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The Free University

Part 1 Project 2011
Daniel Wilkinson
London South Bank University, UK
The Free University is a politically informed project, centered around a formal critique of context as a socio economic issue, rather than an aesthetic one.

The brief consists of a split level university, one part public, the other requiring membership. The main aim of the university is to return education to its position as the human project, rather than a short term means to financial reward. The private PHD block is intended for utopia related research.

The top floors of the tower house a ‘financial bunker’ to become operable in the event of an attack on London’s financial center. This occupancy relocates the project from the realm of a utopian proposal into a position of financial feasibility; the clients paying for the reserved space in the bunker are actually funding the free education program beneath them.

Formally, the project is left in unfinished state. The generic neo liberal volume of the tower is punctured by a sampled Le Corbusian extrusion; the basic geometry of a Radiant City tower disarticulates the generic tower slab, while also housing the PHD research program. The idea of a free university occupying a building of this scale on such a prime site by the banks of the Thames could be regarded as chimerical, whereas a short walk through any metropolis shows the idea of an unfinished tower to be nothing but realistic.

The structural completion of the project is intended to rely on the dominance of one of the conflicting programs within the building; either the university or the financial bunker can finish the tower.

Form as a direct and valid reaction to context.

Daniel Wilkinson

Tutor(s)
Mr Seamus Ward
2011
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