Diploma 10 Nabil Randeree, Pleasures, Pleasure Garden, Diploma 10, 2017–18


Carlos Villanueva Brandt

Diploma 10 will start by focusing on seven specific points in the city, anchor buildings which were key to an earlier transformation of London: Nicolas Hawksmoor’s seven churches.

We will work directly with the urban fabric around these points by means of a continuous process of disentangling and constructing space. The disentangling will allow us to reassess the make up of true space and the constructing will enable us to experiment with new types and configurations of space.

After choosing one of the seven starting points, you will arbitrarily scan the surrounding area to create a construct (a multilayered 3D model) that includes the salient physical and social variables that make up the spatial complexity of this fragment of the city and, at a larger scale, the economic, social and political realities of the relevant borough.

The intention is to work simultaneously with the reality of the city: the context, and its abstraction: the construct. For the initial proposals, we will use the construct to design some abstract spatial experiments and then combine it with the context to experiment with different ways of tweaking the scanned area.

Can architecture provoke engagement? We will consider how narratives and situations influence or inform architectural spaces and urban territories.

If we accept that each of the seven starting points was a focal point for urban transformation, then what would be a contemporary focus point for London? Using our spatial experiments and by adapting a relevant brief we shall have to invent one. Within the area of the construct, you will develop a detailed architectural design for a contemporary focus that combines physical structures and situations to make a configuration of interactive spaces. Finally, we will question architecture’s urban role.

Can it be transformative? Can it be direct and form an integral part of the city’s live realm?

Extended Brief

Unit Staff

Carlos Villanueva Brandt has been Diploma 10 Unit Master since 1986 and was awarded the RIBA President's Silver Medal Tutor Prize 2000. The varied work of Carlos Villanueva Brandt Architecture, formed in 1984, has been published widely and exhibited internationally. He is a founder member of NATØ (Narrative Architecture Today). Carlos has taught in Housing and Urbanism at the AA, was visiting lecturer at the RCA, London, 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 and has written numerous essays, including his book London +10 (2010).

Diploma School


AA School of Architecture Admissions (Undergraduate)
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779
undergraduateadmissions @aaschool.ac.uk

Links & Downloads

More Details

Extended Brief

Projects Review 2018

More Information


Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

Special Programmes Course Booklet
Special Programmes Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.