Studio 5


Student Galleries

In Studio 5 we concerned ourselves with the duality of the Architecture of Culture and the Architecture of Politics. The Architecture of Culture was explored in semester one through the design of a centre for international cultural exchange in Liverpool. In semester two, The Architecture of Politics provided the context for the design of an embassy building in Berlin / Germany, based on the brief for the competition of the British Embassy in Warsaw (Tony Fretton). The embassy project was preceded by a field trip to Berlin in early February, during which we were shown around and kindly hosted by the Austrian, British, Dutch, Indian and Nordic Embassies, and also visited the Landesvertretungen Baden-Württemberg, Hessen and Nordrhein-Westfalen. Other highlights included the Hansaviertel, Chipperfield’s conversions / renovations of the Neues Museum, Mies’ Neue Nationalgalerie and an exhibition of drawings by Aldo Rossi in the Tchoban Foundation.

In semester one the students designed a Centre for International Cultural Exchange. The idea for the Centre is based on institutions such as the Institut Français, the Goethe Institut or the Instituto Cervantes. In particular at a time when the UK is reorienting itself with regards to its international position and coming to terms with the fall out of Brexit, cultural exchange seems paramount to an understanding and peaceful cooperation between nations. In this context, the project was aiming to test – through an exploration of how type, interpretation of context, materials and construction can lend meaning to a building – the ‘architecture of culture’ as a mediator between the host city / nation (Liverpool / UK) and the guest nation / culture. Each student chose the country for which they designed an institution representing the respective country’s culture(s) and language(s), thus fostering cultural exchange between the UK and the chosen country. Students had a choice of two sites, depending on which architectural type they wanted to investigate. Site one was located on Tithebarn Street in central Liverpool, and students choosing this site worked with the density of the urban block. Site two was in the grounds of Sudley House in the Mossley Hill area of Liverpool, enabling students to explore suburban Liverpool and its parks as a starting point for the design. There was a given schedule of accommodation – typical spaces to be designed included foyer, gallery space(s), shop, cafe, auditorium, teaching rooms, language lab, office space, services – but students were allowed to add to or subtract from the suggested schedule.

Following on from the Centre for International Cultural Exchange in Liverpool in semester one, in semester two the task was to design an Embassy building for a country of each student’s choice in Berlin, Germany. There were four sites on offer for students to choose from. Site one and two were located south of the Tiergarten Park in the Diplomaten Viertel. Sites three and four were located in central Berlin, forming parts of two different blocks (one corner site and one gap site). Students choosing the former were encouraged to investigate the ‘villa’ type, whereas those choosing the latter explored the nature of the ‘Berlin Block’ and how to appropriately respond to it. An Embassy conventionally consists of  two main parts: first, the chancery, which really is an administration building containing three zones: a white (public / semi-public) zone; a green (private) zone, and a red (restricted) zone; and second, the ambassador’s residence. This constellation gave students the opportunity to investigate public / private and work / domestic relationships within a building and within a city context, as well as offering the possibility for exploring more concisely the issue of representation. It also allowed for the development of clear spatial strategies and hierarchies. The project invited students to question and investigate the present role and function of the Embassy. What can an Embassy building be? How can the building represent a country, its culture and its political standing in the world, and be an appropriate fit for the site and the city it is located on / in?

Studio 5 – Last studio day


Dr Torsten Schmiedeknecht (UoL)

David Raynor (UoL)

Julien Denis (Architecture Julien Denis, Liverpool)

Rachel James (FCB Studios, Manchester)

Tringa Kelmendi (Turner Works, London)

Rebecca Sawcer (Waugh Thistleton Architects, London)

Guest Critics

Prof. Graeme Hutton (Dundee University)

Prof. Ben Spaeth (TH Lübeck, Germany)

James Browne (Stallan-Brand, Glasgow)

Tudor Ilie (Avanti Architects, London)

Victoria Jessen-Pike (Publica Associates, London)

Dan Williams (Donald Insall Associates, Chester)


Carlos Medel Vera (Structures, UoL)

Stuart Gee (Environmental, UoL)

Special thanks

We would like to thank the following institutions for hosting visits to their buildings during our Berlin field trip:

Austrian Embassy Berlin

British Embassy Berlin

Dutch Embassy Berlin

Indian Embassy Berlin

Nordic Embassies Berlin

Landesvertretung Baden-Württemberg in Berlin

Landesvertretung Hessen in Berlin

Landesvertretung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Berlin


William Maxwell
Chelsea Humado
Chuhan Sun
Jingxue Cao
Mahima Uddin
Khant Wai Yan
Arthur Acquitter
Tianyong Lan
Aminah Graham
Junda Xu
Aga Kania
Hoi Yan Cheng
Sam Duncan
Trudy-Ann Smith
Niamh Togher

Mingchen Zhao
Swyn Hughes
Hakan Ismailpoor
Xing Gao
Phoebe Leech
Callum Hewitt
Nicola Yu
Leo Dearden
Alina Angelova
Xinyi Xu
Yin Li
Andreea Popovici
Yumeng Wang
Lathavit Thananitayaudom

Antoinette Mckernan
Victoria Dos Santos Feijoo
Mezino Usiki-Whiskey
Dillon Fisher
Sireen Zafar
Adrianna Radlowska
Marina Lambrianidou
Martina Stefanova
Yaashmiya Selveswaran
William Jude
Ywen Wang
Qianyu Liu
Dajun Wan