Design Bachelor / Master (10 | 15 | 20 CP)
Summer Semester 2024

London calling – Revisiting Thamesmead Estate

Thamesmead, 1970. Photograph Tony Ray-Jones / RIBA Collections
Thamesmead, 1970. Photograph Tony Ray-Jones / RIBA Collections

The focus of this design studio is the transformation of Thamesmead Estate in London. The original ‚New Town' was built in the 1960s to resettle families from demolished inner-city slums. At the time it was celebrated for its innovative design, its diversity in typologies and futuristic spatial configurations. However, over the years the estate has been struggling with a negative image, due to problems such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Today the site is experiencing massive changes. Like other housing estates in the UK, Thamesmead is undergoing major regeneration plans. Large sections have already been demolished and rebuilt with contemporary high density housing. But global crisis, environmental, social and economic challenges increasingly influence the housing debate, criticising the ‚bulldoze urbanism' and calling for a more sustainable and nuanced approach instead. How and to what extend can we maintain communities and the cultural heritage of the built fabric, while also addressing current needs for additional housing, environmental and social improvements, and high quality public and open spaces?

Through the critical and creative engagement with the 1960s housing estate and its very distinct historical identity, we want to explore strategies that value the existing, but also find innovative responses to current challenges. We want to develop a vision that is characterised by a multilayered approach, including adding, retrofitting, and refurbishing the existing, as well as envisioning alternative new structures and processes, to allow for a more resilient, equitable, inclusive and sustainable transformation of Thamesmead Estate.

Dates: Wednesdays, 9:00-15:00 Uhr
Place: FG UDP: L3|01 R481
1. Meeting: Wednesday, April 17th 2024
Examination: July 12th 2024
Instructors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll, Jana von Mackensen, Josh Yates
Language: EN
Registration: Tucan

Excursion to London: 29.04. – 03.05.24