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Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

Develop a unique approach to the built environment and design with Architecture BSc at The Bartlett – a world-renowned degree for both creativity and rigour.

About

This three-year programme teaches students from across the globe the skills to practise architecture and an understanding of how to use those skills imaginatively in different contexts.

As an architecture student at The Bartlett, your time will be spent in both the studio and the workshop, with approximately 70% of the programme taught and assessed through your design portfolio. Design teaching is delivered by leading practitioners, specialists and academics in small groups or on a one-to-one tutorial basis with frequent review sessions.

As well as being vocational preparation for practising architecture, this programme introduces students to the wider societal forces which affect them and architectural production, stressing the indivisibility of the architectural, cultural, professional and technological realms. Alongside design teaching, our students take core modules (Technology, History & Theory, Computing and Professional Studies) which are assessed through a combination of coursework, essays and examinations.


Highlights

  • Learn the skills to practise architecture, exchanging ideas with students from across the globe as well as leading practitioners and academics
  • Work in state-of-the-art bespoke facilities – both our studios and workshops are designed for creative flexibility and idea generation – and take part in the UK’s biggest architecture Summer Show
  • Choose one of our famous Design Units in Year 2 and 3, with whom you’ll develop your own unique project and undertake substantial field work and trips
  • Enjoy being part of a world-leading community for studying, teaching and researching architecture and the built environment
Studying architecture at The Bartlett has encouraged me to do things that I had never dreamed of doing, challenging my world, both technically and intellectually. 

Tom Ushakov, Architecture student, 2019


Modules

Year 1

Design Projects (60 credits)

Module coordinator: Frosso Pimenides and Max Dewdney

This module explores ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting objects, places and events, learning to look beyond the obvious into the unseen and often absurd qualities of things. Students develop the skills to undertake investigations and representations of architecture through various media and complete a series of design projects across a range of scales, constructed or represented through models and drawings.

Environmental Design (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Blanche Cameron

This module aims to teach students the skills and concepts needed to address environmental design as an integral part of the architectural design process. Students are introduced to environmental design and its associated fields including climate, energy and sustainability. They study, among other things, environmental physics, energy sourcing and the relationship between buildings and global climate.

History of Cities and their Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Professor Mario Carpo

Students are introduced to Western architectural and urban history, from the classical age to today, with a brief overview of architectural history outside of the Western cannon. This module also introduces new methodologies of architectural history and theory developed in the field of cultural studies.

Making Cities: The Production of the Built Environment (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Jonathan Kendall

Students develop an understanding of the relationship between architecture, planning and construction, learning how these teams come together to design and deliver projects and how the accumulation of these projects shapes and is shaped by their urban context. Using London as their primary resource, students undertake critical and creative research on specific built and emerging projects within the city, which are primarily explored through the production of short films.

Structures, Materials and Forming Techniques (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Steve Johnson and Anderson Inge

This module is designed to equip students with the tools and technical knowledge they need to allow the development of their own design thinking and personal research. Students develop a clear understanding of the materials used in the making of buildings, how these materials are fabricated and the architectural and structural influence of material selection. 


Year 2

Design Projects (75 credits)

Module coordinators: Sara Shafiei and Luke Pearson

Students work in small studio groups called Design Units, to respond to a brief and develop a substantial portfolio and final project, often but not always inspired by the Unit’s annual field trip. This module consists of three stages, in which students investigate, develop and synthesise their building designs. Projects may take the form of 1:1 installations, material testing, speculative drawings, animations and models, either digital or physical

Design Technology I (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Oliver Houchell

Students learn to demonstrate a project’s potential to respond to site and context, by addressing the technical requirements of a building’s design and construction and the needs of its users. Each student collates, amongst other things, a suitable selection of materials, a structural strategy and an environmental and energy strategy for their design project. 

Architectural Practice and Enterprise (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Jane Paterson

This module introduces students to the full range of career options in architecture, including business, practice and enterprise initiatives. Students work in groups to simulate practice and business activities and learn transferable skills applicable to both practice and other enterprise initiatives. 

History and Theory of Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Dr Nina Vollenbroker and Stylianos Giamarelos

This module develops students’ understanding of key moments in the history and theory of architecture, and the ways in which architectural knowledge is produced. Students study, amongst other things, 20th century architects and buildings, a range of key architects’ philosophies and approaches, the relationship between architecture and the arts, and the influence of architectural writing on architecture. 


Year 3

Design Projects (75 credits)

Module coordinators: Sara Shafiei and Luke Pearson

Students work in their Design Units to respond to a brief and develop a substantial portfolio and final project, often but not always inspired by the Unit’s annual field trip. As with Year 2, this module consists of three stages, in which students investigate, develop and synthesise their architectural designs. Projects may take the form of 1:1 installations, material testing, speculative drawings, animations and models, either digital or physical. 

Design Technology II (30 credits)

Module coordinator: Luke Olsen 

This module teaches students the skills to critically examine their final design proposal, determine the key technical issues involved, research these and then integrate the research into a creative design process. Students gain an advanced understanding of the synthesis of verified strategies for structural and environmental design. They also learn to carry out technical research through a broad range of media and methodologies, and how to test, analyse and evaluate construction techniques and principles.

History and Theory of Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Dr Nina Vollenbroker and Eva Branscombe

This module introduces students to a range of historical and theoretical approaches and research methods, empowering them to productively engage with specific architectural and urban questions and themes. Students gain research and writing skills, as well as the knowledge to facilitate critical thought about the production, representation, use, experience and impact of architecture and cities, drawing out relationships between past and present. 


Design Units 

In Years 2 and 3, the Design Projects modules are taught in 'Design Units': groups of around 15-17 students from across both years. Each Design Unit is led by distinguished tutors from academia or professional practice, usually both.

UG0

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Continuum
Michiko Sumi, Murray Fraser (on sabattical)

You don’t need to study any building too long to realise that it is in fact a continuum, not an artefact. Buildings are not fixed entities or static objects. They change over time, in atmosphere, in usage, in programme, and get added to and subtracted from until their eventual decline.

How should, or can, an architect allow for change and transformation, or draw a line between what is included within a building (interior) and what is not (exterior)? How are new modes of trans-spatial communication and lifestyles transforming the idea of buildings as cultural continuums, set within their surrounding city?

Following an initial project of their own devising in Term 1, UG0 students will develop their own briefs for buildings or other urban interventions on sites they select around London. The field trip is to Bangkok, a city that continues to alter rapidly and adapt as Thailand’s largest urban continuum.

UG1

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Binary
Elie Lakin, Mads Peterson

The binary is the distinction between two polar opposites. At its most fundamental the binary can be interpreted as a distinction between on and off, 0 and 1, positive and negative, black and white, in and out, solid and gas, light and dark, dawn and nightfall and male and female. A collection of binaries can create a pattern, a rhythm, a dialogue, a language or a code. These patterns can be configured to drive both analogue and digital machines and inform complex behaviours.

UG1 will pursue an architectural agenda that is driven by the binary in its widest sense. We will interrogate binary digital and analogue architectures. This is where pixels work collectively to exhibit performances or behaviours, a machine architecture where inputs inform predefined outputs or an architecture where the digital is layered onto the physical to create responsive environments. Alternatively, we may be inspired by the binary qualities of a site, material, experiment, process, theory or philosophy to drive independent architectural investigations.

UG2

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Urban Cliff
Barry Wark, Maria Kutsson-Hall

UG2 will explore the urban cliff hypothesis which identifies that our cities are often akin to the habitat templates of cliffs. This is based upon the similarities in their physical composition where both have a lack of soil and rooting space and with moisture ranges from dry to waterlogged due to their hard and impervious surfaces. Rather than try to implement a superficial and manicured nature, the unit will instead look to exploit these qualities and view it as fertile ground for the exploration of urban wilderness in architecture.

Students will investigate multi-layered, immersive environments and challenge the homogenous conventions of architectural tectonics.  The buildings will differentiate and appropriate for nature to take hold. They may become chunky or thin; biodegrade or solidify; show the patina of weather and time, and bring into question our relationship to and position within the natural world through yet to be discovered architectural possibilities.

UG3

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The Right Side of Paradise
Daniel Wilkinson, Ifigeneia Liangi

UG3 looks at architecture through ideas of figuration, with this year's focus being investigated through the animalesque, the animalistic and the animal-ish. Instead of designing architectures for animals, we are going to use the complexities presented by animals to develop our own notions of space and design.

Animals have many strange histories in architecture and the arts, and we will use these, as architectural animals ourselves, to investigate the protean possibilities of design. We will develop zoomorphic fantasies which allude to the architectural concerns of scale, materiality and enclosure and will end the first term by releasing our wild beasts into paradise at the Barbican Conservatory. We will travel to Florence and Rome as a shrewdness (see: collective noun) to find our sites, and make architectural propositions inseparable from the figurative ideas developed within the first project. Your wild beasts will evolve in their sites as creatures of paradise.

UG4

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Great Expectations
Catrina Stewart, Hugh McEwen

In UG4 we believe that you can change the world with architecture. This year we will ask you to individually confront the generic and meaningless forms of architecture which have resulted from austerity. Using design as a critical tool, you will propose projects that make possible futures familiar, and in doing so, become powerful polemic tools that enable us, and others, to question our design values.

Austerity has created a society that is risk averse, where architecture is used as an anaesthetic for occupants rather than a means for good. You will develop radically individual approaches, in order to critically respond to generic brick-chic and ‘biscuit architecture’. The wheel of taste is turning. Postmodernism emerged out of the deep recession of the late 1970’s, and we have had ten years of austerity in the UK. Your time to challenge this is now.

UG5

UG 5

Beyond the Boarders
Ben Hayes, Julia Backhaus

UG5 has a longstanding interest in the contemporary landscape, the relationship between land-use, science fact and fictions and the cultural identity of a place. This year the unit will explore the hidden dimensions of the city’s hinterland.

Hong Kong, Shenzhen and its uncharted countryside and border zone will become the test bed for our explorations. Away from the public eye and professional scrutiny, can this territory become a catalyst for speculation and invention; a novel super rural playground? Can the hinterland become a new experimental foreground?

UG6

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Tilt Shift 
Farlie Reynolds, Paolo Zaide

Depicting moments of escapism from the old Japanese capital, Edo, Ukiyo-e prints or ‘pictures of the floating world’ tell stories of people and spaces in nature, staging imagined societies amongst apertures of the changing seasons. Drawing comparison with old Edo is the dazzle of Tokyo today, which has since opened to the West with catastrophic consequences, whilst also retaining a culture bound by tradition and landscape. This paradox typifies tensions between nature and culture: both in constant motion, slowly tilting between extremes, forcing us to speculate on how our environment might recalibrate when one radically shifts.

UG6 will negotiate small tilts and big shifts within Tokyo Metropolis, a model ‘disaster-resistant city’. Whether you find your inspiration in crafted traditions, enchanting myths, or Japan’s contemporary paradox, we encourage you to take a long view across the Edo and beyond to develop architectures that are wonderfully provocative.

Visit the Unit 6 website 

UG7

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Surrender to the Seasons 
Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier

Our relationship with the weather has always been fascinating. It has and continues to shape civilisations, sculpt our cities and inspire writers, artists, and especially architects, being arguably the single biggest influence on the evolution of architecture today. As severe and abnormal weather events become more and more frequent across the globe, we must re-examine architectures relationship with these changes.

What if it rains inside? What if a snow blizzard lives in our lounge? What if our kitchen is submerged in water and our bedroom is exposed to an ageing oak tree? Can the weather around us tell us the time? Can we choreograph decay to hide and reveal new worlds? Would this be wrong or just unusual, maybe even fantastical? Maybe it’s just the next step in our relationship with the unpredictable seasons?

UG8

UG 8

Unfinished Business
Greg Storrar, Thomas Pearce

This year UG8 will consider how the notion of the unfinished can play an active role in creative invention. As architects, we are never confronted with a blank canvas, nor can we ever leave behind a finished one. The life of a building starts long before we draw our first line and continues long after we hand it over to the end-user.

In UG8 , we welcome the brave and the curious. We value the type of individuality and flair that thrives from a will to find out, rather than the need to prove. We like to give time and space for the development of an approach to design and research which is personal and grounded. The unit values work that is inventive, risk-taking and as precise as it is intuitive. Driven by curiosity, we take pleasure in exploring the unknown, the uncertain and, this year, the unfinished.

UG9

UG 9

Superlative 
Chee Kit Lai, Jessica In,

UG9 will be looking at superlatives to explore and define your architectural identity. By invoking a superlative state that explores the edges, exaggerations or extremes in conditions, language, behaviour and style, we aim to push and question the borders of the proper or normal. We are critical of the use of superlatives in popular culture, where everything becomes reduced to “the most important” and “the best”, and will re-examine this phenomena in the context of architecture.

Following on from last year's investigations into identity and time, we will further the consideration of a dimension beyond physical objects. High dimensional spaces are abstract models of the world with potentially infinite parameters of relationships embedded into them. We will consider the theoretical definition of higher dimensional spaces, comprised of relational sets, as an allegorical narrative to discover new dimensions and identities in an architect’s work.

UG10

U 10

Reality and other Stories
Pedro Pitarch, Sarah Stevens

UG10 is concerned with the underlying impermanence of reality, the temporal nature of the human condition and society’s relationship to this through the imaginaries, and the stories we build around ourselves. This defines our actions with implications for our world and ourselves. We use design as a way to challenge the given, drawing forth architectures that inhabit alternate presents made visible through shifts in thought.

This year the unit will challenge the given, proposing alternative futures, new stories, through speculative proposals for new institutions on fabricated lands in the legal capital of Europe where truths are challenged, The Hague.

UG11

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Entropic Encounters
Kostas Grigoriadis and Maren Klasing

With increasing uncertainty in the digital age, UG11 operates with the idea of change in mind. We will develop architecture as the result of non-linear, iterative processes generating spatial complexity and dynamic built environments acting as adaptive systems.

Our hybrid interventions in the urban fabric of Moscow will form architectural ecologies that are relevant, resilient, and computationally driven synergetic relationships between virtual and physical materiality, with encounters of nature and artifice in unconfined and atmospheric spaces. They will speculate on societal phenomena of unregulated automation, infrastructural collapse, overpopulation, unleashed consumerism, alienation and the obsolescence of purpose-built architectures. Our proposals will be drawn, modelled, animated, and simulated. Entropy, versatility and materiality will be our design tools to create performative architectures for near or remote futures in pursuit of ambience and spatial effect.

UG12

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Anger Managment 
Johan Hybschmann, Matthew Springett

'Anger Management' is the last chapter in UG12's trilogy of provocative explorations into American culture. In year one we considered the notion of the ‘Embassy’ and ideas of ‘belonging’ by placing public buildings in New York that examined identity in the post-Obama era. In year two we drew on the role of ‘disrupters’ in the development of the American city by exploring infrastructural scaled buildings for alternative communities within Chicago.

This year, two years into the Trump Precedency, we will explore the architecture of confrontation in response to injustice. Reflecting this, we will visit New Orleans, a city on the edge, in flux and still rebuilding its committees physically after 2005. Simultaneously, and similarly to the country as a whole, the state of Louisiana is also navigating the societal turbulence of the Trump Presidential ‘wake’. 

UG13

Registrations in the Feral Ground
Tasmin Hanke, Ralph Parker

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Our inquiry into the landscape leaves aside the picturesque and the garden for its antecedent: the wilderness, the feral, the visceral engagement of ground, depth and space found through adventure. We are the new explorers, registering the ground afresh. We are the architects of its strange histories, listeners of its peculiar resonances, keepers of its countless time, cartographers of its unholy dreams. 

The unit is intrigued by the human desire for conquest, the search for an improbable and as yet impossible relationship between man and ground. The opportunity lies in the spatial idea of this relationship - how we instigate adventures and how we mark their territory. 


Key information

Entry requirements

Application deadline

Applications for this course have now closed and will reopen again in October for 2020

Fees and funding


Accreditation

Architecture BSc is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Students who successfully complete the programme are exempt from Part 1 of the ARB/RIBA examinations.


Careers 

Upon completion of the programme, many of our students continue with their training to become registered architects by taking a year out in an architect's office in the UK or overseas, before applying for Architecture MArch or another postgraduate degree.

Graduates of this programme benefit from excellent employment opportunities and destinations vary from internationally renowned offices to small-scale specialist practices. Some architecture graduates also use their highly transferable skills in other design-related disciplines, such as film-making, website design and furniture design.


Contacts

Programme Directors: Sara Shafiei and Luke Pearson
Programme admissions: Emmanouil Stavrakakis
Programme administrator: Simon Stanier
Undergraduate admissions: Chris Cutbush

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