diploma3 this year revolved around the theme of fragility and the ambition of achieving poignant and materially evocative spaces through a careful positioning of a responsive architecture within, adjacent or around existing structure; the unit’s intention, as always, in trying to attain an eloquence and clarity between idea and the tectonics of our architecture.

The unit began the year in Florence, with a careful study of four constructions by Filippo Brunelleschi: The Foundling Hospital, the Old Sacristy in the Basilica San Lorenzo, the Pazzi Chapel adjacent to the Basilica Santa Croce, and the Pulpit of the Basilica Santa Maria Novella. These studies established in the unit discussions and an architectural focus about measure and proportion, materiality and detail.

The project sites for this year were in the old city centre of Palermo, Sicily. With its area of about one square mile, it is one of the richest and most varied in Europe, containing over 500 palaces, churches, convents, and monasteries. The unit worked within two of the southern quarters of the old city, La Kalsa and the Albergheria; areas which suffered extensive damage during the Second World War and which have not seen the investment that many of the other parts of the city have recently enjoyed. Five project sites were identified for the students to investigate. These sites were of varying size, yet all contained some form of remnant building. Programmes for the year were individually tailored around themes of orphanage, school, and hospice. Within this conglomerate of ‘as found’ vacant spaces individual projects were asked to address three scales: from furniture to room to public space, and the ambition of suggesting alternatives to the often disappointing method or finesse of working with old buildings.

Project Briefs:

Project One
Viewfinders Blues
Four Constructions
Four Constructions , part 2
Works of Paper
To the Man who saw the Angel
Reference and Constellation
Negotiated Item

Student list:

Tokuichiro Oba
Pierre Bonnerjee
Julian Croxson
Andrew Enerva
Abigail Kendler
Viral Sheth
Ivi Vassilopoulou
Melanie Whittington
Akira Yamaguchi
Isaac Cobo i Displas
Fanny Galvan
Shizuka Mori
Eleni Svyrou Svyriadi
Naofumi Takaoka
Yee Seng Tan
Kristina Triantafillou
Paschal Volney
Tomohiro Fujisawa