40 615 Buildings and their Territory


Det kreves ingen forkunnskaper utover opptakskrav i studieprogrammet.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

Passed 7th semester

Course content

The Studio for Research and Production of Architecture offers a research-oriented master studio in architectural design. In spring semester 2016 the guest-professor in the studio will be English architect Tony Fretton from the London based Tony Fretton Architects. www.tonyfretton.com
"Whenever I am in Oslo I am struck by the quality of the Rådhusplass ensemble as public building and territory. However this studio is not about city halls but urban mixed-use apartment buildings like those behind the City Hall, and how they can also establish public territory. It is also about challenges and opportunities of designing larger urban apartments as places to live and about learning how the repetitions they impose have to be handled to give convincing public facades while providing enough intimacy and identity for those who choose to live there. As an English person my style of thinking and teaching is associative and empirical. It provides encouragement and a critical response to your development as a young architect." Tony Fretton
Buildings and their Territories is a theme that comprises a large number of architectural ideas and techniques. Buildings hold a wealth of constructional and social knowledge, while territory is both the physical area and space in which buildings have a positive effect, but also the fields of ideas with which they engage.
For the studio project we suggest to design a building in the centre of Oslo that should engage with the qualities of Oslo's urban architecture, as for example with the Rådhusplassen and its formal setting, so that the formal and urbanistic issues of the buildings and their programs could be addressed. The program could be a mixed-use block of generous apartments, ranging in size from 100 to 250 sqm. The projects will be developed on several critical sites in the very centre of Oslo.
In introduction to the design task students will be asked to make a research study on the urban buildings and their territories. Successful buildings of this type exist at all scales, from the building by Tony Fretton's practice at Tietgens Grund in Copenhagen and the Red House in London www.tonyfretton.com, to Le Corbusier's Maison Clarte in Geneva. The messages from classicism has also a lot to teach us, for example the four Palaces around an octagonal plaza in Copenhagen near Tietgens Grund, Edinburgh New Town, Place Stanislaus in Nancy France and a great deal of Haussman's Paris.

Learning outcomes

- formulating an independent and prejudice-less thinking about architecture, its spatial organization, its constituent elements, construction and materiality, and about the territory it engages.
- stimulating the individual awareness of todays positions in architecture and its relationship to the city
- stimulating the awareness of one's own architectural position and one's own attitude toward the work with architecture
After finishing the course, the student should:
- be able to develop his/her own clear and consistent working method in working with the theme of urban appartment houses typology.
- be able to develop principles for structuring of both basic and complex housing typologies and develop them through different scales into a final project
- be able to develop and apply the architectural knowledge about the specific project themes chosen to work with during the studio
- be able to creatively combine the architectural research in the project
- be able to develop and draw precisely his/her own project through different scales, from the conceptual design to its final constructive and material stage.
- be able to comprehensively present and communicate his/her architectural idea and his/her final project through the appropriate forms of representation, with drawings, models, diagrams, photos, 3D renderings, etc.
- benefit from the work with a foreign guest-teacher and from the confrontation with his architectural thinking, knowledge, experience and imagination.
General competence
The general goal of the Studio is to rethink and reinterpret themes, concepts and tools of architecture through a collaborative project with the guest teacher in the studio. In working with architecture architects use various tools. Construction, space, program, site, context, form, sustainability, materiality and atmosphere offer just some of them. The choice of ideas, themes and tools and ways to work with them vary from one architect to another, from one project to another. Sometimes they are more recognizable identities, sometimes less. Developing ones own clear, consistent and creative attitude towards the things one chooses to work with within the given assignment is what studying architecture is all about.
Also, the idea is to focus on development of the individual working method through the research-based architectural design. In parallel to the main project “another project” would go on: the individual investigation of means and processes necessary for research and production of an architectural project. By organizing the semester work in a matrix-like structure that combines both the conceptual, analytical and intuition-based approach, the studio would like to disclose the individual potential that usually remains hidden behind the end-result of the project. By pursuing the research within a partly self-defined, partly given framework, we would like to question the preconceived images and norms of traditional design work, in this case the design of urban appartment houses, and to initiate the processes revised by new cognitions, opened to unexpectectural solutions.

Working and learning activities

The underlying aims of the teaching in the studio will be:
- to create motivation for the analytical thinking and causal architectural decision-making and expression
- to stimulate, cultivate and articulate personal discussion with teachers, as well as open public discourse within the studio, on the base of architectural ideas developed through the project
The studio-work during the semester will be conducted in 4 steps. The duration of each step will be approximately 1 month.
- the first part of the semester: individual research with open public discussions in the studio
- the second part of the semester: individual work on the project structured in 3 steps in-between 3 public reviews in the studio
During the semester, each step would be discussed both independently, as combined with each other and connected into the main project as a whole. In this way, each of the steps will hopefully leave clear traces onto the final project. Weaving the research in and around the main project would lead students to make visible another story, the story of their own position and understanding of architecture. The short assignments or workshops will be introduced during the work.
Our particular interest will be to investigate the relationship between architectural structure, materiality and the concept, starting from an idea of architecture that coherently fuses representation and its internal spatial and tectonic qualities. Therefore, beside the drawings, the projects will be investigated and developed with the help of architectural models in different scale, specially big models. They will then be photographed to test the anticipated ideas of the project. The final project will be presented with text, big-scale drawings and models, photographs, renderings, etc.
The teaching will consist of the studio-work, the individual and public discussions and table reviews and lectures structured in-between the public reviews. During the semester we could imagine two shorter study-trips: one very short trip to London to the first review with Tony Fretton, and another, a week visit to urban architecture of Berlin.

- texts, drawings and models in different scale, photographs and 3D illustrations
- the prepared public discussions and reviews of the individual projects with projections
- the digital- and hand-production of models in different scale will be one of the primary design tools of the studio
- the final project will be presented with the detailed drawings, big models and renderings

- the active presence and work on the project in the studio during the whole semester
- in the research part of the semester the assessment will focus on:
1. the architectural sensibility and awareness of the architectural problems,
2. the clarity of argumentation, built-up during the process
- in the project part of the semester the assessment will be based on:
1. the evaluation of the quality of the project idea,
2. the strength of conversion of idea into an architectural project,
3. the evaluation of the artistic, intellectual and architectural capacity to confront the creative risk involved in the project
- the prepared project-material and presence at 3 public reviews
- the delivered complete project for the exhibition AHO Works and for the final review 01 – 05.06. 2015
- the studio-work is evaluated with Passed ‚or Not passed, jf. Regulation for Master Studies at AHO‚ pt. 6-14.

The pensum- and literature list will be given later.

Professor in charge

Neven Fuchs-Mikac