The MA Architecture + Urbanism course is the Manchester School of Architecture's taught postgraduate course which conducts research into how global cultural and economic forces influence contemporary cities. The design, functioning and future of urban situations is explored in written, drawn and modelled work which builds on the legacy of twentieth century urban theory and is directed towards the development of sustainable cities.

Saturday 31 August 2013

Where are they now, already?

Matteo Casaburi, who joined MA A+U from the Politecnico di Milano is continuing his postgraduate studies in Architecture at TU Delft

Wednesday 28 August 2013

MA A+U 2012-13 Thesis Projects

Images from the first group of thesis project submissions are displayed below
Zhouzhi Yu Qianhai
Juan Manuel Del Castillo Ñaña
Matteo Casaburi Manchester
Shiyuan Qin Nanjing - More projects will follow in future posts. - The MA Show will open on 26 September in the Manchester School of Art

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Architecture + Urbanism recommends "Visible and invisible: perceiving the city between descriptions and omissions"

Visible and invisible: perceiving the city between descriptions and omissions AISU Congress Benedictine Monastery CATANIA 12/13/14 September
The conference will focus on the many ways in which the city has been described, narrated, portrayed and quantified in words, numbers and images over the centuries. Description and representation techniques from ancient and medieval times onwards provide an opportunity to initiate a comparison between different cities and contexts, seeking different ways of perceiving the urban whole in its full complexity. This is just the start, with respect to the objective and subjective limits inherent in the analytic process. On the one hand, there is what has actually been omitted, hidden and ignored, especially within the deliberately concealed areas of a city (in the private and social life behind the walls of ghettos, prisons, hospitals, brothels, convents, homes). On the other, there is a city that lies beneath the surface of all physical evidence: the city of excavations, underground infrastructures, sub-services, underground or underwater buildings. Beyond physical substance, there is also a city of intangible networks, a city of networks and other relationships that go beyond the “papers” and official documents. Beyond descriptions and representations, therefore, there is a city that is silenced and marginalized, which is not mentioned or pointed out in the documents. It is a somewhat submerged reality that eludes renderings and corresponds, in part, to what has been concealed over time. What comes into play here are other techniques and strategies related to the omission of information, to deception and to propaganda. Different realities have to be brought to light: the many residual presences in the city, conditions of decay and suffering, as well as industrious situations, which have not been recorded but are no less real. The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the complexity and ambiguity of the tools required to describe the city and its history. Confronting opposites, it is possible to compare a visible to an invisible city, an official to an unofficial city, a public to a private city, a subjective to an objective view, a systematic view to one based on impressions, a false to a plausible view, and, finally, even an interpretation structured as an "album" to one built on individual fragments. AISU Congress site here

Tuesday 13 August 2013


Heritage and Architecture of Urban Landscape under Production 16-28 September 2013 Venice
This workshop will involve faculty and students from the Universita IUAV di Venezia, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Granada and Manchester School of Architecture. The programme offers an intensive design workshop focused on the redevelopment of sites of production, which are recognizable for the architectural and landscaping value built-in urban context. Design in particular will face the problems of complex redevelopment of historical and cultural interest related to water landscapes in a space frame defined by whether out-dated productive processes, or by ancient uses which have left unresolved spaces in the city, but with significant potential. The recognisability of places of cultural value and of vital importance for the transformation of the landscape will place an intensive workshop that will produce integrated and sustainable design solutions in the requalification of landscapes of post-production. The need to define improvement processes that include and protect the architectural and landscape value of an organizing structure that recognizes places built by particular technical forms of production, imposes nowadays reinterpreting capacity with proper and sustainable programmes in which truths prefiguring a urban or territorial role. The design for these subjects should express its -inclusive aptitude and of innovation aimed at giving quality to strategic transformations. The areas of study and project related analysis are linked to urban and quality contexts. In particular it will be the subject of study and reuse project, those interstitial spaces and buildings still to be recovered of the Arsenale (the Old Shipyard) of Venice, either in relation to the city, as to those parts occupied by the Navy, or the spaces and activities of the Biennale and the Magistrato alle Acque as well as the lagoon landscape. The students participating in the Programme will face the problems of design in areas heavily transformed throughout the history and with considerable cultural value. The learning experience will investigate different ways to reuse the architectural heritage and the cultural resources correlated to productive activities that identify parts of the city and landscape. The ground of industrial post-production is today a significant power in the transformation of territory, highlighting how nature and culture have achieved in their different outcomes a formal balance strongly identified, although with contradictions and conflicts, to which the integrated project can give adequate interpretation for the achievement of a sustainable regeneration. The workshop will end with a travelling exhibition among the different Universities in the consortium. In that manner the programme aims to make a contribution to the definition of new strategies of recovery and reuse of architecture and post-production landscapes. In particular, it will offer the results to the attention of the Biennale of Architecture, in order to open the international participation of Intensive Programme for a direct comparison with the issues faced by the international exhibition that will take place in 2014. The volume that will collect the results and theoretical contributions, provided by the Erasmus intensive programme and the various dissemination actions, will also be published in digital version by August 2014. IUAV announcement here This project follows on from the international workshop ARCHAEOLOGY'S PLACES AND CONTEMPORARY USES

Monday 5 August 2013


I am very pleased to announce the publication of the new Spanish language edition of my and Peter Blundell Jones's 2007 book MODERN ARCHITECTURE THROUGH CASE STUDIES 1945-1990 as MODELOS DE LA ARQUITECTURA MODERNA Volumen II 1945-1990 published by Editorial Reverté. Edited by Jorge Sainz, and translated by Roberto Osuna, Ramon Serrano and Maria Teresa Valcarce the book is available here
Descripción Este libro es la segunda parte de un riguroso trabajo de investigación que intenta observar con un nuevo enfoque el Movimiento Moderno y enmarcarlo según unos criterios más amplios. A diferencia de las historias canónicas de la arquitectura moderna, este estudio exalta la profundidad y complejidad de ese movimiento, y resalta no tanto sus propósitos comunes como su espíritu explorador y la consiguiente diversidad creativa. En este estudio se intenta también hacer una aproximación más cercana a los edificios, pues muchas historias del pasado han mencionado los edificios sólo de pasada. Esto hace que el enfoque de este libro sea diferente y que tenga además un marcado carácter didáctico, pues el libro va dirigido fundamentalmente a los estudiantes de arquitectura. Para ello se ha adoptado el método del “estudio de modelos” o casos concretos (case Studies), de manera que cada uno de los capítulos que componen el libro está dedicado monográficamente a un ejemplos singular, en este caso del periodo que va desde el final de la II Guerra Mundial hasta la caída del Muro de Berlín. Así pues, los capítulos abarcan desde la continuación del Movimiento Moderno en la posguerra (con obras de Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Hans Scharoun, los Eames o Egon Eiermann) hasta la corriente denominada “deconstructivista” (representada aquí por Peter Eisenman), pasando por la renovación propiciada por el Team Ten (Aldo van Eyck, los Smithson y Giancarlo De Carlo), algunas figuras singulares (como Gottfried Böhm, Sigurd Lewerentz, Günther Behnisch o Carlo Scarpa), las obras participativas (como las de Lucien Kroll y Ralph Erskine), los dos últimos “maestros” (Louis Kahn y James Stirling), los ideólogos posmodernos (Aldo Rossi y Robert Venturi) y la exaltación de la tecnología punta o hig tech (Norman Foster y Piano & Rogers). Índice Prólogo. Láminas. Introducción. Charles y Ray Eames. Casa Eames, Pacific Palisades, 1945-1949. Hans Scharoun. Teatro Nacional, Mannheim, 1953. Egon Eiermann y Sep Ruf. Pabellón de Alemania, Expo de Bruselas, 1958. Aldo van Eyck. Orfanato, Amsterdam, 1954-1959. Gottfried Böhm. Ayuntamiento de Bensberg, 1962-1971. Sigurd Lewerentz. Iglesia de San Pedro, Klippan, 1963-1966. Alison y Peter Smithson. Edificio 'The Economist', Londres, 1964. James Stirling y James Gowan. Escuela de Ingeniería, Leicester, 1959-1964. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlín, 1968. Günter Behnisch. Instalaciones olímpicas, Múnich, 1967-1972. Carlo Scarpa. Museo de Casteldecchio, Verona, 1957-1974. Louis Kahn. Museo Kimbell, Fort Worth, 1966-1972. Lucien Kroll. Casa de la Medicina, Bruselas, 1969-1972. Ralph Erskine. Viviendas en Byker, Newcastle, 1969-1975. Giancarlo de Carlo. Escuela de Magisterio, Urbino, 1968-1976. Norman Foster. Willis Faber & Dumas, Ipswich, 1971-1975. Renzo Piano y Richard Rogers. Centro Pompidou, París, 1969-1977. Aldo Rossi. Cementerio de S. Cataldo, Módena, 1971-1978. Peter Eisenman. Centro Wexner, Columbus (Ohio), 1983-1989. Robert Venturi y Denise Scott Brown. Ala Sainsbury, Londres, 1986-1991. Conclusión. Bibliografía.
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