Tutors: Rhys Cannon, Colin Herperger

The principal of scale and the units that define it are critical within the world we live and the one we explore. Composition; proportion and scale – ever-present companions to the practicing architect. They should be respected and understood in equal measure; the scale rule never more than an arm’s reach from the drawing board.

‘Scale’ and the celebration of scale; its representation and manipulation, permeate our comprehension of the world at many levels.

This year within UG8, we are interested in works of architecture that have the ability to engage, bewilder and amuse in equal measure – enduring, immediate, empathetic, emotional responses, but always creating the possibility for a reality shift and a sense of sitting on the edge of fantasy. It is this fantastical element we sought to encourage and nurture through the architecture developed during the year. UG8 visited the ‘Space Coast’, Cape Canaveral, USA, in order to appreciate a sense of scale first-hand:

NASA’s vast space launch campus can be difficult to express in numbers – it encompasses the World’s tallest single storey building, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The building’s internal volume is so large that it is reputedly able to generate its own internal weather system with observations of rain clouds forming on humid days. Although opposite extremes exist too – NASA’s behemoth Crawler-Transporter may have a load capacity of 8,200 tonnes but shuffles along at a sedentary 1mph.

In an environment where ‘the sky’ is actually no longer ‘the limit’ it can be difficult to attribute limitations and parameters to our thinking of inhabiting volume and making spatial constructs – all of which we need, as designers, to work within and against. The site of Cape Canaveral has become host to the emergence of a new architecture. It is one that holds many examples on developing ideas and technology.

The unit’s building projects are distributed along the coast; utilising long-since abandoned launch pads; the port of Cape Canaveral; fishing piers for watching rocket launches and further outposts dotted along the Keys at the very southern tip of Florida.

Within UG8, there is high level of attention focused upon creative exploration through architectural invention. This is developed and nurtured by means of a range of making, thinking, and drawing. We considers architecture too complicated to be resolved simply through logic or good idea alone, therefore the studio values work that is intuitive, inventive, and takes risks.