master plan for hooke The Hooke Park campus presents a 30-year history of experimental timber construction and rural architecture. Under the previous ownership of the Parnham Trust’s School for Woodland Industries, three remarkable demonstrators of round-wood construction were built (the refectory (1987), workshop (1989) and dormitory 1996)) which provide a valuable legacy and reference for today’s students. Following the AA taking ownership of Hooke Park in 2002, the masterplan for development of the campus was redrawn and construction restarted in 2011 to new workshop accommodation and teaching spaces. Each building is described below, with further detail and full project credits on the Design & Make web pages.

Timber Seasoning Shelter (2014)

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The Timber Seasoning Shelter is a canopy for the stacked drying of Hooke Park sourced timber for future construction projects. Built from Hooke Park’s beech trees, the project was used by Design & Make students as a vehicle to test the innovative use of steam-bent timber elements in a reciprocal grid structure.

Student Lodges (2013 and 2014)

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These 2-bedroom accommodation lodges have allowed students to test various design and making strategies including maximising the use of recycled and reclaimed materials. They are constructed using Hooke Park timber for their structure, flooring and cladding.

Caretaker's House (2012)

Timber Seasoning Shelter Timber Seasoning Shelter

The Caretaker’s House at Hooke Park is based on a schematic design by students of AA’s Intermediate Unit 2 in 2009-10, which was developed for construction by architect Invisible Studio. It is a prototypical low cost timber exemplar building constructed from timber grown and felled on site, used in its green state and achieving passivehaus standards for insulation and airtightness.

'Big Shed' Assembly Workshop (2012)

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The Assembly Workshop was designed by students of Design & Make and Diploma Unit 19, with support from engineers Atelier One and architects Mitchell Taylor Workshop. It provides a large enclosed workspace for fabrication, assembly and prototyping activities at Hooke Park. The building is constructed from larch sourced from Hooke Park and local woodlands, and uses innovative screw connections to form the roundwood trusses.

Westminster Lodge (1996)

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Designed by Edward Cullinan Architects with engineer Buro Happold, the Lodge uses green wood from Hooke’s forest, providing eight bedrooms around a central communal space. A timber lattice of spruce thinnings carries a planted turf roof.

Workshop (1989)

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Designed by Richard Burton of ABK and Frei Otto, with the engineers Buro Happold, the workshop uses spruce thinnings to form a vault from a series of compression arches. The result is a remarkable long-span enclosure built using low-value material from the surrounding forest. Two of the three bays of the roof accommodate a fully equipped timber workshop while the third contains studio space, office facilities and a small library.

Refectory (1987)

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Also designed by ABK and Frei Otto with Buro Happold the refectory was originally conceived as a prototype house and developed the novel use of roundwood thinnings in tension to form a tent-like roof. Today, the building contains the kitchen and dining space for staff and students.

Temporary Projects

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The wider Hooke Park woodland is home to a number of temporary projects, in the form of experimental pods, towers, bridges and other structures the product of short workshops and visiting school courses.

Photos: Valerie Bennett, Martin Self, Jesse Randzio


Hooke Park
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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.