UWA Summer Studio

04 Jan 2016/15 Feb 2016
Lisboa, Portugal

UWA Summer Studio

Year – 2016
University – UWA, University of Western Australia
Coordination - Kirill de Lancastre Jedenov
Location – Lisbon, Portugal

Lecturers – Albuquerque Goinhas, Cristina de Mendonça, Nuno Griff, Kirill de Lancastre Jedenov

Assistants - Oscar Barnay, Pavol Dobšinský

Students – Alaric Korb, Anna Mustard, Angus McBride, Benjamin Moffitt, Beth Litjens, Charlotte Lane, Charlotte Smail, Craig Nener, Jaimie Hilton, Julia Kaptein, Katarina Schnell, Kate Bonner, Kathryn Sims, Lesley-Claire Howard, Marian Mahendra, Mitchell Hender, Monique Annesley, Nikita Filippou, Rachel Tallon, Rebecca Hawkett, Sean Heath

Seminars – Carrilho da Graça, Espacialistas, João Antunes, Jorge Mealha, Luca Martinucci, Margarida Grácio Nunes, Paulo Mendes Ribeiro, Pedro Bandeira, Pedro Ressano Garcia, Ricardo Carvalho

Studio Critics – André Tavares, António Louro, Bernardo Vaz Pinto, Isabel Barbas, João Ferrão, Luís Santiago Baptista, Manuel Aires Mateus, Manuel Henriques

Photography - MTG (Mercês Tomaz Gomes)

EMBAIXADA/UNLEASH was invited by Kirill de Lancastre Jedenov, a teacher at University of Western Australia, to present a studio application for its annual European Summer Studios. This studio abroad, organised by UWA, is a learning programme that offers students the opportunity to interact with practitioners, in a setting near or in their design firms.

Aiming to move the experience closer to the “real work” environment, EMBAIXADA involved each of the leading partners in the studio’s work in progress, sharing their practice methodologies with the students. The idea of having a studio that maintains a close link with the practical immersion of architecture, led the office to propose to the Lisbon Architecture Triennial the construction of a 1/1 scale model to be present at the Triennial edition in October 2016.

Therefore, during January and February EMBAIXADA transformed Sinel de Cordes Palace (the triennial headquarters) into an extension of the office, and oversaw 21 students in an academic experiment that brought together theory and design practice with the real world and with a culture geographically located in the antipodes. During the process, students worked on a design, within a very specific disciplinary theme, in the knowledge that it would be inhabited.

The Thickness of the Limit

This studio aimed to make students aware of the importance of dealing with the limits existing in western cities using the city of Lisbon as an example. Following academic research developed by Cristina de Mendonça with the very same name “The Thickness of the Limit”, it is intended to explore strategies to dismantle the idea of the boundary within the spectrum of building scale. The final goal was to build a 1/1 scaled model.

The studio activities were divided into two major parts, the Inputs and the Outputs. The Inputs provided questions to be answered during the Studio work and consisted of their direct relationship with the daily work at Embaixada’s office; several lectures by invited architects/artists that gave an extra contribution to the studio’s work in progress; and also on architectural trips through selected buildings in Portugal. The Outputs consisted of student discussion and experiments on the proposed subject which was the research carried out through four exercises.

Assignment 1 - “Ways of seeing”
This assignment explored strategies of perception and conception on site specifics through quantitative analysis. Students were to select a task and enroll in a working group (max. 5 students per group). Physical model, 3D digital model, 2D Technical drawings and on-site action research (creating on site records of measuring tools), should be made providing a work base for the next assignments.

Assignment 2 - “The eyes of the skin”
This assignment explored strategies of perception and conception on site specifics through qualitative analysis. Students should analyse and draw intangible elements of the site from a phenomenological perspective (e.g. individual fluxes, privacy assessment, site-specific conceptual interventions, etc.).

Assignment 3 - “The thickness of the limit” (first approach)
Starting with the idea of a wall dividing two spaces, the aim of this assignment was to learn how to deconstruct physical limits/boundaries between spaces without losing the prominent characteristics. Students should place a wall in the garden and develop its characteristics in order to create relations between the new generated spaces. Students should find ways to materialise the result of their research in a synthetic way.

Assignment 4 - “The thickness of the limit” (pavilion project)
Designing a pavilion over the learned concepts of quantitative and qualitative analysis, and deconstructing physical limits. The pavilion should be placed at the Sinel de Cordes Palace garden and it should provide inhabitable space/s to be within community as well as maintaining a sense of privacy.

In the end, out of the five proposals, two were awarded - Palácio Preto and Line the Pavilion -, both deal with the studio’s theme in its fullness, exploring the pavilion as a generator of space in relation to its physical surroundings, creating different intimate spaces in confrontation with the existing limits of the Palace’s courtyard.

The Line the Pavilion was selected to be built, and through a sucessuful crowdfunding campaing the pavilion open to the public in October 2016 for the fourth Edition of Lisbon Architecture Triennale.  

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