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A Foundation for a Drawings Collection

Part 2 Project 1999
Anna Radcliffe
Anna Radcliffe
Cardiff University, UK
A Foundation for a Drawings Collection, Bloomsbury, London

School should offer students the opportunity to explore. Thus I intended my project for a Drawings Collection to provide multiple vehicles for discovery, as well as intention.

To attempt to describe a process, and its paper product in a few formal words, is something I have given up trying to do. Maybe I fear a kind of icy determinacy. Indeed, I could say that I was interested in building within cities, responding to existing urban fabric, or the concept of city sanctuary. Or maybe I should state my exploration of ritual, public destination versus private institution, cross-function or representation. Yet this tells you nothing of experience. For that was yesterday and this is today.

A paper project can be what you want it to be, hold what you want it to hold. All themes, reflections, pre-occupations, compound to form this 'product' which, never finished, continues to evolve and take on new meaning. Interpretation is everything. Every time I look I see it slightly different. For me, that is what architecture is about.

Anna Radcliffe
Anna Radcliffe

Students in the final year at the Welsh School of Architecture work on an individually defined Final Design Project. This project, for a Foundation for a Drawings Collection, demanded a specific and subtle response to both context and programme. The site is in Bloomsbury and the morphology of Georgian London, with its strict rhythm derived from the repetition of the town house, established an underlying geometrical discipline for the whole design. Within this the problem was to discover a system of physical and spatial structure which respected the context, but also allowed an interpretation of the implications of the pragramme which was both poetic and practical.

The project was as much concerned with process and exploration as with solution. Through the use of an array of exploratory tools, including drawings, models, paintings, historical research, the design went through a lengthy and meticulous process of development and refinement. At the necessary end-point the discipline of the town house had been extensively transformed in response to the particularities of circumstance and opputunity. It is from this process that the richness and quality of the design are fashioned.

Dean Hawkes and Simon Unwin

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