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The year consisted of a broad cultural investigation into who we are and how we live and work.

 

An introductory project involved the development of a self determined timber pavilion and ended with two distinct conclusions; group research into the history and potential of various forms of timber construction; and further detailed adaption of the pavilions represented within and in response to a personal and aspirational location and context.

 

The second semester major project expanded the scale of intentions, within the brief of London as an expanding city, to consider the design of housing types for the development of an ‘empathetic dwelling’.  The dwelling with an emphasis on the trends of co-housing and live/work, is set within a context of limited space and a reducing role of state welfare.

 

Students were asked to select three diverse groups of co-habiters from Grayson Perry’s C4 documentary Who Are You? which looked at how we live together in modern Britain through interviews with alternative 'couples', 'families' and 'tribes'; and to design a residential scheme to house them all under one roof.

 

By researching particular and contemporary household groupings and considering alternate modes of communal living we hoped to explore some of the complexity of human life, and propose spatial arrangements specifically versatile enough to offer alternatives to cookie cutter development proffered lifestyles.

 

The studio focus was to gain an understanding of the development of the city through the establishment and repetition of residential building types, and their contribution to the social structure of the city as a whole.  Through type we tested various building forms and arrangements, and those types were aligned with specific zones and parts of the city.

 

The studio encouraged design development through the production of large format images and digital or physical models to develop and communicate individual architectural expression.

 

Zivile Volbikaite's project was published by Blueprint Magazine, and the studio was selected for review in the Architectects Journal, 2015.

 

The studio also won 'Best Studio' at the Westminster Show, 2015.

The Empathetic Dwelling

University of Westminster

Zivile Volbikaite_Towering Types

'Tower Types' by Zivile Volbikaite

Magnus Pahlberg_Summer-Winter Pavilion

'Summer - Winter Pavilion' by Magnus Pahlberg

Darren Buttar_A Lifetime Home

'Lifetime Homes' by Darren Buttar