May 16th, 2006
This site is composed by academics and architects in Manchester and Preston.
Continuity in Architecture is also a studio for teaching and research at Manchester School of Architecture. We are interested in enquiries from persons who wish to study architecture at Bachelor of Architecture, Masters (MA), M.Phil. and PhD level. Our research interests are in the areas of building reuse, urban design, interior architecture and architectural history. Enquiries regarding study and research should be sent to Sally Stone: s.stone[at]mmu.ac.uk
Continuity in Architecture Studio: Statement
A studio for the design of new buildings and public spaces in the historic city and interventions in existing structures. We use two sites each year, one at home and one abroad. Contacts are made with architectural practices working in both locations and accompanied visits and lectures form part of the study tour. Studio teaching is supported by a lecture course exploring theoretical and practical approaches to intervention in existing structures and urban fabric.The main source of our architecture is the place itself. We reflect upon the persistence, usefulness and emotional resonance of particular places and structures. Historical solutions to architectural problems - cases that have emerged in real situations – offer a rich context for teaching, learning and research. Extant examples of city pattern, use of materials and architectural form provide a starting point for our studies.
We are interested in the qualities of places that have persisted and we prefer a reading of history that stresses the permanence of tradition as the subject of architecture. Tradition in architecture in this context is the embodied meaning of buildings and cities produced by centuries of lived experience. Embodied meaning can be interpreted through building. Discovery and recognition are a vital part of the design process - we presume that we have a duty to carefully analyze and describe a place before we can alter it. Can the legibility of architecture be increased through the establishment of continuity with history?
The architect brings order to the world through building. The artistic and scientific tools of the architect are brought into contact with the site and architecture emerges through a process of negotiation with physical context and lived experience. In this context typology (defined as a system of typical solutions to architectural problems) is enriched by coexistence and accommodation with the existing urban fabric. The importance of the retention of existing structures leads us to study building conservation, repair, and the detail of connections between new and old.
Building during any period of history represents a significant commitment of human, material and financial resources. The most successful cities have adapted urban patterns and buildings to uses never imagined by their original creators. We are inspired by the efforts of architects working within existing structures and urban fabric to produce a responsive architecture of narrative, space, intervention, and detail. We aim to show, through the example of architects engaged in critical practice, that the ideas and methods we examine in the studio have real applications.
© The Authors