Intermediate 4 Ao Tan, Overcontrol & Overexposure: London Twins, 2016-17

Postvacancy: Sublime Disappearances & Savage Outbreaks

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Álvaro Martín Fidalgo

Intermediate 4 slides between the real and the fictional to define both the emerging territories and inhabitants that characterise today's Shrink-Age and celebrate processes of both savage growth and thinning.

After exploring the loss of our capacity to inhabit certain spaces and developments within the city, this year Intermediate 4 will address a disappearing Europe, tracking infrastructures now rendered obsolete - either stopped, abandoned or rejected - due to shifts in our environmental, cultural, economic, socio-political and ideological models. In the last two decades the ways we consume technology and approach out-of-home and leisure experiences have rapidly changed: amusement parks and squares have fallen into disuse; surges in low-cost airlines and in Airbnb reservations have changed our vacation habits and destinations while many conventional beach resorts are closing down and rising temperatures and the lack of snow are putting an end to ski stations in the Italian Alps. Moreover, past political alliances and ideals abandon undesirable construction sites while the global economy is turning European sites of production into ever emptier landscapes. These realities are symptoms of fluctuating global issues that require both our consideration and local and adaptable solutions.

Informed by the contemporary pressures that have left these places behind, we will embark on acts of speculative re-appropriation to explore new modes of inhabitation - because inhabiting is also adaptation; not only enlargement but recovery; not only constructing but dismantling. Working within the scale of architectures and infrastructures - those "man-made geographic systems" that generate their own ecologies - we will consider how both natural and artificial elements can reveal the relationships between an environment and its inhabitants. By understanding architecture as an environmental construction (a hyper-place constituted by dynamic, unfinished and evolutionary situations), students will explore their fantasy.

Unit Staff

Arantza Ozaeta Cortázar and Álvaro Martín Fidalgo are founding partners of the Madrid-based TallerDE2, which develops architectural spaces in environments that connect local identity with contemporary culture. They were recognised as an emerging design talent in Europe for 2017 and Arantza was recently commended as emerging woman architect of the year. They studied at TU Delft and the Madrid Polytechnic ETSAM, where Alvaro is now an associate professor. In addition to their work as visiting lecturers internationally and as directors in the AA Visiting School, since 2008 they have been developing a masterplan for shrinking contexts in Germany that has won numerous awards.


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

T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779

Links & Downloads

More Details

Extended Brief

Unit site

Projects Review 2017

More Information


Prospectus 2017-18
AA Prospectus

Foundation Course Booklet
Foundation Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


Share |

The Architectural Association, Inc. is a Registered Charity Incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No.171402. 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.