Diploma 10 Hong Kong Scan, Hong Kong City University, Diploma 10 Unit Trip 2016-17

Turning Clockwise to Lambeth

Carlos Villanueva Brandt

What role will the 32 London Boroughs play in the future of London?

After ten successful spatial insertions in Tower Hamlets and ten in Southwark, Diploma 10 will turn its attention to Lambeth where, working with situations, space, territory, abstraction, politics and the direct, we will create new types of civic insertions.

But before we insert anything into the city, we need to establish what the context for this insertion might be. Although we tend to culturally acknowledge and accept the complexity of the city's context, we rarely apply the same reasoning when we set out to transform it. We, as users, recognise the effects that, let's say, groups, trends, religion, terrorism and crime have on our experience of the city, but architects and city-makers rarely include these factors into their design equations. This raises the question: why not? If these types of factors truly affect our experience of space, we need to find ways of incorporating them into our designs.

Learning from the city, we will experiment with the representation and inclusion of the city's more imponderable factors; we will reassess, redefine context and then find ways to work with it. To do this we will deploy a random approach to the city, one that focuses on an arbitrary territory centred on a city block or an urban condition. The arbitrary nature of this approach will allow us to speculate on alternative forms of urban transformation and to experiment with new spatial configurations that include physical structures, situations and strategies.

Through a scanning process, a spatial construct, situations, architectural insertions and direct strategies, we will apply the multi-layered and hybrid nature of the city to the making of architectural space and develop appropriate methods for designing complex spatial interventions that directly affect the live realm of the city and transform Lambeth's urban fabric.

Unit Staff

Carlos Villanueva Brandt has been Diploma 10 Unit Master since 1986 and was awarded the RIBA President's Silver Medal Tutor Prize in 2000. The varied work of Carlos Villanueva Brandt Architecture, formed in 1984, has been published widely and exhibited internationally. He is a founding member of NATØ (Narrative Architecture Today), has taught in Housing and Urbanism at the AA, was visiting lecturer/professor at the RCA and is currently a visiting professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. He has been a lecturer, critic and examiner at various schools in Britain, Europe, Latin America and Asia, has written numerous essays and his book, London +10, was published in 2010.


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