AA School’s New Bedford Square Buildings Open To Public For First Time
- AA School Announces Masterplanners -
02 July, 2010: The ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE’s five recently acquired Georgian buildings in its expanded Bedford Square campus, have been opened to the public for the first time as part of the School’s summer exhibition, Projects Review.
The properties in Bedford Square, London’s only remaining, intact Georgian square mark the latest stage of a multi-year campus development project. The project, first announced by AA School Director Brett Steele five years ago in a plan to bring studio space to all AA students, is also already providing expanded learning and teaching spaces of all kinds, to the entire Architectural Association.
The new buildings will provide for a new workshop, presentation, meeting, lecture and other educational facilities at the AA School’s Bedford Square campus - now the largest, most international and most culturally diverse in the AA’s history.
The new buildings provide much-needed new resources for the AA School’s year-long unit teaching system. This year, for the first time in 50 years, all 650 full-time students and 120 teachers, worked alongside one another in Bedford Square. From autumn 2011, the new buildings will allow dedicated studio spaces for all students in its undergraduate and graduate design courses.
The AA is now at the early stages of preparing a comprehensive medium- to long-term development strategy for the campus. The AA expects a part of the plan to include a series of ‘live’ projects, platforms, installations and new facilities that will be designed by AA students, staff and members. Following a tender process this spring the AA has appointed Wright and Wright as masterplanners:
The new buildings will also enable the AA School to expand its public programmes - the largest dedicated series of lectures, symposia, publication launches, exhibitions and other special events associated with contemporary architectural culture, anywhere in the world.
Alex Lifschutz, AA President said: “The AA’s recent consolidation and expansion is first and foremost an educational project. It is one that already now provides our students, and our AA members, great new opportunities for furthering their own interests as creative architects and individuals, as well as furthering architecture as one of the world’s great and influential forms of culture. We look forward to the opportunities the new buildings will provide to further the core public benefit the AA continues to provide.”
Brett Steele, Director AA School said: “These buildings will provide the AA School with an incredible opportunity to carrying forward the investment and commitment to the teaching and learning of experimental architecture that the AA has long been famous for. With our new form as a single, central campus from which the AA’s increasingly global operations are focused, we are now able better than ever to bring together the world’s most talented students, teachers and public audiences.
At a time when universities and schools of architecture in the UK as well as many other countries face unprecedented difficulties posed by cuts in Government and other public funding, the AA’s independence, both financial and cultural, allows it to go forward confidently; growing our commitment to all our students, while not cutting back on reflecting our belief in the importance of courageous architecture to shape and affect our world.”
Exhibition Details for the Projects Review Exhibition are provided in ‘The Future of Architecture’ press release 25 June, 2010. The exhibition dates are Saturday 26 June to Friday 17 July 2010.
For further information please contact William Kallaway: 020 7221 7883 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTUREis the world’s most renowned international and influential school of architecture. Since 1847, The AA has pioneered a belief in architecture as a profession, culture and a unique form of human enquiry. The School has for decades been home to students and teachers who have gone on to become worldwide leaders of architecture and share creative ideas.
AA School alumni include Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Lord Rogers, Will Alsop and many others. Through its unique, year-long, unit based system of teaching, direct intervention in cities and its intensively collaborative team based approach to learning, the school brings together disconnected worlds, fresh ideas and inspiring insights. The AA School is celebrated worldwide as an imaginative setting for architectural culture.
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