A huge congratulations to all the first year architecture students at UWE for getting through a tough year and handing in their portfolios. There has been some really great work despite the challenges.
The lockdown has lead to some very difficult situations for many students. Some have been without access to materials, software or the internet. Others have been quarantined in far away places. Everyone has had to adapt to new ways of learning and teaching. The bustling design studio has been reduced to online tutorials with dodgy reception and digital sketching. Whilst it has been possible to teach this way, we can all agree that there is no substitute for the real studio culture where we are all influenced and supported by each other.
However, the wealth of ideas in the portfolios is testament to creativity finding a way to make the most of what we have. So a big well done to all. I shall look forward to seeing you next year.
The image above is a physical model I made when studying for my part 1 architecture degree in Architecture and Environmental Engineering (a long time ago!). The scheme used an underground labyrinth cooling/heating system to temper the air entering the auditorium. The thermal mass of the ground enables heat to be stored in the day for use at night. The effect is reversed if the building needs cooling in the day time. I calculated that a stack either side of the stage could draw the air through the labyrinth and provide adequate ventilation whilst reduced energy consumption. I won a prize and all!