Graduate Show 2019: Richard Townshend: Architecture

The lack of housing in England stands as one of the most important issues of the twenty first century.

Well informed architectural design can go a long way to making a positive difference in response to the housing shortage, as well tackling social issues, cultural prejudices and lack of community. In Studio12 we were tasked with realising a (possible) solution to a site within central Brighton.

-Increase the Density

-Introduce suburban amenities

-Create Thoughtful and considered entry sequences

-Clearly define the public and private spaces.

“There are no new spatial solutions to be found in the field of housing design. Or perhaps more accurately; there are no new spatial problems. Relax, you can stop looking”. Rob Annabel

My work was strongly informed by the use of precedents, specifically housing schemes from around the world that have proved successful since their conception; whether that be their urbanistic quality, their sense of place or their ability to create a genuine, strong community.

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 Can you tell us about your final year project?

My project is a blend of many such buildings, their defining features pulled and stitched together to create a mixed-use residential scheme in the heart of Brighton. I aimed specifically to improve the quality of the public realm, encourage interaction through shared outdoor spaces and construct in a sustainable manner – that is, not building using mindless amounts of concrete and considering how the use of the building may change over the course of twenty years – how could it be disassembled and reconfigured? The provision of state funded housing has been in rapid decline since the thatcher era, and now more than ever there needs to be a resurgence in well designed, well thought through and good quality housing: for everyone. 

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How have you found your time at Brighton?

Throughout third year – in Studio12, sitting in guest lectures and visiting housing schemes (mostly in Camden), I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about housing and Architecture as a broader field. The Mithras House studio space is friendly, fun and encourages creativity. Every tutor has a certain field of knowledge that they bring to the teaching staff, and are always happy to stop, help, chat and encourage you to explore new ideas. I am sure that the Architectural history and theory I have learned throughout my time here will benefit me in years to come!

What are you plans after graduating?

I hope to land a job in a Brighton based firm this summer, before (perhaps) continuing to work or study elsewhere in Europe, eventually setting up my own practice.

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