Project 1 is intended as a warm-up exercise to raise and frame questions about our own attitudes towards the idea of the city and how we represent them. It also enables a collaboration between first and second years Master of Architecture students.

Project 1 has three tasks Project 1A, 1B and 1C.

Project 1A is about identifying one key space in a city that we like and trying to identify the rules, standards, norms and codes that make it work and how these support or inhibit activities. The set of rules are represented through diagrams.

Project 1B is about producing a group model that represents our groups utopian vision of a space drawn from the rules developed in project 1A.

Zorrotzaurre – Bilbao

The intention of this workshop was to get the teams to:

  • Develop their thinking about the site and its needs.
  • Start developing ideas towards the main project, applying what we have learnt so in learning principles and urban design.

Group 1

This group used the workshop to look at several urban issues that were identified on the site, such as: connections and barriers between the river and the mainland and how the orientation of the buildings can be used as a visual connection to the waterfront.

Evva Antoniou, Silvia Mefi, Hui Jing, Nadine Wolz, Yuen Shan Li.

Group 2

This group focused their study on the topography and the influence on urban morphology. The steep mountains and the narrow rivers shape an interesting microcosm of industrial history and architecture on Zorrotzaurre. The pristine of the site is the response of the human scale to its context.

Dmitri Chong, Jiaming Bi, Niamh de Buitlear and Filio Zacharoglou.

Group 3

This group looked at the rich diverse history that Bilbao has had and how this can be celebrated through its architecture. One of  their main findings was how neglected the river was and how it should be used as an asset for the city. They felt that if this was done Zorrotzaurre could be made more accessible and a much more desirable place for all users of the city to visit.

Andrew Morris, Bjorg Agasoster, Ros – Buxton Smith and James Anthony Gidden

Group 4

As a group they focused their investigations on the diverse and mixed use of the site looking at the thresholds and boundaries associated with the site. Zorrotzaurre has become excluded from the rest of Bilbao in identity, and infrastructure. A clear conclusion is that Zorrotzaurre needs to be reconnected to the city, opening up views and vistas to, from and across the site. The Site has the potential to bridge the city and become a catalyst for change. But the question is how do we do this?

. Lee Seng Kiat, Jamie Yap, Corinna Maigler and Andrea Luciano Giordano

Group 5

As a group they focused their investigations on the grid of Bilbao and its constructed and visual connections to the island of Zorrotzaurre. Their models interrogated the ground and wider context as well as nodes, landmarks and landscape structures. From their observation, the island of Zorrotzaurre could become a catalyst for change through a green infrastructure connecting the south of Bilbao with the north. In addition, pedestrian-friendly bridges would enhance the accessibility to the island.

Denitsa Dimitrova, Tim Snell, Rae Wu and Tom Barstow

Group 6

Using their models they explored the possibility of inviting the nearby university campus space onto the centre of the island. They looked at creating further links with the wider context by bridging the island with a proposed train station at the south-west side of the island, thus providing a new route of access to university via the new station. The flow of people to and from the university would be encouraged to be involved in the range of activities taking place at the centre of Zorrotzaurre, such as the fresh produce market, exhibition spaces and a revamped skate park.

Jonathan Higgs, Harmony Wee, Kieran Urich and Shak Bazarov

The “Radical Inclusivity” book was launched this summer and includes the MArch students works, academic writings exploring the inclusiveness and commons in architecture.

Book’s abstract:

The real strength of today’s protest movements is not conflict, but a reclaimed solidarity and newly rebuilt sense of community. The real “we are all in this together” of people losing their homes, jobs, life savings and those who know how easily they can succumb to similar misfortune. In the face of adversity, the sense of community is reborn together with a selfless impulse to help. ‘Empathy’ and ‘inclusiveness’ become key words. A new community and the language it establishes emerge in cooperatives and movements working for the common good.

 In this book we imagine the architecture and urbanism of this emerging community. We ask, how we are supposed to be together, with all our differences and arguments. How do we avoid the danger of an authoritarian, homogeneous unity while rejecting conflict and hatred? It is because we fear that our bare hands will not be enough, that we need institutions, houses, tools and machines. But they all need to be re-imagined as completely new entities, created by the community and acting as its active members.

We hope that the texts and projects in this book will be our humble contribution to this new, better, and shared world.

Book is available at:


Editor: Krzysztof Nawratek

Contributions by: Camilio Boano, Kasia Nawratek, Murray Fraser, Chloe Willis, Lucas Ward, Dido Graham, Fran Tonkiss, Alona Martinez Perez, Tom Penny, Jack Woodward, Anna Minton, Yusnani Mohd Yusof, Marek Kozlowski, David Johnson, Joshua Cole, Matthew Gandy, Robert Brown, Jaimie Li How Cheong, Adam Adamopoulos, Lee Cheetham, Matt Coker, Matt Clark, Emily Argall, Emily Argall, Simon Bradbury, Denise Morado, Ethel Baraona Pohl.

Design: Alexander Horton-Howe, Benjamin Huggins, Matthew Oxley

We’re going to Bilbao, Spain!

This year, MArch year 1 students will be working on a massive live based project in the island of Zorrotzaurre, in the city of Bilbao. Our work this term will focus on preliminary context and site investigations, the identification of relevant project briefs, the formulation of an urban strategy and testing it through creating a masterplan.

The main conceptual driver of this project is developing models of regeneration that are resilient, that support existing residents and businesses and integrate new ones, provide opportunities to live, work and play, provide mixed lifetime communities and have appreciation of economic impacts and viability.

Visual Documentation of us exploring and squeezing brain juices during the first two weeks.


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