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Car Park / Urban Retreat

Part 2 Project 2006
Stephen Croucher
University for the Creative Arts Canterbury UK
The building proposal is a car park and ‘urban retreat’ with multiple routes of routine or discovery. Integration of technology throughout the design process was key to the outcome of this project. Physically engaging with ‘stuff’ allowed the project to enjoy the liberty of experimentation, iteration, attempts, trials and errors. A process of ‘paranoid-critical analysis’ enabled wrong answers to become right answers for different questions. Adjectives and verbs provided guidance for the project ambition of engaging the senses -whilst further experimentation with materials in infinitely varying combinations with time, light and water found ways of emotionally charging matter and form.
Stephen Croucher


This students project for a multi-story car park serves as a gateway and urban retreat for the cathedral city of Canterbury illustrating the diverse range of fundamental questions posed by final year Diploma students. The tutor is less a ‘teacher’ of a set of truths, and more a ‘participant’ and ‘implicated collaborator’ in the design research process.

The project emerged from a series of innovative experimentations where the haptic consequences of construction were explored in tandem with the social and urban realities of mass tourism and pilgrimage. The result is a project full of material commitment and poetic sophistication.

2006
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