Cities are in constant evolution, in constant change; the new and the old co-exist in a constant flux of activity. Within this dynamic state, some buildings remain, some are transformed to accommodate new programs, and others are substituted by new constructions.

Student focused their exploration on two iconic educational institutions, University of the Arts London (UAL) Central Saint Martins CSM and UAL Chelsea College of Art and Design. The first being a recent example of the architectural refurbishment of an old industrial site, whilst the later occupies historical grade II listed buildings that had to be re-thought over time to respond to new needs.

Students explored ways in which the two buildings’ architecture react to similar challenges of circulation, scale, materiality and performance and analyse the way these two projects connect to their surrounding city context, contribute to create better urban environments and help to improve the city’s life.

The elements of exploration dealt with tangible and intangible attributes so that the unseen essence could be unveiled. The topics explored were:

1- Circulation and Flow
2- Infrastructure and Network
3- Activity and Time
4- Scale and Rhythm
5- Edge and Boundaries
6- Solid and Void
7- Heavy and Light
8- Pattern

These topics were explored through drawing. The challenge was to abstract the real building in order to just show the qualities of the topic chosen to be studied. The aim was to have a drawing that explained the topic; followed by a composed drawing that extracted an interesting finding with regards to the topic and concluded with a physical model that conceptualized the exploration.