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Strata - Institute of Fine Arts

Part 2 Project 2010
Thomas Phillips
University of East London, UK
Strata is the new Greenwich University Institute of Fine Art, located on Greenwich peninsula in London. The project is concerned with the overlapping and collision of strips of programme, creating new types of social interaction, and blurring the boundaries between exhibition and studio.

The organisation of the building is based upon the classification of various programmatic components into separate strips: exhibition, learning, accommodation, and service.

The architectural mechanism of the wall is used to separate programme and users, physically lift the accommodation away from the ground, provide privacy to teaching spaces, welcome the public by projecting into external routes, create thresholds, inhabit for services and administration, and for appropriation as blank urban canvases. They also control the creation of various spatial qualities: wide to narrow, high to low, and dark to light. These juxtapositions form an important part of the experiential routes throughout the building.

At the centre of the building plan is the focal point of the building, which is used organisationally to create the intersection of these strips, and the dissolution of physical barriers. It is at this point where visitor and artist meet, as studio space becomes part of the exhibition space, and the boundaries are blurred.

Thomas Phillips

Thomas’ project, Strata, promotes the production of new urban communities that challenge the conventions of private versus public urban space and contest ground versus building dichotomy.

Located next to the Millennium Dome, the Greenwich Peninsula is a highly constrained site of development bearing the scars of a diverse industrial history. The project and surrounding campus proposal seek to address this condition, which restricts pedestrian access across the Peninsula from East to West. Strata is based upon the continuation of routes that connect both edges of the site, facilitated by the use of strips, which become regulated through the architectural mechanism of the wall.

The project also addresses the conglomeration of media industry headquarters and media education, by seeking to create greater interaction between visitors and artists, by overlapping programmatic components where studios, often the spaces reserved for the creating process, becomes part of the exhibition.

Off Site Construction served as the basis for the project’s material, structural, and spatial investigations and developments.

Mr Robert Thum
Mr Jeffrey Turko
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