Unit 5: A Place of Type

Unit 5: A Place of Type

Date: 2015 – 2016

“A successful urban type correlates the complex urban reality in its entirety. Urban types, one might say, are the quintessence of a city’s architecture”*. This year we are developing housing types that offer pleasure in use and resolves social, environmental and economic challenges.

A type is not invented but developed in the course of a long optimisation process. Our Diploma studio 'Unit 5', at The School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, this year starts by studying housing from the 50s through to 70s. We will consider how these can be evolved to meet today’s needs and in so doing create original work.


We agree with Rafael Moneo that the ‘most intense moments in architectural development are those when a new type appears’. We are exploring how to combine our culture’s preference for vertical living (i.e. in houses) with today’s demands for efficient land use and small footprints in the form of high density.

Our studies look at the relationship between type and place; how cities and public spaces are made with housing and how type can create character of place, whilst acknowledging its context. And how a home can be planned as a series of spatial thresholds in the same manner as a city.

*Emmanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein ‘Typology’

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