Studio Civic Delight

Studio lead: Kate Nicklin


We are interested in the interconnection between how buildings are made and how this could influence the architectural expression and tectonic character of design. We are interested in an architecture that is inseparably connected to place through its materiality and history. We will be looking closely at the relationship between structure, materiality and architectural language. We’re interested in architecture that reacts to the specifics of its context both physical and cultural, and which aims to provide social value by offering beauty and delight.

This year our focus will be on Sheffield city centre and exploring the idea of ‘the civic’, we will be looking at interventional repair of the city centre of Sheffield. We are interested in challenging established ideas of what a civic building is but also the architectural language that expresses its civic nature. At the core of the studio is an exploration of the connection between society held values and architectural expression.

The studio will explore broad ideas about ‘city-life’ and begin with Sheffield ‘City Centre’ as a study area. We will then shift the extent of our focus so that we can explore ideas at 1:1 and 1:20 thinking through making. The intention is that students will make proposals of a relatively small scale but thoroughly explored and developed. By this we imagine proposals will become focused on one or two city-scale buildings; this could be a new build or a re-use project or a combination of the two. Design work will begin in small groups where students will propose a focused collective masterplan looking at ‘civic repair’ and later, students will develop proposals that establish a renewed civic life.