Thursday, April 16, 2009


“The intention of publishing the feedback below is so that all students can benefit by understanding the strengths and weakness’ of a range of projects. Please take the time to review other student’s work with these comments in mind. If you have any questions or would like any further clarification don’t hesitate to ask me during the studio session.”

Alex Burhoven-Jaspers
Key strength of the scheme: The variety of ways you have massed elements of the architecture (thicknesses/materiality) is good. This lends each of the spaces a character that is both distinctive and clearly “designed” (rather) than accidental. Your sections have lots of energy and seem to jump of the page which is great – if you could temper that with a little more thoughtfulness they would be better.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The three spaces all stacked directly above one another are very similarly proportioned. While the changes in massing (see above) help to differentiate them you seem to have missed an opportunity to add tension or drama by accentuating the differences. The stairs while quite distinctive form each other could have showed more imagination in terms of their form and/or detailing.

Brian Culla
Key strength of the scheme: You have engaged with the artists work and processes and your distinctive spaces successfully contain some sense of what you have understood about the clients. You have developed your work showing a clear improvement form earlier schemes. While I believe you could have used a more subtle approach to translating concept into arch in your stairs you have clearly made a good attempt at designing based on concepts.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: There is a general lack of detail that would have been your next move as your work developed. Thinking about the wall thickness and how elements meet each other could also have resolved some of the more jarring spaces e.g. pointy structure (whose walls are all paper thin – allowing them to come to a strange point)

Cameron Gage
Key strength of the scheme: Design of the top stair is very thoughtful. Particularly good to see you engaging with fine detail as well as overall form. The variations in wall and floor thicknesses show an understanding of architectonics. Also the scale of the studios is appropriate to the clients needs.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: Overall the building design feels a little confused. Here are reasons for this. 1. The combination of so many curves is difficult to take in - you could have solved this by simplifying the overall forms or by adding some more orthogonal forms to be counterpoint and balance the curves. 2. The overuse of colours and textures makes it difficult to see where one surface stops and another starts. Next time make sure you choose you section early and speak to me about how to adapt it into three dimensions – then you will have plenty of time for refinements. The animations are very fast and those combined with the screens grabs you chose did not give me a clear idea of the lower space.

Gleb Zinger
Key strength of the scheme: Very sophisticated building that shows an excellent understanding of architectonics and uses a rich layering of architectural elements to express form. Your animations are very nicely put together to emphasise the more powerful parts of your design for example the strong symmetry and centralised stair.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The building is overscaled in relation to the requirements of the brief i.e. studios and a gallery. The conceptual relationship between the clients (or ideas drawn from the clients work) seems to be missing – and perhaps even purposely ignored? The coordinator was disappointed to read your comment about the draft model and how you already had an idea so you just did it because you had to.

Hayley Ng
Key strength of the scheme: It is clear that you have worked conceptually and you have succeeded in translating your interesting ideas into a well-proportioned piece of architecture. There is lots of great detail work, many interesting forms and an effective use of colour.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The architecture is over-scaled. Your early misinterpretation of the brief has meant that you have had to rush to correct the scheme. This is a shame because if you had a little more time it would have been easy to salvage the core elements of your design and achieve a design that was more about the artists studios than the gallery. (Next time read the brief more carefully!)

Jabez Ho
Key strength of the scheme: Very impressive consideration of detail showing a great understanding of architectonics. Your drawings showing your designs are great – you have a good ability to design from many dif views and consider the construction of elements. Overall your building is interesting and appropriately scaled but a little clumsy in form.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: While you have clearly considered the design of the spaces in relation to your clients you have been very literal when it comes to translating this into architecture – which means that the spaces you have created lack poetry. This is a very diff area of architecture to come to grips with. In your next project it would be good for you to focus on working with a concept and translating it into form in a more creative and sophisticated way –I will help!

Josh Maule
Key strength of the scheme: There is a sophisticated handling of materials and construction in this scheme. The many small details, that are carefully composed, are quite powerful. This will stand you in very good stead and is something that it will take the other students a while to catch up on.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: You have not used the design process in combination with concepts gleaned from your clients to push your design further away from what we might expect to see domestically. The proportions and balance is also a bit off – this can be a tricky thing to gauge – it may help to imagine you are arranging (say) posters in your room. i.e. bigger at top or bottom?, aligned?, in sets of two, three etc. – all things that can be tested through architectural drawing. Or perhaps in your next project you could try to think of your self as designing a large spatial sculpture rather than a building.

Leslie Shen
Key strength of the scheme: The stairs are very interesting and work very well to give a distinctive feel to the journey down and the journey up. The architecture also has a sense of being two very different (and quite special) places designed for the specific clients. It would be great if I knew a little more of why you made your architectural decisions. I would like to work with you more closely on your development next time so that I can see what you are thinking when you are designing. Most significant weakness of the scheme: While there has certainly been some development from the drafts to the final model I think you could have made further investigation of architectural details and materiality i.e. what is the material of each element?, how does it meet the next one ?, are they joined and how? Because your building is quite simple it would have been relatively easy for you to go through this exercise.

Owen Liu
Key strength of the scheme: Your design is very interesting spatially. There are many layers of spaces forming double heights and surprising vistas. In some cases the textures have been used very well to highlight form and add drama. You have also taken care to add detail in areas such as balustrade or the construction of framework - which makes the building feel more real.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The main problem with your work is that there is so much going on in terms of different shapes and textures that the overall effect is lost. If you had more time to develop this work I would advise you to simplify it quite considerably by removing unnecessary areas to create a more powerful and cohesive building.

Pascal Roberts
Key strength of the scheme: You have done a lot of development work in this project - which is great. The scaled down version that you have ended up with is definitely an improvement. It is good to see you have endeavoured to use ideas and concepts based on your clients work to develop an interesting architecture. Some of most exciting work in terms of creative forms is seen early in your process (ask me and I will show you what I mean in tutorial)
Most significant weakness of the scheme: Though many of your conceptual ideas are good you have not managed to translate them into architecture except in quite a surface way. For example, the walls that are meant to be “recomposed” of other elements aren’t really separate elements all bought together. If they were you would see the effect inside also and there would be many variations in thicknesses – you also may have considered how to join them.

Paula Idun
Key strength of the scheme: You have made a serious attempt to work conceptually - which is very important . I think the best architectural work that you have produced for this project is the stair that you did for the first draft of the sketch up model. I like this best because it is creative, and exciting and also links to the artists’ ideas. I also like the way you decided to light the space – it works aesthetically and your reasons make good sense.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The scale of your spaces is a little too big. The many rooms make the building feel confused and there is an overall lack of cohesion. On the other hand there is a sameness to all the spaces. This means that your goal of designing to very distinctive spaces has not been achieved. Next time try to think of your design in terms of two large spatial sculptures that are in relation to each other – like two people having a conversation. I think that you are a bit afraid to take risks with your work and so it takes you a while to commit to an idea. This is unfortunate because it prevents you from developing.

Penny Zhang
Key strength of the scheme: Creative use of forms that succeed in turning a 2d section into 3d architecture. Your building is well scaled and spatially complex. The lower stair particularly has been well thought out and detailed. I am really impressed at the progress you made with sketch up considering how behind you were at the beginning. Now that you have shown yourself you can easily learn new software Unreal Tournament should be no problem for you.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The wall, floor and ceiling elements all seem paper thin giving your building an unreal feeling. Obviously glass can be thin but the thickness and materiality of other elements need to be designed i.e. thought about and purposely decided upon. YOU ONLY DID 9 SECTIONS – you came very close to failing because of this.

Key strength of the scheme: A nicely scaled and well proportioned design. You obviously have a flair for composition and you have used surface texturing and colour to good effect. Excellent drawing work!
Most significant weakness of the scheme: This work does not demonstrate that you have understood how to translate concepts into architecture. You need to work on this in your next project so we will need to discuss your work more as you go along. Please make sure you read the brief very carefully next time and bring your work to me on time so you can get more feedback throughout the project.

Rio Sun
Key strength of the scheme: You have made a lot of progress through all your development work. Your initial efforts where extrusions and lacked three dimensionality but your later work has really turned a 2D section into 3D architecture. You have demonstrated that you have many creative architectural ideas and are not afraid to try them out!
Most significant weakness of the scheme: It is very difficult for me to see exactly what you have designed here – the animations and 3d’s do not really show me what the studio spaces or the stairs would be like. If you had put the entire model on the blog through file front or spoken to me about the project more I would have been able to make more meaningful comments. From what I can tell the scheme is a bit confused and could do with some simplification. YOUR BLOG IS ALLL OVER THE PLACE PLEASE SEEK HELP FROM A FELLOW STUDENT TO FIX IT – it makes your work very unpleasant to mark
Note: If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to ask your tutor during the studio session

Uzair Shaikh
Key strength of the scheme: Your architecture presents an interesting and creative series of spaces. The use of texture and colour is also good and mainly serves to emphasis the more distinctive elements of your scheme.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: Incomplete - no animations.

Wilson Le
Key strength of the scheme: This is a well-balanced and nicely proportioned piece of architecture. You have made simple gestures but backed them up with careful detail. You have made a good choice of textures and applied them in a sensitive way which adds to the feel of the spaces.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: The main issue is that the top level is an extruded shape. It is possible that in your case this is suited to what you wanted but I did specifically ask you all to try to get away form extruded forms so I would have expected you to argue this point with me if you had wanted to stick with it. The sections and textures in general fall far short of the standard of your building design. This is disappointing because you display very good drawing skills in your stair designs. I hope you take these earlier tasks more seriously next time Note: If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to ask your tutor during the studio session

Lena Chen
Key strength of the scheme: The difference of the two artists you had as clients and the sense of their work that you had is well expressed architecturally. You have created two very distinctive, simple but elegant spaces. Furthermore there is a satisfying balance between them that adds up to an overall aesthetically successful scheme.
Most significant weakness of the scheme: You could have improved this work by focusing (at least in a few places) on the details of the architecture. The stairs especially could have been investigated more closely –i.e. exact construction – joints, supports etc.


  1. Hi Helen, I have just sent Russell an email asking for a possible extension, however as he is away I received an automatic out of office response. will he still get my email? Is there another way i should try and contact him? Thanks Pascale

  2. Hi Helen, my computer can not run unreal ~I just copy it from computer lab, but it can not be used~~ And I do not know how to install it in mac~ Can you give me some help?

  3. Hi Helen, in tutorial you told me some where that I see last year student's works, but I'm forgot~~can u tell me again? sorry about that~