6 Studio


The Year 6 Studio Programme information from March has been added to the Studio Programme page in the sidebar, just to balance things up. Watch out for events and updates.

Last chance to see…


Manchester: This is the former ‘Welsh Chapel’ (1837-1839) a familiar landmark on Upper Brook Street near the University. Attributed to Charles Barry, it is believed to be an early collaboration between this architect and A.W.N. Pugin. Barry and Pugin later worked together on the Houses of Parliament. The building is listed Grade ll* but has been neglected for decades culminating in the collapse and removal of the roof. After failing to assert their powers under Listed Building legislation, and despite the national significance of the building, Manchester City Council is seeking to demolish it under Dangerous Structure legislation. Have a look before it goes…


P1010038.JPG P1010036.JPG

Studio introduction


Contextual reading: John Foot Milan After the Miracle: City, Culture and Identity Berg Oxford and New York 2001

The studio introduction will take place in room 502 10.00am Thursday 28


Dressings: Loos and Architectural Tailoring. Talk by Eamonn Canniffe.


Massimo Cacciari, Architecture and Nihilism: On the Philosophy of Contemporary Architecture, Yale University Press New Haven 1993

Beatriz Colomina, łThe Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism in Colomina (ed) Space and Sexuality Princeton Papers on Architecture Vol.1
Princeton New Jersey 1992

Beatriz Colomina, Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media, M.I.T. Press Cambridge Massachusetts 1994

Kenneth Frampton, The Architecture of Adolf Loos, Arts Council of Great Britain London 1985

Hélčne Furján, “Dressing down: Adolf Loos and the politics of ornament” The Journal of Architecture, Volume 8, Number 1 / March, 2003

Benedetto Gravagnuolo, Adolf Loos: Theory and Works, Art Data: Idea Books Edizioni Milan 1982

Adolf Loos, Spoken into the Void: Collected Essays 1897-1900 Opposition Books M.I.T. Press Cambridge Massachusetts 1982

Jules Lubbock, “Adolf Loos and the English Dandy” Architectural Review 1983

Mary McLeod łUndressing Architecture: Gender, Fashion and Modernity in Fausch, Singley, El-Khoury, and Efrat, Zvi Architecture: In Fashion
Princeton Architectural Press New York 1994

Ludwig Munz and Gustav Kunstler, Adolf Loos: Pioneer of Modern Architecture, Thames and Hudson London 1966

Hans Richter, Dada Art and Anti-Art, Thames and Hudson London 1965

Max Risselada (ed), Raumplan versus Plan Libre, Rizzoli New York 1989

Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture, Cambridge University Press Cambridge 1981

Mark Wigley, White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture, M.I.T. Press Cambridge Massachusetts 1995

Monument and Sign 2

Monument and Sign 2

One of these artifacts is a product of a devalued aesthetic language,
its meanings resting on long vanished glories, but obscure and devoid
of significance to the contemporary viewer. The other is a symbol of
enduring civic values, of pride and a confident sense of identity.
But which is which?




Studio Programme 2006/2007



The relationship between forms of architecture and modes of dress has been
theorised by the likes of Gottfried Semper, Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos since
the middle of the nineteenth century. As the world capital of the fashion
industry, the contemporary architectural scene in Milan is emerging from a
long period of apparent stagnation with the completion of Massimiliano
Fuksas’s Nuovo Polo Fiera and the construction of Grafton Architects Bocconi
University building. While the city assimilates these new interventions it
therefore seems an appropriate point to consider the concepts of beauty and
utility within Milanese design culture, and specifically the discipline of
fashion,through exploring the creation of objects, architecture and the
city. Situated in a richly layered environment, but one which is not
constrained by history, the proposed projects firstly aim to present an
opportunity to analyse the development of the present urban situation.
Secondly they will develop proposals for a variety of sites in Milan as
communicative and representational urban environments. Lastly, it is
intended that the balance between analysis and creative proposal will ensure
an interpretative framework for an architecture which is adept at dealing
with both the concrete and the speculative [Click here to read more…]

Last year in Palma


Last year the CiA 6th year students studied the city of Palma in Mallorca. Although the island has a reputation for rampant tourism, the city itself is relatively untouched and retains the qualities of a close, tight Mediterranean city. The first of two sites studied was on part of the original path of the river – the Ramblas. The second site was in the corner of the old city, high up behind the protective walls at the point where the city first becomes visible from the east. More drawings can be seen in this photoset.

City of Fashion? Where’s the architecture?


Cesar Pelli’s project for the Citta della Moda in Milan brings to mind the following thoughts: While private entities seek to extend their control over urban space and public bodies surrender management to commercial concerns, the iconography of the public realm, its direct expression of meaning is increasingly replaced by commercial advertising as the overt ideological messages of the past evaporate. The spectacle of participation becomes all the more enticing, a participation that requires nothing more from the visitor than their cash. In this scenario architecture is reduced to the provision of floorplates and silhouettes which promote brand identity rather than a unique urban experience.


International Herald Tribune article

Fashion versus Convention


“Today, the idea of erudition, of the architect as connoisseur has been
rejected. It is curious that in a world of increasing specialisation, where
artists and scientists are making dynamic new work from within their
disciplines, architects have followed the lead of the management consultant,
the ultimate example of the empty generalist. Rather than rise to the
technical and artistic challenges of today, within the discipline of
architecture, mainstream practice has embraced the rhetoric of the market to
make work that is infused with brand recognition. Strategies of cybernetics,
phylogenics, parametrics, mapping – each strive to generate completely
original forms, unusual shapes, in plan, in section, sometimes both. These
bold profiles can amplify or even replace corporate logos. Lacking the
complexities and ambiguities that are held within the tradition of
architectural form, these shapes quickly lose their shiny novelty and
achieve a condition of not new, but also not old or ordinary enough to
become a part of the urban background. This inability to grow old is all too
resonant with an era of rebranding and cosmetic surgery. Architecture is now
practiced at an unprecedented global scale, and the major players seem to be
egging each other on. Who will produce the largest, and most formally
outlandish project? Who will finally say stop? Never has so much
construction been based on so few ideas.”

Adam Caruso : Traditions
in OASE 65: Ornament 2004

Illustration – Centre for Contemporary Art Nottingham 2004-2008. Caruso St John Architects.

The fashionable money is on Semper…

sem1.jpeg sem2.jpeg

“…the beginning of building coincides with the beginning of textiles. …
The Wall is the structural element that formally represents and makes
visible the enclosed space as such, absolutely, as it were, without
reference to secondary concepts.

We might recognise the pen, bound together from sticks and branches, and the
interwoven fence as the earliest vertical spatial enclosure that man
invented. … Weaving the fence led to weaving movable walls. … Using
wickerwork for setting apart one’s property and for floor mats and
protection against heat and cold far preceded making even the roughest
masonry. Wickerwork was the original motif of the wall. It retained this
primary significance, actually or ideally, when the light hurdles and
mattings were transformed into brick or stone walls. The essence of the wall
was wickerwork.”

Gottfried Semper The Textile Art

Illustration: 200th birthday of Gottfried Semper. 10 euro, silver, 2003. Federal Republic of Germany.

Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany

Monument and Sign


“In the San Lorenzo we see today, the various types of additions to it,
from the medieval … to the Renaissance …, are still apparent, while the
entire structure occupies the place of the ancient Roman baths, in the very
heart of Roman Milan. We are clearly in the presence of a monument; but is
it possible to speak of it and its urban context purely in terms of form? It
seems far more appropriate to look for its meaning, its reason, its style,
its history. This is how it appeared to the artists of the Renaissance, and
how it became an idea of architecture that could be reformulated in a new
design. No one can speak of the architecture of the city without
understanding such artifacts; they constantly demand further investigation
for they constitute the principal foundations of an urban science. An
interpretation of symbolic architecture in these terms can inform all
architecture; it creates an association between the event and its sign.”

Aldo Rossi -The Architecture of the City


For further material on San Lorenzo, Milan, the fashion brand and urban
space see:

This movie