact of Agequake in the design and planning for a better quality of life for all ages.

This award is in addition to numerous others won by Killock in 2011/2012, including the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship, the Future Communities Award at the Future Vision Awards, the Architecture Revolution 1-4 Competition, the International Ontological Design in Future Housing Space Competition and the Designing for Adaptable Futures Competition.

Supercrits take projects that have changed the weather of architecture and re-visit them in an international critical forum. The key protagonists are invited to present their projects, which may be built or unbuilt, temporary or permanent, to a panel of expert international critics, people who were actively involved at the time, an open audience of students, professionals and an interested public. Based on live studio debates between protagonists and critics, the books describe, explore and criticise these major projects.


Rattenbury, K. and Hardingham, S. (eds.) (2007) Supercrit #1. Cedric Price: Potteries Thinkbelt. London: Routledge.

Rattenbury, K. and Hardingham, S. (eds.) (2007) Supercrit #2. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown: Learning from Las Vegas. London: Routledge.

Rattenbury, K. and Hardingham, S. (eds.) (2011) Supercrit #3. Richard Rogers: the Pompidou Centre. London: Routledge.

Rattenbury, K. and Hardingham, S. (eds.) (2011) Supercrit #4. Bernard Tschumi: Parc de la Villette . London: Routledge.

Supercrits 5 – 7 (Rem Koolhaas: Delirious New York; Leon Krier: Poundbury; and Michael Wilford: Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart) will be published digitally in 2013.




Tregenza, P and Wilson, M. (2011). Daylighting: Architecture and Lighting Design. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0419257004

This authoritative and multi-disciplinary book provides architects, lighting specialists, and anyone else working daylight into design, with all the tools needed to incorporate this most fundamental element of architecture.The book is centred on practical daylighting design. It describes how new thinking about peoples’ needs and about the requirements of sustainability is leading to a radical shift in daylighting design practice.Daylighting: Architecture and Lighting Design is a book which should trigger creative thought. It recognises that good lighting design needs both knowledge and imagination.

“An interdisciplinary work of high quality with a broad spectrum from urban planning and architecture to lighting design that is well balanced between scientific principles and practical relevance” – Helmut Mueller, Detail


Spankie, R. (2009) Basics Interior Architecture 03. Drawing out the Interior. London: Ava. ISBN: 978-2940373888

Basics Interior Architecture: Drawing out the Interior aims to provide an introduction to the representation of interior space through drawing and modelling. It introduces the reader to a range of techniques and methods and describes when and where to use them. Starting with what is meant by interior architecture and why designers draw in the first place, it goes on to explore what one might draw and when. This book is not a manual of graphic techniques but a reference and inspiration to the types of drawing and ways of making images available. It considers the idea that the method we choose to draw with influences the way we think and therefore what we design. With sketches and drawings from Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenakis, Mies van der Rohe, Project Orange and Carlo Scarpa.



Bold, J. and Hinchcliffe, T. (2009) Discovering Lodon’s Buildings: With 12 Walks. London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 9780711229181

Discovering London’s Buildings is an original, highly accessible guide to understanding the city’s incredibly diverse architecture. Because of the variety, complexity, and sheer number of its structures, it’s far more difficult to get a sense of how London developed than it is with Rome, Paris, or New York. This book uses a selective and thematic approach to look at elements of the architecture and the services provided: domestic, commercial, religious, and institutional. There are chapters on houses and apartments as well as on offices, churches, and government buildings. Other sections focus on schools and railway stations, shops and pubs, buildings for sport, and parks. Extensively illustrated and richly informed, the book celebrates both the masterpieces and the mundane, dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. It culminates in 12 themed architectural walks throughout the city, each carefully planned to explore a diverse range of buildings.


The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) has recently launched an open-access, peer-reviewed journal called Architectural HistoriesAs members of the EAHN Committee, Davide Deriu and  Josie Kane have contributed to developing the journal and are on the Editorial Board. 
Articles can be submitted in three categories:position papers of circa 3,000 words, essays of circa 7,000 words, substantial contributions up to 25,000 words.Essays and substantial contributions will be subjected to double-blind peer review. Position papers will be published in a separate section under editorial responsibility. 
The first issue of Architectural Histories is now accepting submissions. All contributions that fit the focus and scope of the journal are welcomeThe second issue of Architectural Histories will be a themed issue that will unveil historical perspectives on “crisis”. 
Full information visit the journal’s website:

Higgot, A. and Wray, T. (eds.). (2012). Camera Constructs: Photography, Architecture and the Modern City. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN: 978-1-4094-2145-0

Photography and architecture have a uniquely powerful resonance – architectural form provides the camera with the subject for some of its most compelling imagery, while photography profoundly influences how architecture is represented, imagined and produced. Camera Constructs is the first book to reflect critically on the varied interactions of the different practices by which photographers, artists, architects, theorists and historians engage with the relationship of the camera to architecture, the city and the evolution of Modernism.

The book contains twenty-three essays by a wide range of historians and theorists are grouped under the themes of ‘Modernism and the Published Photograph’, ‘Architecture and the City Re-imagined’, ‘Interpretative Constructs’ and ‘Photography in Design Practices.’

These include:

‘Transforming ideas into pictures: model photography and modern architecture,’ Davide Deriu

‘Slow spaces,’ William Firebrace

‘In defence of pictorial space: stereoscopic photography and architecture in the 19th century,’ Richard Difford


Madge, J. (2011). Sabbioneta: Cryptic City. London: Bibliotheque McLean. ISBN 978-0-9558868-1-2
James Madge approaches the 16th century ‘ideal city’ of Sabbioneta in Northern Italy by conceiving the city as a work of architecture, in other words as a form conditioned by the circumstances of its production. Influenced, but by no means persuaded, by the arguments of the rationalist architects Giorgio Grassi and Aldo Rossi, Madge uses the case of Sabbioneta as a means of testing their thinking about the relationship between form and reality. What he discovers is that the most pressing reality factor in the production of Sabbioneta is the mind of Vespasiano Gonzaga. Vespasiano ’s reflections upon architecture, as expressed in Sabbioneta, offer insights into the changing social environment that was the basis of his world; however – and this is what interests Madge – in doing so they, perhaps inadvertently, tell us something about the history of modern architecture.
In 2008 Mantua and Sabbioneta were designated World Heritage Sites by Unesco.
McLean, W. (ed). (2008). Quik Build: Adam Kalkin’s ABC of Container Architecture. London: Bibliotheque McLean. ISBN 978-0-9558868-0-5
Adam Kalkin’s Quik House is at once one of the most viable pre-fabricated systems available today – it  provides a spacious dwelling, with elements of consumer customization with the most efficient reduction of both energy waste and of cost in every iteration – and a conceptual artistic stance that has yet to have run the full course of shifting and evolving meanings. ” Barry Bergdoll – Museum of Modern Art, NYC
US architect Adam Kalkin began utilising the steel-shipping container in selected projects circa 2000 exemplified in the iconic Quik House. This book features 32 fully illustrated projects, many previously unpublished. Projects range from the hydraulically powered Pandora ’s box of the Push Button House, the industrial civility of the Adriance House and the thoughtful expediency of the Refugee Village and FEMA housing concepts. Divided into three sections and generously illustrated with orthographic drawings, renders, colour photography and Kalkin ’s own hieroglyphs this beautifully produced book encapsulates the extraordinary and idiosyncratic range and quality of Kalkin ’s work. The opening section of the book contains accompanying essays from Barry Bergdoll (Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture & Design, Museum of Modern Art, NYC), Alastair Gordon (regular contributor to the New York Times, author of several books, including Spaced Out: Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties and Naked Airport) and editor Will McLean.

The Making of Modern Ankara: Space, Politics, Representation.

An international symposium organised by the Architecture Research Group at the University of Westminster in conjunction with SOAS Seminars on Turkey.

The making of modern Ankara is a momentous yet oft-neglected episode in twentieth century history. The transformation of this ancient Anatolian town into the capital of the Turkish Republic captured the world’s attention during the interwar period, when Ankara became a laboratory of modernisation and nation building.

Largely designed by European architects, the new capital embodied the reformist ethos of a secular state firmly projected towards the West. Today as this sprawling ity of over four million seeks to reinvent ints identity, its modern development is the subject of growing scholarship and public interest.

The half-day symposium brings together a panel of scholars from architecture, planning, art history, heritage and Turkish studies to revisit the making of modern Ankara in a cross-disciplinary perspective, while also debating its legacy on the eve of the Republic’s 90th anniversary.

The event will be followed by the launch of Building Identities, an exhibition about Ankara’s Republican architecture curated by the Turkish Chamber of Architects, Ankara Branch.

Participants include:

Elvan Altan Ergut, Middle East Technical University

Martina Becker, ENGLOBE/Marie Curie, Middle East Technical University

Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster

Eray Cayli, University College London

Davide Deriu, Univesity of Westminster

Benjamin Fortna, SOAS

Zeynep Kezer, University of newcastle

Melania Savino, SOAS, Kunsthistorische Institut Florence

When: Friday 23 November, 2012, 2-7pm (followed by exhibition opening and reception)

Where: MG14, School of Architectrue and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Registration: The event is free. Please register at


All images courtesy of Clare Harper and James Perry

Claire Harper and James Perry were conceptual submissions winners of the Peabody 150 Homes for 150 Years Competition in 2012. Harper is a PHD student at the University of Westminster and Perry was a PG Dip Prof Practice (RIBA Part III) student in 2012, having completed his MA in Urban and Regional Planning a year earlier. Both graduated from Newcastle University in 2008.

To celebrate the Peabody’s 150th Anniversary, the housing association launched an international competition to design 150 homes on a former hospital site in the east end of London.  The conceptual competition, run in parallel to the design competition highlighted the talent of practices that did not meet its pre-qualification criteria.

Perry and Harper’s winning design takes the theme ‘Room to Grow,’ developing a series of typologies based around flexibility, adaptability and strategies for providing extra space.


“It’s great to be acknowledged and to have received such generosity from the Peabody Trust supporting young designers like ourselves,” says James Perry. “The proposal was based on a series of design strategies to provide a little extra space on top of the bare minimum; which can have immense value – as a space for work, hobbies, socialising or expanding into.  It was a fantastic opportunity to explore and test ideas around housing design.”

Their proposal takes its lead from the Peabody schemes of the early 20th century.  A robust outer façade encloses a softer, sociable heart, expressed in the contrast between the brick wall of row housing that defines the site edge and the composite of lightweight panels that make up the softer facades that face onto the shared communal spaces.  Communal spaces, gardens that expand the private gardens of the row houses and large, semi-enclosed courtyards for the flats provide essential ‘room to grow’.  The courtyards that give access to the flats provide the space for residents to pursue personal endeavours, group projects, or to expand outside of the dwelling for a social gathering, otherwise curtailed by a shortage of space.  The architectural identity of the scheme is defined by the palette of materials; russet brick from the dismantled hospital buildings contrasted against a porous façade of timber prefabricated panels.




Staff and students at the University of Westminster were nominated for three out of four categories in the 2012 RIBA President’s Awards for Research. The awards promote and champion high-quality research and encourage its dissemination and incorporation into the knowledge base of the profession. They contribute to raising the profile of architects and academics engaged in research, and raise awareness of the need for research across the profession to foster innovation and strategic thinking. The University of Westminster was nominated in :

Outstanding Master’s Degree Thesis

Silviya Ilieva: Living Architecture: An Experiment in Biomimicry

Tutor: Richard Difford

Outstanding PhD Thesis:

Jon Goodbun: The Architecture of the Extended Mind: Towards a Critical Urban Ecology

Nicholas Beech of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and member of staff at the University of Westminster: Constructing Everyday Life: An architectural history of the South Bank in Production, 1948-51

Outstanding University-located Research

James Madge of the University of Westminster (posthumously) : Sabbioneta Cryptic City


All images courtesy of Johnny Killock

University of Westminster RIBA Part II Diploma student, Johnny Killock was awarded joint first prize in an international student competition, Designing for Adaptable Futures (DAF), which received over 150 submissions from 26 countries around the world. The competition, run by the Adaptable Futures (AF) group at Loughborough University, asked students to illustrate how the life of their proposal – whether product, building or urban intervention – would unfold through time: over an hour, day, year, decade, or perhaps a century.

Killock’s winning submission, Factory Home, focused on reshaping the live/work spatial relationship as part of a ‘third industrial revolution’. The proposal organised the building as three distinct zones – living, working and transition which are blurred through the use of flexible modules sliding in and out of the transition zone as needed throughout the day.Johnny Killock was part of Design Studio Seventeen at Westminster, with tutors William Firebrace and Gabby Shawcross.

Image courtesy Angela Brady

James Kirk won the Lifelines competition for ‘Active Ageing and Intergenerational Dialogue through the Eyes of Architectural Students’.

James commented on his winning piece, a thatched post-war tower block: “The thatched towers respond to the social change that has taken place in the past three decades in Bermondsey, providing training and a skilled trade for the long-term residents of the area who have been left behind by the economic upheaval that has taken place around them. By reintroducing a traditional craft, and casting a critical eye on how we regenerate and redevelop our existing building stock, I hope to make the case for sensitive alteration, extension and remodelling, as opposed to the more familiar deracination and demolition we euphemistically call ‘gentrification’, as an approach to reworking London’s decaying tower blocks.”

James Kirk was part of DS17 in the RIBA Part II Diploma Course, with tutors William Firebrace and Gabby Shawcross.

“The Part II course at Westminster allowed me to think critically about the role of architecture in the contemporary city, and apply academic theory to my design work” said James. “I was also able to explore interesting methods of representation to express my architectural ideas. The film that formed the centre-piece of my final project allowed me to express my ideas in a medium that is powerful because it is so versatile, immediate and widely accessible.”

The Lifelines exhibition of competition entries ran from 18 July – 7 September at the European Commission’s 12 Star Gallery, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU to coincide with the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.


Mid-level gallery. All images courtesy Nina Shen-Poblete

Nina Shen-Poblete (ds14, 2012) was selected from twenty-five entries as one of six architecture graduates in BD’s Class of 2012. This award forms part of BD’s Architect of the Year Awards.

Shen-Poblete’s ‘Knowledge Barter’ is a model of an educational system based on a free market utopia. She proposes a 100 x 100 x 100m cube for a new University of Thurrock. Located on the site of a disused rubber factory, in what was once the Bata shoe empire in East Tilbury, the scheme is the result of an obsessive inquiry into abstract linear representation.The project emerged out of a drawing experiment in which the students produced a series of studies from an existing image, developing an abstract language of line — “to translate simple marks upon the picture plane into code relational lines”, in the words of tutor Gordon Shrigley.

Axonometric section

Shen-Poblete took Cy Twombly’s ‘Cold Stream’ drawing and developed a series of compositions using the binary code 1 and 0, deploying the results as a generative grid across the site.

“Inspired by the status of knowledge in the post-modern age, as described in Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition, the proposed University is a hypothetical model of an educational institution based on a free market utopia, where corporations are the new knowledge patrons, and performativity, trading and competition lie at the heart of knowledge production,” writes Shen-Poblete.

Debating hall looking down

The jury for the award comprised a range of architects, academics and critics: Cany Ash, director of Ash Sakula; Peter Carl, professor at London Metropolitan University; Kester Rattenbury, tutor and reader at the University of Westminster; and Juan Lago-Novás Domingo, Director of the masters course in Architectural Management and Design at IE School of Architecture in Madrid.   Peter Carl described the project as “the best of the ironic-manic propositions, carried out with resolute consistency and rendered in an arid axonometric style befitting its inspiration from Lyotard and Cy Twombly”.

The six chosen graduates will be invited to compete for a fully funded year-long scholarship for a master’s business programme at the IE School of Architecture & Design in Madrid. The winner will be announced at the Architect of the Year Awards on December 4 at The Brewery, London.

Ground void looking up


P.A.P.E.R (Platform for Architectural Projects, Essays & Research) was founded by four students from the Class of 2012 (RIBA PArt II) at The University of Westminster, Samuel Michaëlsson, Nina Shen-Poblete and Mandeep Singh.

The aim of P.A.P.E.R is to act as a platform for students and tutors to publish their work on a weekly basis and to encourage cross breeding between architecture and other disciplines. The  goal is to to collate the material into a magazine at the end of the academic year with a view to promoting and creating a culture of student led publications at the University of Westminster.

P.A.P.E.R Collective consists of the group of architecture graduates from the University of Westminster brought together by the vision to create P.A.P.E.R. The Collective has recently been involved in the Architecture Foundation’s New Windows on Willesden Green project and is currently designing a contemporary Japanese tea house in Fågelsång, Sweden, as well as exploring the role of architecture in the digital realm.



All images courtesy Rebecca Gregory


Rebecca Gregory, Emma McDowell and Eddie Blake (Class of 2012) designed and installed ‘Mirrors of Awareness’ at Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6DG as part of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture. The installation, carried out in collaboration with Metropolitan Workshop, started as the first line was drawn (22/06/12) and endured until the last line was removed (07/07/12).

‘We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things & ourselves… Soon after we can see, we are aware that we can also be seen. The eye of the other combines with our own eye to make it fully credible that we are part of the visible world’ (Taken from ‘Ways of Seeing’, by John Berger)

The authors say this about their project:

“One’s everyday life can cause their physical surroundings to be assumed and then invisible due to the repetitive nature of social practice. A proposal to transform 14-16 Cowcross Street aims to facilitate a moment of self-realisation for the many daily inhabitants of Farringdon; not by interrupting a social practice per se but by holding up a ‘mirror’. The architecture will be re-instated and used as a tool to reflect & comprehend our position in the urban environment.”

Rebecca Gregory, Eddie Blake & Emma McDowell are three young independent artists/ architects interested in exploring the individual’s interaction with the city. Inspired by Berger, their installation encouraged visual and physical connections in order to playfully animate  social and spatial awareness in the city. In the installation, the art of perspective projection was utilised, the geometries of which become perfectly legible from one vantage point only. Move from this point, and the message distorted into abstract forms, dissolving the individual back into their everyday experience.

All images courtesy Peter Barber Architects

Peter Barber of Peter Barber Architects and member of EXP has just completed a new terrace of nine houses in the heart of what used to be called the Stepney Green Estate, now called Hannibal Road Gardens.

The existing estate is a collection of unremarkable fifties and sixties buildings that produced a typically unrelieved residential urban landscape with many unattractive leftover spaces around them. Barber’s new terrace occupies one of these spaces.

It closes the fourth, west side of an existing courtyard fronted by rickety timber garden sheds and fences at the rear of existing housing blocks. Rather than turning his back on these, Barber thought of his new terrace as an extension to them. He faced it with timber shingles in deference to them, and placed his building hard up against the boundary wall of the estate. This meant that it could have no windows or openings to the west at all. Instead, it has many windows to the east, overlooking the new communal garden.

This transformed what was the back of deteriorating social housing into an active, unified communal space, with a garden as its centre.

The houses are large – between three and seven bedrooms, 50% of which are to be socially rented.

They were designed with large Bengali families where several generations live together in mind. Many of the residents simply moved from one side of the courtyard to the other. The living spaces on the ground floor are accessed through small front courtyard gardens.

Entry is at ground level, straight into an open-plan living space, which has movable screens to make a separate kitchen if desired. Upstairs bedrooms are reached via a top-lit staircase, and in every house at least two bedrooms have terraces of their own. These outdoor spaces are the key to the character of the buildings, as with all Barber’s work. They act as a backdrop for residents’ individualism and allow the building to come alive with bicycles, clotheslines, potted plants, doormats, childrens’ toys etc. This is in keeping with Barbers’ intention to actively encourage the adaptation of his buildings through inhabitation.

Buildings  come alive, Barber argues, when they are occupied.

The timber shingles used at Hannibal Road Gardens are a departure from the white rendered walls of Barber’s previous work. Here he combines a material associated with rural landscapes and seaside cottages with urban, cubic form, adding texture and character to the building.

Barber argues that the material will demand less maintenance than a painted building, and, as it weathers, will blend in with its surroundings.Formally the project borrows a great deal from Donnybrook, Barber’s much acclaimed earlier housing project, in its density and combination of terrace and courtyard typologies. It has no corridors, lifts, or shared staircases. Its single aspect terraced units do away with dingy and neglected communal spaces and allow south-east light into the back rooms of the building while shielding them from the view of the industrial sheds and student housing behind.

Kieran Long, in an article in the London Evening Standard on September 12th argued that these well designed affordable homes throw into stark relief the kinds of properties that London’s developers offer for market sale and challenge the views of the current government of the (non)value of social housing to the city.


London Evening Standard


Villa Rotunda Redux. Photograph: Nico Saieh, courtesy of FAT

Sean Griffiths, member of EXP, is co-founder of the unique architecture firm FAT, who  contributed ‘The Museum of Copying’ to David Chipperfield’s ‘Common Ground’, the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale this year. ‘The Museum of Copying’ it is a curated installation that explores and celebrates the idea of the copy in architecture, as a technique that establishes common ground and communicates meaning, often with surreal effects. Historically, copying was the means by which architecture was disseminated – it was the common ground of the discipline. Modernism however considered the copy the enemy of progress and an inauthentic dead end. This made the copy architecture’s perfectly schizophrenic, evil twin, at once fundamental to its mode of production and a source of its inspiration, yet also its nemesis.

Sam Jacob, a director of FAT said: “There is a history of copies of the Villa Rotunda that have been important staging posts for architectural culture. We hope to extend this history and explore how copying something is, strangely, a way of inventing new forms of architecture. It also seems sweet to return a bastardised form of the Villa to its original home in the Venito.”

The Museum of Copying comprises four installations curated by FAT. The centrepiece, ‘Villa Rotunda Redux’, is FAT’s own contribution – a 5m high remake of Palladio’s Villa Rotunda as both subject and object of architectural copying. It was made using contemporary fabrication techniques and in accordance with FAT’s preoccupation with digital prefabrication. A spray foam cast was taken from a giant CNC’d mould of a quarter of the villa.

Courtesy of FAT

Courtesy of FAT

These two components – the mould and the cast – were arranged diagonally opposite one another, as two quarters of the Villa Rotunda, playing positive and negative and interior and exterior off against one other and exposing the process of their fabrication.

Photograph: Nico Saieh, courtesy of FAT

A Villa Rotunda mini-book made to accompany the exhibit is available from FAT’s webite here.

In Ines Weizman’s installation ‘Repeat Yourself: Loos, Law and the Culture of the Copy’, the function of copyright in architecture is investigated through examining the ownership disputes around Adolf Loos’s archive when the author proposed to build a real size copy of the Baker House.

The Book of Copying is a publishing project produced by by San Rocco, comprising a library of volumes prepared by sixty invited architects each of whom produced a volume of photocopies related to a building typology.

Photograph: Nico Saieh, courtesy of FAT

Invited architects include Andrea Branzi, Jan de Vylder, Ryue Nishizwa, Paul Robbrecht, Francoise Roche, Denise Scott Brown and Jonathan Sergison. Visitors are able to assemble their own version of the book into a Book of Copies by photocopying these photocopies.

Architectural Dopplegängers, a project by a research cluster at the Architectural Association in London, presents a series of examples of existing architectural copies and their originals alongside texts that explore the strange narratives of the copy.

Photograph: Nico Saieh, courtesy of FAT

The four installations combine to make a polemical argument for copying as a creative and subversive mode of design practice.





House of Flags, Courtesy AY Architects

Two members of EXP, Anthony Boulanger of AY Architects and Gabby Shawcross of Studio of Cinematic Architecture and three University of Westminster student teams won commissions in the Mayor of London’s ‘Wonder Series of Incredible Installations’ competition, for small works aimed at dressing up the city during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The students teams were three of nine  chosen from submissions by four London Architecture Schools: the University of Westminster, the Bartlett at University College London, London Metropolitan University and Central St Martins.

House of Flags

Courtesy AY Architects

AY Architects’ ‘House of Flags’ consisted of 206 plywood panels depicting the flags of the countries of the world, stacked into a colourful house of hards in Parliament Square. This formed a freestanding, 17m long x 8m wide x 4.5m high structure, stabilized by pre-cast foundation blocks. It was demountable and entirely reconfigurable and, as a kind of large three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, can be reinstalled in new configurations elsewhere. ‘House of Flags’ collated politics, graphics and architecture into a single assemblage.

Courtesy AY Architects

The flags were arranged in alphabetical order, never touching or intersecting, and carefully considered so that certain cut-outs are not offensive or seen from the back.

Courtesy AY Architects

AY Architects worked with the Flag Institute, the world’s leading research and documentation center for flag information, to determine how the design of the panels and their connections could respect these protocols. The panels were CNC cut and the majority of them had cut-outs of symbols and perforations within them. The top panels were more perforated and light whereas the bottom ones were more solid and heavy. They were stacked with alternating orientation from row to row and were joined by eight different types of laminated connections. The graphic of each flag was printed directly onto one side of the plywood panels, with the back of each flag panel left with the natural material finish. This meant that the exterior of the installation was a complex configuration of colored graphics, while the interior was unified by the natural finish of the plywood panels.

Courtesy AY Architects

On Parliament Square this played with the weathered limestone of the houses of parliament while the vibrant colors of the external elevations suggested an inversion of the exuberant colors of the interior of the houses of parliament.

Courtesy AY Architects

During the day the structure worked as a shadow modulator with the shadows of its perforations shifting from east to west. When the sunlight was sharp, the vibrancy of the color-printed panels were reflected on the natural plywood panels next to them. At night the structure was lit from within, glowing as an inhabited ‘house’ and showing the emblem cut-outs as silhouetted figures.

Courtesy AY Architects

For more, go to AY Architects

The University of Westminster teams’ designs were ‘London Dresser’ by Gabby Shawcross, Hugo Bass, James Kirk and Preet Panesar (ds17) displayed at The Shell Centre at Southbank;  ‘Streetscape Carousels’ by Chloë Leen, Theodore Molloy and Steve Wilkinson of Studio PUP, at five different locations including Norwood Cemetery and Borough Market and ‘Aurora’ by Jamie Parson and Lemma Redda (ds15) in Victoria Park.

Katharine Heron, Head of the Department of Architecture said: “This project has given our students the fantastic chance to see their designs come to life and displayed proudly in the heart of London. Those visiting London this summer will be able to interact with and admire the projects that combine adaptability and functionality with creativity; elements that are key components to modern day architecture. We are thrilled that designs from our students were chosen to showcase the diversity of the architecture work from the University of Westminster. The high standard of design on show here is testament to the hard work and tenacity of our students as well as the support and assistance that they receive from their tutors and fabricators.”

London Dresser

London Dresser, Courtesy SOCA

Gabby Shawcross, Hugo Bass, James Kirk and Preet Panesar’s ‘London Dresser’ was a large-scale glazed timber cabinet shaped like a shipping container containing a coffee shop and displaying miniatures of some of London’s iconic buildings – Battersea Power station, City hall, St Paul’s, Canary Wharf, Dorset Estate, Spitalfields Church, the Gherkin etc. These were fabricated by hand in a woodshop as beautifully crafted, red wooden seats.

Courtesy SOCA

The cabinet was placed in the Shell Centre forecourt on Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 7NA, slightly elevated from the paving on a plinth that created a shadow line that and gave it the appearance of a large piece of outdoor furniture. By day, the cabinet opened and the seats were moved onto the forecourt, providing seating and forming social gathering spaces. The empty cabinet framed views of the ever-changing skyline of the city. By night, the miniature buildings were stored inside the cabinet and made an interactive backdrop to the street.As people passed by, got close and peered in, individual buildings were momentarily illuminated by motion sensitive spot lights. This was captured on film throughout the Olympic Games and is available for viewing on Studio of Cinematic Architecture’s web site. To view  ‘A Day in the Life of the London Dresser’ click here.

Courtesy SOCA

For more, go to SOCA

Streetscape Carousels

Streetscape Carousel, St Stephen’s Chapel, West Norwood Cemetery, Courtesy PUP

‘Streetscape Carousels’ by Chloë Leen, Theodore Molloy and Steve Wilkinson of Studio PUP also engaged playfully with London’s architecture. The carousels were a series of 5 small, room–scale pavilions scattered around London. They were located at St Stephen’s Chapel, West Norwood Cemetery; Borough Market; Portobello Green; World’s End Place and Kentish Town Library. Each carousel related uniquely to its area, showcasing its character through a display of its architecture: contemporary and historic buildings alongside landmarks of local importance, reflecting cultural and physical diversity and eclecticism. The selected architectures of different scales were collaged together in silhouetted form, and wrapped around the inside of a cylindrical drum, which was raised on legs.

Courtesy PUP

By turning a crank, the layer of silhouettes was made to rotate so that the entire panorama could be viewed from one position. At night, a central light illuminated the silhouettes from the inside, projecting the streetscape in light and shadow onto its surroundings.

Courtesy PUP

The Carousels capture a snapshot of London’s continually transforming skyline by creating a physical record of the city at its seminal moment of hosting the Games. These collages of London, presented in an engaging, magical and captivating manner elevated normal and everyday street scenes into moments of wonder.

Courtesy PUP

Courtesy PUP

For more go to PUP


Aurora, Courtesy Lemma Redda

‘Aurora’ by  Jamie Parson and Lemma Redda took the plastic hula hoop and explored how it could be manipulated as a struc­tural element to create an equally playful form. 1500 translucent hula-hoops were suspended from trees in London’s Victoria Park. By day Aurora’s  hoops appeared to hang effortlessly amongst the tree’s canopy.

Courtesy Lemma Redda

At night, a lighting strategy allowed the draping pavilion to assert its presence and animate the space with varying colour projections.

Courtesy Lemma Redda

It was supported on a parametric structural frame designed by engineers Price and Myers, made of steel rods hung from steel cables. The hula-hoops were cable-tied to the steel rods, shifting the bearing angle of the hoops to create a wave-like effect across its surface. Once dismantled, the hoops were distributed to schools and youth clubs throughout the country, giving the scheme its own legacy – a prime concern of the London Olympics.

Courtesy Lemma Redda



Watson, V. (2012)  Utopian Adventure: The Corviale Void. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN: 978-1-4094-0991-5

This book is about contemporary issues in architecture and urbanism, taking the form of a project for the Corviale Void, a one kilometre-long strip of urban space immured in the notorious Corviale housing development in the southwest sector of Rome. Corviale is a bizarre object, single-minded in its idea. Its history can be traced to debates in Italian architectural culture of the 1960’s, including those articulated in Also Rossi’s books and projects. Watson’s proposal for the Corviale Void engages with it through a metaphysical architecture of colour, colour that was originally immured in her Air Grid lattices is set free to colonise the Void in a mass of flying beetles.

‘A flight into the poetics of gassamer, the metaphysics of optics, and the most imaginative reaches of architectural thought, Victoria Watsons book is indeed a utopian adventure, leading the reader on an exhilarating excursion into a project of late-modern Italian urbanism, on the wings of robot beetles.’ Joan Ockman, Columbia University, USA.



Firebrace, W. (2010) Marseille Mix, London: Architectural Association. ISBN 978-1-902902-95-1

Marseille Mix describes the city of Marseille, its culture, buildings, gastronomy, cinematic images, history, planning, language, music, detective stories, criminology. These aspects of the city interrelate and overlap, to create a complex ever shifting image.

Marseille lies on the edge of Europe, separated from the rest of France by a circle of high mountains. It looks outwards to the Mediterranean, relating more to the exterior world than back to the rest of France. It is one of the oldest cities of western Europe, with traces of prehistoric inhabitation, a trading city founded by the Greeks, a flourishing medieval culture. Once one of the busiest ports in the world, its harbour is now in now largely empty. With its sea-trade almost abandoned, Marseille has lost its traditional purpose. It is like a sea creature marooned on the land, uncertain as to whether to settle or move on.

In seven chapters (in reference to the seven hills surrounding Marseille and the seven seas to the south) the book uses various forms of writing – essay, narrative, description, list, recipe, glossary, conversation – to examine the city and investigate its defining mix.

‘The phrase “fascinating urban history” sounds like either an oxymoron or the marketing copy kiss of death, but William Firebrace has succeeded in writing exactly this inMarseille Mix, a relentlessly intriguing book about this relentlessly intriguing city. Firebrace has an impressive knowledge of the city’s history, its architecture, its varying populations, its politics, as well as its depictions in literature, film, and the popular imagination … Like all the AA’s books, Marseille Mix is handsomely designed and produced and, although unillustrated, as illuminating a picture of any city as you’re likely to read.’ Kevin Lippert, Princeton Architectural Press, Assembly Journal (


Bremner, L. (2010). Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998-2008. Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books. ISBN 978-0-9869850-0-3

Writing the City into Being is Lindsay Bremner’s long-awaited collection of essays, spanning more than a decade of work on Johannesburg. It is both an unflinching analysis of the characteristics of an extraordinary city and a work of the imagination that brings the evasive city into being through writing. This important book from one of Johannesburg’s most incisive commentators offers new insights for those seeking to understand cities in a rapidly changing and fragmenting world.

Writing the City into Being won a 2010 Graham Foundation Award

and the 2011 Jane Jacobs Urban Communications Book Award 


Each academic year speakers from in and around the field of architecture have been invited to talk as a part of the Technical Studies Programme at the University of Westminster’s School of Architecture. Architects, engineers, social theorists and artists have taken part in a discussion about the social use and function of technology in the context of design. Questioning how the relationship and knowledge of the tools and techniques of highly individualized approaches to working, the talks develop themes and shared interests of which this course seeks to capture.

The lecture series are an attempt to capture a contemporary philosophy of technology and introduce students to current and future trends in the technological development of architecture. We promote a multivalent approach to the use and understanding of technology in architecture & design and do not take a singular imperative as a starting point. Biomimetics, fluid dynamics, lightness, deployability, machine logic, material construction and geometry are all included as are economy, climate, performance and appropriateness.

The Autumn 2012 MArch Level Evening Series of Lectures follows. Lectures are free and open to the public.

The Technical Studies program is co-ordinated by  Pete Silver, Will McLean, John-Paul Frazer, Andrew Whiting (Hût Architecture) and Scott Batty (Hût Architecture).

For further information go to 

2010 World Cup Stadium, Soccer City, Johannesburg. Courtesy Lindsay Bremner

During the British Council’s International Design Showcase (29 June – 15 July 2012), Expanded Territories hosted a colloquium, inviting architects, designers, researchers and teachers to engage in a dialogue between participants of the Ambika P3 International Architecture and Design Showcase around questions of architecture’s role in (de)colonization, social (re)construction, national identity formation, human development and global (dis)integration in their countries. Participants were asked to address the questions:

How is architecture contributing (or not) to the reconstruction and development of your country?

What issues are vital to cities and communities in your country?

Is national identity important to your country’s architectural culture or do you see yourselves as part of global architectural culture or both?

How do encounters such as this expand your conception of architectural practice in your own country?

Participants included John Allsopp of Amonle Studio Workshop, Barbados; Bryan Bullen of Caribbean Office of Co-operative Architecture, Grenada; Kevin Talma of Talma Mills Studio, Barbados; Phillip Luhl of the University of Namibia and  Zahira Asmal of Designing _South Africa. The event was chaired by Professors Lindsay Bremner and Kate Heron of the University of Westminster.


Phillip Luhl, author of the Namibia exhibit, winner of the Silver Pigeon Award at the British Council Architecture and Design Showcase, 2012

The British Council and Expanded Territories hosted a series of talks and debates entitled Design Diplomacy in parallel with the International Architecture and Design Showcase in Ambika P3 during June and July 2012. These included:

Designing for Diplomats, 2 July 2012

Three leading architects and a radical young designer discussed the diplomacy of designing for the British Government overseas and for refugees. Speakers included Terry Farrell, Tony Fretton, Steve Quinlan and Natasha Reid. The event was chaired by Peter Murray, NLA.

Namibia, South Africa: Post-Colonial Legacies, 6 July 2012

Academics, architects and writers discussed the impact of design (urban, architectural, industrial, fashion & graphic) on life in cities in Namibia and South Africa since democracy. Questions addressed included the overcoming of colonial spatial legacies, the re-colonisation of cities by global economic forces, the simultaneity of different experiences of space and time in South African and Namibian cities and the impact of mega events on host cities. Panelists included Lesley Lokko, author; Phillip Luhl, University of Namibia; Dr. Diana Mitlin, University of Manchester; Dr. Marion Wallace, British Library; Zahira Asmal, Designing _South Africa; Yvette Gresle, Ph.D candidate, UCL and Guillermo Delgado, Ph.D candidate, UCT. The event was chaired by Dr Lindsay Bremner of the University of Westminster.

Designing Relations: East/West Dialogues, 10 July 2012

The event addressed issues of how technology provides opportunities to engage in formulating new forms of dialogue between people and places. Questions included: In the age of distributed knowledge, where ideas and innovation spread at rapid speeds, who are the players who mediate these new forms of dialogue? Given that strong educational programmes pushing new ways of thinking about design are developing outside of conventional disciplinary categories, career typologies are more diverse than ever. What is the future of educational and cultural institutions in this new age of decentralised knowledge. What role does curation, design and diplomatic engagement play in these new open dialogues? The panel included  Milos Spasic, author of Serbian exhibit in the International Architecture and Design Showcase; Stela Stojic, Belgrade City Museum; Shane Walter, co-founder and creative director of onedotzero; Edward Wainwright, independent producer and Evelyn Rugg, Director of International Policy, University of Westminster. The event was  chaired by Filip Visnjic of the University of Westminster.

Addressing the Games, 12 July 2012

A panel of academics, architects and students presented dialogues and designs for the Olympic Games and discussed its implications for London. Panelists included  Dr. Albena Yaneva, Manchester University; George Paraskevopoulos, Greater London Authority; Gabby Shawcross, Studio of Cinematic Architecture; Anthony Boulanger, AY Architects + University of Westminster and Chloe Leen, Theodore Molloy, Steve Wilki of University of Westminster. The event was chaired by Prof. Adam Sharr of Newcastle University and the Architectural Research Quarterly.

With thanks to Edward Wainwright, producer of the events, the British Council, the University of Westminster and all the participants.