The second year of the Bachelor of Architecture aims to foster students’ autonomy and it constitutes a crucial step in their critical thinking development. This has been a trying year for the staff and students alike but also a testament to our collective resilience and commitment. All three assessment units in BA2 were delivered entirely remotely due to the Covid pandemic. We introduced a new structure that enabled maximum two units running in parallel at any time. However, students benefitted from a continuous series of Studio lectures designed to inspire, inform and broaden the architectural experience. These were supported by Humanities and Technologies series and the new Studio Skills workshops.

The Studio projects were based on research by design, encouraging students to deliver Position, Proposition and Proposal and consider a matter of concern and the kind of architect they wish to become. Studio briefs have been designed to nurture students’ curiosity, stimulating a synthesis between Humanities, Technologies and Design, while raising awareness on current architectural and urban debates.



Studio 2.1

2.1 Food Hall & Street Market.

The 2.1 brief cantered around environmental / sustainable issues: food consumption, education and the market place. With a large international student body, students were able to choose from four Manchester sites or a local one in their own country, where many of them were based during the year. With a climate emergency as the top priority the projects also celebrate the local food and cultural diversity. Students were asked to design School of Cooking, a Food Hall, and a Market. The outcomes show not just a creative reflection on new ways of consumption and urban regeneration, but a broad range of cultural approaches to the topic.

Studio 2.2

2.2 Urban Acupuncture. Reinventing Housing in Manchester city centre.

With focus shifting to societal sustainability, 2.2 brief asked the students to consider infill urban sites, providing residential accommodation and corresponding ancillary spaces. Students were able to choose between three sites and three programmes: “Housing for Young Families with Children + Kindergarten”, “Housing to be shared by Young and Old People + Day Centre”, and “Social Housing + Community Centre and Shelter for Homeless”. Students were working in three different locations in Manchester, reflecting on the architectural capacity to revitalize a neighbourhood.