Housing the Public


Studio lead: Jo Sharples

Studio Collaborators
Megan Morrison, Alan Baxter Engineers
Sarah Fraser, Manchester Ceramics Collective
Jack Richards, Editional Studio / SSoA
Miles Reay-Palmer, DSDHA
Elseline Bazin and Charles Bedin, Studioemile

With thanks to:
John Paul Walker, Historic England
Craig Walker, Historic England
Rosie Hall, Kirklees Archives
Nigel Hunston, Kirklees Council

Urban centres of many northern towns have suffered sequential blows of de-industrialisation, the rise of the internet shopper and more recently, by the pandemic. Town centres are forlorn and lacking purpose, what will become of them, what is their reason for being?

Huddersfield is one such example, with large swathes of the town lying vacant whilst paradoxically being listed for its historic value. We explore what might become of the town that famously ‘bought itself’, looking how this publicly-owned centre can recover to recreate a collective, civic society in an environmentally conscious and creative way. In the era of climatic emergency, existing buildings and their materials must be viewed as precious reserves of embodied energy. The re-use of existing buildings and a frugality towards material, is an essential starting point for all our working. We examine the changing attitudes towards historic architecture in the public realm and the
relevance of preservationist attitudes in relation to inefficient building performance.

The studio seizes emptiness with optimism, seeing this as an open invitation to re-imagine what is valuable about our collective urban spaces and the way we want to live.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.