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Hull School Of Architecture

Part 2 Project 2001
Maciej Jankowiak
University of Lincoln Lincoln UK
'-architecture : a form of knowledge whose limits are constantly questioned '

[Bernard Tschumi "Questions of Space"]

'…Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life… That secret can be known only in orderly successions, and that only teacher can properly reveal these secrets'.

[Christopher Alexander 'Patern Language' University as a market place]

Christopher Alexander's 'pyramid' model can be used to describe the current educational method of teaching in our schools today. This model, however, makes questioning the limits impossible, as it is founded on the notion, that the gaining of information is one way i.e. from tutor down to student. A more appropriate system would be one, which allows interdisciplinary consultations within a wide group of people, allowing a project to mature through influence from members of the local community, tutors, professional architects and students. Open debate, rather than single viewpoint discussion with a tutor is therefore more preferable.

In my project, I am trying to change traditional teaching techniques by exploring the spatial relationships between tutors, the students themselves and the surrounding community.

The school is designed as a horizontal building covered by a homogeneous envelope, in which, every studio unit, can define its own zone. The communication system has been changed from a vertical to a horizontal one, so that the core of the school works more like a street, where everyone is allowed easy access to each of the studio units. Each studio is designed, as a three-story high self-contained unit, with its own seminar space, (the space 'in between'). This works both as a seminar/crit space and as a presentation platform, open to the public.

The street is the core of the school and acts as a void between teaching units and supporting facilities, such as a library, workshops, small lecture theatres and break rooms. This space is defined by a series of ramps connecting different levels and acts as a stage on which school's life is performed.

The auditorium for 600 people is located on the axis point between 'the street', and a main public access. This public area with a restaurant, café and exhibition space provides extended conference functions that could be also located in the south and north school's wing.

The university building is located along the east bank of the River Hull which has developed quite differently from the west bank, characterised by tall, narrow warehouse buildings with a tight urban grain. The aim was to create a new waterfront, and to change the character of the industrial area, which now is derelict. The building is to act as an exchange platform, between the old centre and the undeveloped area on the east bank. This large plot will be a key site in the regeneration process of the city
and the school of architecture should play an important role in this.

Maciej Jankowiak


This project for a new school of Architecture encapsulates the debate of the future of architectural education and how it should be funded and taught. The brief engages and reflects on its relationship a school as to the wider community. All of us who teach in schools of architecture know the pressures of HEFC funding on universities, the ongoing battle for position and status a school of architecture holds within a university, we all continually debate our teaching techniques which increasingly come under the scrutiny of our management and finally the role a school of architecture holds in the community of interests of a city like Kingston-upon-Hull.

Maciej in this project engages with all these issues head on and produced an excellent solution. Exemplary conceptual thinking through to the detailed design of studios would I am sure produce a suitable setting for a vibrant academic environment in a contemporary European city.

As a student and a practitioner, Maciej is and will be thorough, creative and tenacious, exhibiting a professional courage at odds with his quiet demeanour.

2001
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