TS Previews

Next Monday 2nd of March, the Third years TS review will be from 10am to 12.30pm at 33FFF. Please bring your TS pages printed and test models to the table.

Tutorials W8

In Tutorials on Monday 24th of February we will review the housing case studies assigned analysed, and for second years portfolios so far. We will have short meetings with third years to see case studies and next steps in TS. Tutorials will be as follows,

10 Iren
10.45 Mathilda
11.30 Laetitia
12.15 Gosia

2 Isabel
2.45 Solveig
3.40 Lana
4 Nikitas
4.20 Tommaso
4.40 Kamal
5 Carlos
5.20 Marine

All second years, please bring your portoflios , models, videos.


In recent years, we have seen an increase in cities population at the same time long-term housing inhabitation is descending. Temporary
housing is getting more space in the domestic realm as an alternative to lifelong home ownership. This condition that puts together time
and home-living implies some challenges when thinking about the collective where different inhabitants time schedule cohabit together
in the same place

In this context, Cuba represents an interesting example to be explore with examples of collective housing that have absorb resiliently different time-dwellers under long-term constraints, such as material, climate and scale. Under this question, a specific investigation on housing and different ways of living, as they relate to both informal and formal structures, will be done.

The Cuban long term tradition of home-swapping (la Permuta) will centre this investigation, where other forms of temporary living will have a place (student housing, tourist apartments, disaster and refugee temporary housing, retirement homes and so on). All documents will be compiled in a small booklet focus on how different intensities and times of usage can reshape the arrangement of the domestic realm that will define the programmatic brief of the block.

Seminars Housing & Immediate Politics (tbc)
– Pier Vitorio Aureli and Martino Tattara: Loveless: The Minimum Dwelling and its Discontents. London: Blacksquare, 2019
– Karel Teige & E Dluhosch: The minimum dwelling, Cambridge, Mass. : Chicago, Ill: MIT Press, 2002
– Richard Sennet: Together: The Rituals Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation, London : Penguin, 2013.
– Richard Sennet: Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, London: Allen Lane, 2018.
– Robin Evans: “Figures, doors and Passages” in Translation from drawings to buildings and other essays, London : AA, 1997.
– Hannah Arendt: “The Public and the Private Realm” in The Human Condition, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998.
– Camila Piñeiro (Ed.): Cooperatives and socialism : a view from Cuba, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
– Heidi Härkönen: Kinship, Love, and Life Cycle in Contemporary Havana, Cuba, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
– Cecilia Burke Lawless: Make Home in Havana. London and New York: Rutgers University Press, 2002
– Klaus Domer, Hans Drexler & Joachim Schultz-Granberg (Ed): Affordable living : housing for everyone, Berlin : Jovis, 2014

Mid Term Jury

Next Friday 21st of February, we will have our Mid Term Jury in 33FFF from 10am to 6pm. Our guest critics will be Nacho Martí, Sylvie Taher, Alex Vougia, Costandis Kizis, Doreen Bernath, Maria Eugenia Villafañe, Israel Nagore and Catalina Mejia. Presentations will be table format, no pin-up needed.Please bring all your work from the beginning of the year printed and all models.

Tutorials W7

Last tutorials before the Jury will be next Monday and Tuesday 17th and 18th of February as follows,


2pm Nikitas
2.30 Iren
3 Solveig
3.30 Tommaso
4 Lana
4.30 Marine

10 Isabel
10.30 Kamal
11 Laetitia
11.30 Gosia
12 Carlos
12.30 Mathilda

Tutorials W6 2

Tutorials this Friday will be as follows:
10 Laetitia
10.30 Iren
11 Solveig
11.30 Gosia
12 Marine
12.30 Isabel

2 Seminar on La permuta

2.30 Mathilda
3 Tommaso
3.30 Carlos
4 Nikitas
4.30 Lana
5 Kamal

Tutorials W6

Tutorials on Tuesday 11th of February will be as follows,

10.30 Iren
11 Marine
11.30 Carlos
12 Gosia
12.30 Laetitia

2 Solveig
2.30 Isabel
3 Nikitas
3.30 Lana
4 Kamal
4.30 Mathilda
5 Tommaso


This Friday 31st of January we will have a pin-up to review work in progress from 10 to 6pm at unit space.Please print all work required:

.Rules page explaining main spatial organisation elements of first term proposal or the most updated version. Printed
.Main manifesto on the proposal aims. Title and text to be explained at the Pin.up
-Unit trip booklet focus on observations and key research questions. Printed
-Videos edited (on screen)
-Booklet with references or portfolio pages with diagrams related to the research topic.
-Site booklet or pages. Printed
-Site plans, sections and elevations. Printed
-First attempt of proposal on site following rules – this could be expressed in plan, section, elevation, model, any media that allows to explain it.

Tutorials W4

Tutorials this Tuesday 28th of January will be as follows,
10 Gosia
10.30 Isabel
11 Laetitia
11.30 Solveig
12 Iren
12.30 Mathilda

2 Marine
2.30 Tommaso
3 Lana
3.30 Nikitas
4 Kamal
4.30 Carlos



After researching Havana urban grid and complexity, a location or context of each individual proposal – vacant or not- is selected. Each intervention will redensify, infiltrate, rearticulate or totally redo independent blocks in the city feeding together a speculative network of home-swapping in Havana.

Building on the conversation from first term on form, the politics generated by the block in the city fabric, after being placed, will be assessed and discussed. Collages and short texts will define each proposal critical position.

In addition, block proposals will be interrogated regarding their relationships with its immediate context and the passer-by. Its capability in specific locations to engage with the city public space will be put into question. In this sense, the context is brought forward as an important part of each proposal design.

Lecture: Canales & Lombardero, “New Formalism”, Lecture at Architectural Association, 2017.
– Pier Vittorio Aureli, “Rossi: The Concept of the locus as a political category of the city”, in The Project of Autonomy, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008, pp.53-69.
– David Harvey: Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, London; New York : Verso, 2012.

Tutorials W3_2

We will have tutorials this Friday 24th of January as follows:
10.30 Marine
11 Isabel
11.30 Laetitia
12 Solveig
12.30 Gosia

2 Iren
2.30 Mathilda
3 Tommaso
3.30 Carlos
4 Kamal
4.30 Nikitas
5 Lana

Tutorials W3

Tutorials next Tuesday 21st of January will be as follows

10 Isabel
10.30 Laetitia
11 Gosia
11.30 Solveig
12 Mathilda
12.30 Iren

2 Marine
2.30 Nikitas
3 Tommaso
3.30 Kamal
4 Carlos
4.30 Lana

We will review rules page, sites and research. Videos and booklets of unit trip should be done at this point.

Tutorials W2_2

Tutorials next Friday 17th of January will be as follows,
10.30 Iren
11 Solveig
11.30 Gosia
12 Laetitia
12.30 Isabel

2 Marine
2.30 Mathilda
3 Kamal
3.30 Carlos
4 Tommaso
4.30 Lana
5 Nikitas

Please have your sites and work in progress ready to check preferably printed.

Tutorials W2

This Tuesday 14th January we will have tutorials as follows,

Morning – Third Years from 10 to 1pm (Kamal, Nikitas, Carlos, Lana & Tommaso)

Afternoon  Second Years from 2 to 6pm (Mathilda, Solveig, Iren, Gosia, Marine,  Laetitia,  Isabel)


A research on Cuban sociocultural, political and economical issues will be individually planned at the end of the term and conducted
before and during the unit trip. Readings, visioning of documentaries and check of references will help in this process. This investigation will have a major focus on local ways of living, different cultural customs and spatial characteristics where everyday life takes place.

Findings will be expressed in different analytical diagrams, video fragments, photographs and information maps that will be completed
after the unit trip and edited in a booklet. The major aim of this exercise is to define each block context and content.

Reference books for diagrams:
– David McCandless: Knowledge is Beautiful, London: William Collins, 2014.
– Steven Heller: Infographics Designers’ Sketchbooks, New York: Princeton Architectural Press , 2014.
– David McCandless: Information is beautiful
– Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling
– Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design

– Robert. Polidori (Photos) Elizabeth Culbert; Eduardo Luis Rodríguez (Ed.): Havana, Göttingen : Steidl 2001
– Gianni Basso Vega, MG (Photos), Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez Angelika Taschen (ed): Inside Cuba, Koln : Taschen, 2006.
– Chip. Cooper Néstor Martí; et al: Old Havana : spirit of the living city, Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2012.
– Michael Eastman: Havana, New Yor: Prestel, 2011.

– Roberto Segre: Havana, Grove Art Online: Oxford University Press 1996
– John Miller and Susannah Clark (Ed): Havana. Tales on the city, San Francisco : Chronicle Books 1996.
– Aviva Chomsky, Barry Carr and Pamela María Smorkaloff (Eds): The Cuba reader: history, culture, politics, Durham, N.C. ;
London : Duke University Press, 2004.
– Alfredo Jose Estrada: Havana: autobiography of a city, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
– Oscar Guardiola-Rivera: What if Latin America Ruled the World?, London: Bloomsbury, 2011.
– Guadalupe García: Beyond the walled city : colonial exclusion in Havana, Oakland, California : University of California Press 2016

Documentaries & Movies: Havana Documentary by Jasper Goldman (2017); Elena by Marcelo Martin (2014). I am Cuba by
Mikhail Kalatozov (1954), Buena Vista Social Club by Wim Wenders (1999), Suite Havana by Fernando Perez (2003), Havana
Blues by Benito Zambrano (2005), 7 days in Havana by Various directors (2012), Four Seasons in Havana by Leonardo Padura,
Lucía López Coll (2016), Yuli by Icíar Bollaín (2018) & The Wasp Network by Olivier Assayas (2019)

Pin-up and tutorials

Next Friday 10th of January, we will have a Pin-up at unit space of all unit trip and research portfolios and site research drawings from 10.30 to 1.30pm (possibly longer) and later we will have tutorials with those who would like to show work from the portfolio reviews sent this Xmas.

Unit trip to Cuba

From the 8th to the 19th of December the unit will be visiting Havana in Cuba, draft schedule is provided. Students should prepare one or two reserach booklets on the site chosen and ways of living related to their proposals.

We recommend to check urban readings to help research process. Please check previous blog entry and unit extended brief.

Review and Lecture

Next week Monday 2nd of December will be the lats tutorial before unit trip. The schedule will be

From 10 to 12.30 Review comments Jury in the following order Nikitas, Solveig, Lana, Marine, Carlos, Kamal and Tommaso.

2pm Lecture on Havana Urban history & Talk about unit trip and research to be done there. Sites.

From 3pm to 6.30pm – Review comments Jury in the following order (Isabel, Mathilda, Iren, Gosia, Laetitia)

Please bring your portfolio and models

Havana Urban Grid

Before going to unit trip, the unit should be familiarize with the different formal aspects of Havana City In groups, the unit will create an archive of drawings in different scales (Large, Medium and Small) with information about the urban grain, voids, density, and specially, to its urban grid. A special attention will be given to urban voids and buildings in derelict state. Readings on Havana city history and an understanding of its complex social structure will be also conducted to learn about its evolution and configuration of its urban fabric.

Seminar: Havana urban history and contemporary configuration

Readings: – Arturo Almadoz Marte: Planning Latin America’s capital cities 1850-1950, London: Routledge, 2002, pp. 193-213.- Mario Coyula and Jill Hamberg: “The case of Havana, Cuba”, Understanding Slums: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements, UCL: London, 2003.- Joseph L. Scarpaci, Roberto Segre, and Mario Coyula: Havana : two faces of the Antillean metropolis, Chapel Hill ; London : University of North Carolina Press Rev. ed. 2002. Websites: Master Plan- Casa del Historiador: http://www.planmaestro.ohc.cu/index.php; Street View of Havana: https://www. mapillary.com/app/; Havana Historic Maps: http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2017/havana-restoration/index.htm

End of First Term Jury

The End of the First Term Jury of Exp8 will be on Friday 29th of November in 33 FFB from 10 to 1pm and from 2 to 6pm. Our guest critics are Lara Lesmes (AA Diploma 2) , Alicia Nahmad (AA DRL), Anna Saphiro (AA H&U), Amar Mehat (Foster & Partners), Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez (ARE artists), Amelia Viaplana (Oxford Brooks and Bartlett), John NG (AA First Year) and Sebastián Andia (Zaha Hadid & AA MS)

Tutorials W10

Last tutorials before End of Term Jury will be as follows


10 Kamal
10.30 Carlos
11 Tommasso
11.30 Lana
12 Nikitas

2 Iren
2.30 Mathilda
3 Laetitia
3.30 Solveig
4 Marine
4.30 Isabel
5 Gosia

Rafael Moneo Plan perspectivized

Paul Rudolph Section perspectivized

Pin-up & Tutorials

Friday 22nd of November will be divided in 2 parts:

Morning from 10 to 1pm group reserach presentations. Everyone at the unit. Presentation from screen,

Afternoon from 2 to 6pm tutorials per student. Work in progress.


Next Friday 15th of November we will have a pin-up in the unit space from 10 to 6pm stopping for lunch break. Please bring your work to be shown and get some feedback.

At 6pm we will have a portfolio presentation by Mira Otkay and at 6.30 we will explain you the new task before Jury.

Tutorials W8

Tutorials on Tuesday 12th of November will be as follows:
10 Kamal
10.30 Tomasso
11 Lana
11.30 Nikitas
12 Carlos
12.30 Solveig

2 Laetitia
2.30 Gosia
3 Marine
3.30 Mathilda
4 Isabel
4.30 Iren

We will check work in progress for the pin-up on Friday

Tutorials W7

Friday 8th of November we will have tutorials as follows

10.30 Lana
11 Carlos
11.30 Tomasso
12 Kamal
12.30 Nikitas

2 Iren
2.30 Solveig
3 Marine
3.30 Laetitia
4 Mathilda
4.30 Isabel
5 Gosia

Lecture and Tutorials

Friday 1st of November schedule will be as follows:

10 Kamal
10:30 Tomasso
11 Lana
11:30 Nikitas
12 Lecture by Francisco Gonzalez de Canales and seminar

2 Gosia
2:30 Isabel
3 Mathilda
3:30 Marine
4 Solveig
4:30 Laetitia
5 Iren

All third years should have their main argument ready to be discussed. All the unit shroud read the texts to have an open seminar after the lecture.

Tutorials W6

Tutorials on Tuesday 29th of October will be as follows

10 Carlos
10.30 Lana
11 Kamal
11.30 Tomasso
12 Nikita
12.30 Laetitia

2.00 Mathilda
2.30 Gosia
3.00 Iren
3.30 Solveig
4 Isabel
4.30 Marine

Please take into account the following concepts within your deisgn:  VOIDS, MODULARITY, POROSITY, REPETITION and CIRCULATION


On Form and Typology

Next Friday 25th of October schedule at unit space will be as follows:
10 to 3pm Individual presentation of case studies
11am TS meeting (only third years)
From 3 pm to 7.30 Brief tutorials
The schedule might vary depending on the day goes.



Tutorials W5

Next Tuesday 22nd of October individual tutorials will be as follows:

Morning: Third Years: 10 Nikitas, 10.30 Carlos, 11 Kamal, 11.30 Tomasso and 12 Lana

Afternoon: Second Years: 2 Isabel, 2.30 Gosia, 3 Marine, 3.30 Iren, 4 Mathilda,  4.30 Laetitia, 5 Solveig,

Please review your Jury notes and bring new work. Those models that were not finished on Friday, should be finished this week. even though you are changing them.



Following previous shape explorations, examples of block configurations as collective models of housing by R. Bofill, Lacaton & Vassal, A.Siza or Herzog & DeMeuron, among others, will be scrutinised to understand this urban typology.

General formal aspects defining block individual proposals – such as voids, modularity, porosity, repetition and circulation – will be explored through diagrams, giving special attention to different architectural elements of local Cuban tradition- such as thresholds, courtyards and patios-.

Consequent findings of these explorations will be applied to initial block proposals in different iterations and expressed through composition diagrams and models. Photography will be use as a technique to study these models experimenting with light, texture and colour effects in space related to material and local climate conditions. In this manner, the block formal intricacy will be defined.

– Aldo Rossi, “The Structure of Urban Artifacts. The individuality of Urban Artifacts”, in The Architecture of the City, MIT Press, 1984.
– Rafael Moneo: ‘The life of buildings’ & Francisco Gonzalez de Canales : “Form” in Rafael Moneo. Building, Teaching, Writing. London and New York: Yale University Press, 2015.
– Rafael Moneo, “On Typology”, in Oppositions reader : selected readings from a journal for ideas and criticism in architecture, 1973-1984, New York : Princeton Arch Press, c1998.
– Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, & Nuria Alvarez Lombardero: “Right to the Form”, Arquitectos, 2010, Núm. 181, pp. 62-63.

– Rafael Moneo, Theoretical anxiety and design strategies in the work of eight contemporary architects, Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2004.
– Elena Chiavi et al (ed): Cartha : on the form of form, Zurich : Park Books, 2019.
– Philippe Panerai, Jean Castex & Jean-Charles Depaule: Urban Forms: The Death and Life of the Urban Block, Oxford: Architectural Press, 2004.


This Friday 18th October we will have a Jury to review the Shape and Material phase of your proposals. The Jury will take place from 10 to 1 and from 2 to 6pm at AA room 38GFF. Our gust critics are Alexandros Kallegia, Marion Delaporte, Antonin Hautefort and Marie-Isabel de Monseignat.

Please be on time and bring your work. Place all models in the middle table and pin-up your drawings on the wall. Prepare a 10 min presentation of your work and start by explaining your main concept.

Tutorials W3

Tutorials on Tuesday 15th of October will be as follows:

Morning: Third Years (10 Carlos, 10.30 Tomasso, 11 Nikitas, 11.30 Kamal and 12 Lana)

Afternoon: Second Years (2 Laetitia, 2.30 Gosia, 3 Isabel, 3.30 Iren, 4 Marine, 4.30 Solveig 5 Mathilda)

All unit meets at 6pm for Portfolio presentation by Marina Gubbins

Tutorials W2 2

Tutorials on Friday 11th of October will be as follows:

Morning: Third Years (10 Kamal, 10.30 Lana, 11 Nikitas, 11.30 Tomasso and 12 Carlos)

Afternoon: Second Years (2 Marine, 2.30 Solveig, 3 Isabel, 3.30 Mathilda, 4 Gosia, 4.30 Laetitia)


Lecture at AA

On Thursday 10th of October at 6.30 we will attend the AA Lecture “Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World” by Pedro Ignacio Alonso & Hugo Palmarola. Part of this lecture will show the The Soviet I-464 Building System used in Cuba (“Large- Soviet Panel”) and Chile between 1963 and 1973.


Readings if interested on the subject

“How a Soviet Concrete Panel Housing System Came to Cuba and Chile”
Research by Pedro Ignacio Alonso


Vivienda soviética: de Moscú a La Habana y Quilpué


Siboney-Taino or Ciboney-Taino was the indigenous group living in central Cuba during the 15th and 16th centuries when the island was discovered by Critobal Columbus on 28th October 1492 .  Siboney term means man who lives among the stones or rocks. The Siboneyes lived on hunting, fishing and collecting because their habitat used to be near the coasts, where they worked the stones.

Their villages were organised in clearings of the jungle, inland, with two kinds of habitats: the bohío (circular common dwelling of the inhabitants of the yucayeque) and the caney or kaney (larger, rectangular and with windows and a porch, where the chief lived with his family ). These houses were built with hinea leaves (which is collected in rivers and lakes), and wood from the trees of capé prieto and cinnamon. These houses were built surrounding the central plaza holding around 10–15 families each cluster.

Taíno home furnishings included  cotton woven hammocks (the word hammock is Taino voice) to sleep,  mats made of palms and wooden chairs (dujo or duho) with woven seats to seat, platforms, and cradles for children.



Anthropomorphic Siboney Patterns

Block Material(ization)

After a critical analysis of  first models in the last Pin-up finding block intrinsic principles, minimum two models should be constructed individually for this phase Jury: a 1/250 scale model showing the overall block shape (40x40cm) and a 1/100 model showing one or two fragments of it in more detail.

In this second exploration, the experimentation will be focused on material aspects of the proposal. There are two main investigation to be done in this exercise. First research will be focus on understanding the expression of the selected material natural state, its structural logic and organic morphology at real scale, being these possible materials wood, brick, concrete or stone among others. Second research will be on  local sustainable material and constructions possibilities.

Both investigations will help you to define your main material to start experimenting with different material behaviours and effects  in terms of texture, colour and light. You should feel comfortable with these materials after these tests learning their rules and modelling criteria out of their manipulation. Afterwards, final models can be constructed.

We recommend you to check the following references for your inspiration:
References: Mathias Goeritz, Manuel Felguerez, Jorge Yazpik, Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida, Saloua Raouda , Lygia Clark, Gego
and Helio Oiticica, among others.
Reference Books:
– Chris Lefteri: Materials for Design, London: Laurence King Publishing, 2014.
– Seetal Solanki: Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for a Better World, Prestel, 2018.
– Molly Donovan and Ann Gallagher.: Rachel Whiteread, London: Tate Publishing, 2017.
– Bjorn Berge: The Ecology of Building Materials, Architectural Press, 2009.

Pin-up W1

This Friday 4th of October we will have a pin-up of first block schematic models (overall and portion) at unit space starting at 10.30 am till 6pm. Bring all your models, sketches, drawings and small text reflecting on your proposal intentions at city scale and its interior spatial relations.  Concepts such as INTERLOCKING, ACCUMULATION OR DENSITY are key in this phase.

Please place your work in the central big table to be reviewed.

Wilfredo Lam

Wifredo Lam, was a Cuban artist who reflected on Afro-Cuban culture in his paintings full of hybrid figures and creatures where rectilinear and curved geometries are composed within natural landscape. Here we put some of his work that could be a reference for some of you.

Catherine, David: Wilfredo Lam, The EY Exhibition, Harry N. Abrams, 2016.

Tutorial W1 T1

First tutorials on shape exercise will be on Tuesday 1st of September at unit space as follows,

Morning (from 10 to 1pm) – Third years

Afternoon (starting at 2pm) – Second Years


As a starting point the unit will explore through models the initial shape of 1 Ha plan Block. For this aim, this exercise will encompass two main explorations of the overall block shape and the intricacy of its fragments. Firstly, these explorations will be developed in a purely intuitive manner imaging the block shape. Different malleable materials, such as paper, clay, cardboard, cloth, foam, metal cables, and wood sticks, will be initially use to have a range of schematic shapes that will be later used.

Pin-up Friday 4th of October
1 Model 1/500 or more & 1 fraction of the block at 1/250
Small text explaining ideas behind (200 words)

Reference to check: Yve-Alain Bois: Geometric abstraction: Latin American art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros collection, New Haven : Yale University Press, 2001.

Politics of the Barter Block – Ex8 Brief 2019-20

A network of home-swapping in Havana grid

“In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no grandeur to be won, inasmuch as there all is an established hierarchy, the unknown is revealed, existence is infinite, there is no possibility of sacrifice, all is rest and joy. For this reason, bowed down by suffering and duties, beautiful in the midst of his misery, capable of loving in the face of afflictions and trials, man finds his greatness, his fullest measure, only in the Kingdom of this World”
Alejo Carpentier, “The Kingdom of this World”

In Havana, more than fifty years of economic embargo makes any heroism to fade away into an agonic expression of survival at the outskirts of hegemonic globalisation. However, although peripheral, Havana also demonstrates its otherness within the global status quo -a different vantage point from which to redefine the Western capitalist idea of the contemporary city. From this alternative context, Experimental Unit 8 will speculate on new temporary housing models by revisiting Cuban tradition of home-swapping. Framed as a timely opportunity to discuss contemporary collective domestic models, the unit will question not only how different intensities and times of usage can reshape the arrangement of the domestic realm, but also how distinct articulations of spatial qualities can permit flexibility over long term constraints; such as material, climate and scale. Adopting a collective perspective, the block is understood as the basic unit to provide interpersonal relations between temporary occupants.

In order to explore these ideas, students will work in an area of approximately 100×100 metres, consistent with base dimensions of Havana’s urban grids. These interventions will redensify, infiltrate and rearticulate independent blocks of the city to feed a speculative network of home-swapping. They will act as architectures awaiting to be appropriated, as well as negotiating relations at both a micro and macro scale. As a unit, we will continue our interests in the architectural form and its ability to articulate relationships and how form resilience can be supported by a locally driven materialization seeking more sustainable long-term construction approaches.

Image Caption: 2018-19  Experimental Unit 8 Graphic Diary

End of Year Exhibition

Thanks to all second years for helping in the exhibition for the AAschool Projects Review. We appreciate all the effort you have put on the exhibition tables and book. We are also very grateful to all Inter 8 students this year for creating such exquisite models.

Meetings on Monday

Next week Monday 17th of June we will start rehearsing with all third years their portfolio presentations for RIBA in 32FFB as follows,

10 Carlo
10:40 Dana
11:20 Emily
12 Cheri
12:40 Mira

2.20 pm Tutorial with Jumana

3pm Meeting with exhibition and book teams- All Second years an third years. 32FFB

Tutorials W7_2

Tutorials for third years presentation rehearsals will be on Saturday 8th of June as follows:

2pm Meeting with second years together at unit space

2.30pm Individual review of each student table results at 33FFF following this order: Logan, James, Sonia, Marina, Defne, Laetitia and Jumana. (Carmen will be Monday 5.30pm at unit space)

3.00 Review of Third Years presentation . Please bring all work to 33FFF and with the presentation ready.

3:00 Carlo
3:40 Dana
4:20 Emily
5 Cheri
5:40 Mira

Second Year Previews

Second Year Previews will be at Lecture Hall on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th as follows:

Monday Morning Panel 5 – Inter 8

10.00 Marina Matinopoulou
10.30 Defne Cengic
11.00 Carmen Bisono Turull
11.30 Laetitia Amelie Marie Chauveau
12.00 Jumana Nasser Mohamed Mahrous

Tuesday Morning Panel 5 – Inter 8

11.30 Logan Nicholas Bent Paine
12.00 James Wallis
12.30 Sharifah Sonia Binti Syed Mokhtar Shah

Please be on time and bring all your work: models, drawings, different booklets and main portfolio

Portfolio and presentations reviews

Friday 31st of May we will review all portfolios. After lunchtime, we need to meet all second years at unit space and after that we will see you one by one to check presentations.
Morning: Third Years: Check Portfolios
10.30 Carlo
11 Dana
11.30 Cheri
12 Emily
12.30 Mira

2 Meeting all Second Years at unit space
2.30 Carmen
3 Defne
3.30 Laetitia
4 Logan
4.30 Marina
5 James
5.30 Sonia
6 Jumana

Tutorials W6

Tutorials on Tuesday 28th of May are as follows.

Morning- from 10 to 1pm- Third Years- Carlo, Emily, Mira, Dana and Cheri

Afternoon- starting at 2pm-Second years- Following your whatsapp confirmation.

2 Sonia
2.30 Marina
3 Defne
3.30 Laetitia
4 Carmen
4.30 Jumana


Second Years review

We will review your portfolios and Jury feedback this Sunday 26th of May as follows,

11 Marina
11.30 James
12 Logan
12.30 Laetitia

2 Carmen
2.30 Sonia
3 Defne
4 Jumana
Please bring your whole portfolio to check and some thoughts to discuss reflecting jury feedback. We are giving 30 minutes slot, but it might take longer with some of you.

End of Year Jury

Our End of Year Jury will take place on Friday 24th of May in 33FFF in table format with the following guest critics: Alexandra Vougia, Jessica Reynolds, John Ng, Ryan Dillon, Simon Withers, Conrad Koslowsky, Andrew Yau, Miraj Ahmed and Javier Castellano Pulido.

Please bring all your work printed and prepare your 10 to 12 minutes presentation for the day. Giving the importance of the jury and the amount of feedback each of you will receive, we will appreciate if you reduce your presentation to this amount of time.

Tutorials W5

Last tutorials before the Jury will be on Tuesday 21st of May in unit space to check work in progress as follows

Third years-morning – Carlo, Emily, Dana, Cheri & Mira

Second years-afternoon

Tutorials W4_2

This Thursday 16th of May we will have tutorials in the unit space to check your work in progress and main arguments as follows,

Morning-from 10 to 1pm-Third years- Mira, Cheri, Emily, Carlo and Dana.

Afternoon-from 2 to 6pm-Second Years – Laetitia, Carmen, James, Defne, Logan, Marina, Sonia and Jumana.

Please bring your whole portfolio and work in progress to the unit to be reviewed.


Tutorials W4

This week we will start with tutorials on Monday 13rd and Tuesday 14th of May as follows:

Monday from 2 to 6m- Third Years
Tuesday from 10 to 1pm and from 2 to 3-Second Years

Please bring your work in progress and write an order of tutorials.

Tutorials W3

This Friday 10th of May from 2 to 6 pm we will check your work in progress with renders to adjust the views before start working with photoshop. We will see you at the unit space.

Render workshop

Render workshop will take place in the next two weeks, from the 9th to the 19th of May. We will start with an induction on Thursday 9th of May in 39 Computer Room at 10am sharp (no delays please) with Matej Hosek, followed by a Photoshop workshop on Friday 17th of May with Kwang Yi Goh. Please prepare your laptops for working with Photoshop and Vray.


Please join us to congratulate Laetitia for her High Pass in Media Studies and Mira and Emily for their High Passes in Technical Studies. Great work girl!!!



Wednesday this week, 8th of May, we will have a pin-down  of work in progress at unit space from 10 to 1pm and from 2 to 6pm. We will review your proposal overall plans, sections and elevations as line drawings printed. Please check instructions sent by email and bring your work to be reviewed at the round table.

Tutorials W2

At the end of this week tutorials will be divided in two groups:
Friday 3rd of May
11 James
11.30 Cheri
12 Dana
12.30 Emily
1 Jumana

Saturday 4th of May
10.30 Laetitia
11 Sonia
11.30 Defne
12 Marina
12.30 Logan
1 Carlo
1.30 Mira

Strip Block Spatial Definition

After having an overall programmatic definition, SB proposal will be interrogated under various questions. Firstly, the PERMEABILITY, POROSITY AND ACCESSIBILITY of the building design in relation to the immediate CONTEXT will be evaluated. As the building linearity generates a continuous contact with the exterior, inside-out and outside-in relations with the street level should be deeply investigated and tested.

PRIVACY between programmes will be questioned. Collapses between global and local when related to different social communities and intersection of private/public spaces will be interrogated within building interior configurations.

Architects such as Paul Rudolph, Zaha Hadid and Rafael Moneo were conscious of this difficulty using unusual drawing techniques at their time to represent all these questions. Following their examples, specific graphic representations will be also explored to show the relation between inside and outside and its consequences in the overall shape of the proposal.

In addition, some scenarios will be rendered to show  different interior environments inhabited by building users  and the impact of this in-habitation on circulation main trajectories. These drawing-collages will explore a more detailed conception of the internal spaces created, their multilayered variables and sensual perception.

Workshop: Rhino, VRay and Photoshop (tbc)
– Iñaki Abalos: Good life : a guided visit to the houses of modernity, Barcelona : Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2001.
– Hannah Arendt: “The Public and the Private Realm” in The Human Condition, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998.
– Klaus Domer, Hans Drexler & Joachim Schultz-Granberg (Ed): Affordable living : housing for everyone, Berlin : Jovis, 2014
– Robin Evans: Figures, doors and Passages: in Translation from drawings to buildings,

– Camila Piñeiro (Ed.): Cooperatives and socialism : a view from Cuba, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
– Richard Sennet: Together: The Rituals Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation, London : Penguin, 2013.

Unit trip to Seville

Patio Housing, Courtyard Blocks and Palaces

From Saturday 27th to Tuesday 30th of April Inter 8 will visit some examples of old and new buildings dealing with the patio and courtyard as part of its interior structure. This typology was exported during colonial times to Old and Centro Havana as an element that structures the domestic and communal living.


Casa Patio Riñon by Cruz y Ortiz

Alcazar de Sevilla


Next Friday 26th of April we will have tutorials to review your work in progress as follows:

9.30 Sonia
10 Laetitia
10.30 Defne
11 Marina
11.30 James
12 Carmen
12.30 Logan

3 Meeting all third years to give final TS results and comment next steps.
4 Jumana


New Term first tutorials will be only for Second Years work in progress from the break on Tuesday 23rd of April in unit space as follows:
9:30 Jumana
10 Carmen
10:30 James
11 Sonia
11:30 Laetitia
12 Logan
12:30 Marina

Tutorials W9

Tutorials at the end of the week will be as follows:

Friday 15th of March – Second years
10 Logan
10.30 Sonia
11 James
11.30 Defne
12 Marina
12.30 Laetitia

Saturday 16th March
3 Carlo
3.30 Cheri
4 Emily
4.30 Dana
5 Mira
5.30 Jumana

Tutorials 3rd years

Tutorials next week for 3rd years will be as follows:

Monday 11th of March – from 5.30 to 6.30 – Emily Cheri and Carlo
Tuesday 12th of March – from 5.30 to 6pm – Dana and Mira

Tutorials W8 2T 2

Tutorials this Friday will be divided in two sessions:

Morning – Final review of table format presentation
10:30 Jumana
11 Marina
11:30 Carmen
12 James
12:30 Defne
2 Laetitia
2:30 Sonia
3 Logan

Late Afternoon- Review of 3rd year portfolios
3:30 Carlo
4 Cheri
4:30 Dana
5 Mira
5:30 Emily

Tutorials W8 2T

Next Tuesday tutorials will be to check work in progress as follows:
10 Sonia
10.30 Laetitia
11 Carmen
11.30 James
12 Defne
12.30 Jumana

2 Marina
2.30 Cheri
3 Emily
3.30 Carlo
4 Dana
4.30 Mira
5 Logan

TS Previews

We will have Inter 8 TS Previews on Monday 4th of March from 10.30 to 1pm at 33FFF. Every students should be at the room at 10.30 with booklet printed, not bound, and testing models if so. Perhaps bringing a model from first term related to what is researched might help to understand the proposal.

Tutorials W7_2T_2

Tutorials this Friday 1st of March to check 2nd year portfolios and work in progress will be as follows

10.30 Logan
11.15 Jumana
12 Carmen
12.45 Sonia

2 Defne
2.15 Laetitia
3 Marina
3.45 James
4.30 Third years


Tutorials W8 2T

Tutorials next week will be as follows

Monday 25th of February
3 Carmen
3.30 Jumana
4 Defne
4.30 Logan
5 Sonia
5.30 Laetita

Tuesday 26th of February
2 Cheri
2.30 Carlo
3 Dana
3.30 Emily
4 Mira
4.30 James
5 Marina

Please bring your work on Jury feedback, plans-elevations-section on site and programme/activities research and layout.

Tutorials W7 2T 2

Tutorials next Friday will be as follows,

10.30 Cheri
11 Jumana
11.30 Logan
12 Defne
12.30 Emily

2  Laetitia
2.30 James
3 Marina
3.30 Carmen
4 Sonia
4.30 Carlo
5 Dana
5.30 Mira

Programme and Activities

Field research into political, sociocultural and economic aspects of Havana done in the First Term and Unit Trip will inform the programmatic CONTENT of each STRIP-BLOCK proposals. Responding to the conflict generated by foreign private investments and local public governmental strategies in this city context, the SB proposals will respond with a certain programmatic composition A specific investigation on permanent and temporary housing related to local and tourist ways of living and everyday life in city streets will be done before composing the entrails of the SB. All research documents will be compiled in a SMALL UNIT BOOKLET.

– Iñaki Abalos: Good life : a guided visit to the houses of modernity, Barcelona : Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2001.
– Klaus Domer, Hans Drexler & Joachim Schultz-Granberg (Ed): Affordable living : housing for everyone, Berlin : Jovis, 2014
– Camila Piñeiro (Ed.): Cooperatives and socialism : a view from Cuba, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
– Richard Sennet: Together: The Rituals Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation, London : Penguin, 2013.
– Richard Sennet: Building and dwelling : ethics for the city, London : Allen Lane, 2018
– Bernard Tschumi, “Program”, in Architecture and Disjunction, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994.
– Andrea Colantonio, Robert B. Potter.: Urban tourism and development in the socialist state : Havana during the “special period”, Aldershot : Ashgate c2006
– Robert. Polidori (Photos) Elizabeth Culbert; Eduardo Luis Rodríguez (Ed.): Havana, Göttingen : Steidl 2001
– Gianni Basso Vega, MG (Photos), Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez Angelika Taschen (ed): Inside Cuba, Koln : Taschen, 2006.

Havana Interiors

Tutorials W7 2T

Tutorials next week Tuesday 19th of February will be as follows:
10 Mira
10.30 Marina
11 Cheri
11.30 Carlo
12 James
12.30 Laetitia

1.00 Whole unit Meeting to talk about next brief

2 Emily
2.30 Defne
3 Carmen
4 Dana
4.30 Sonia
5 Jumana
5.30 Logan
Please review comments and bring work in progress

Mid-Term Jury

Mid Term Jury will be on Friday 15th of February in 38 GFF from 10 to 1 and from 2 to 6pm. In this Jury you need to show ALL work since the beginning of the year. You should have the following information ready: Argument, research, site, programme/activities layout (a list of building content) and users of your building defined. Our guest critics will be: Sylvie Taher (AAInter11), Pierandrea Angius (AA DRL), Xristina Argyros (AAInter15), Catalina Mejía (University of Brighton), Arturo Revilla (Heatherwick, AA PhD) Costandis Kizis (AA HT & AA First Year) and Angel Lara-Moreira (AATS DPL).

Please prepare your portfolio pages printed, as this will be a Jury table review. Content of the Jury will be the work from the beginning of the year till now. In addition to what you did last term, and its corrections, will be : the thesis argument, research to support it, field-work in Havana unit trip, site definition and explanation, building on site (3D, plan, section/s, axonometric and model), programme and users defined.


Cuba for sale

Cuba for sale: ‘Havana is now the big cake – and everyone is trying to get a slice’





Tutorials W6

Tutorials on Monday 11th Tuesday 12th of February will be to review research pages printed, argument page and implementation of building on site. This is the last review before the Mid Term Jury. Tutorials will be as follows:

Monday 11th
2 James
2.30 Marina
3 Laetitia
3.30 Sonia
4 Jumana
4.30 Carlo
5 Dana

Tuesday 12th
10 Defne
10.30 Mira
11 Carmen
11.30 Emily
12 Logan
12.30 Cheri

Pin-up Thesis and Argument

Next Monday 4th of February we will have a pin-up at unit space to review thesis and research on Havana. Presentations should be 10 minutes long with printed pages on table format. Morning (from 10 to 1pm) will be for third year students while afternoon (from 2 to 6pm) will be for Second years).

Housing in Havana

HOUSING IN CUBA by Mario Coyula




Ciudadelas consist of a single or double row of rooms built along a long, narrow courtyard. They began as weekday housing for poor single men from rural areas who worked at Havana’s big markets.They usually appear in the inner city, adapting to its narrow, deep lots. A single or double line of rooms, one or two floors; one family per room, develop along a narrow court with collective bathrooms, toilets and kitchens at the bottom. As in cuarterías, most residents end by building their own facilities into their rooms, but worsening natural ventilation and lighting. Both types, cuarterías and ciudaelas, appear mainly in the central city and were the dominant type of housing for the urban poor, with a strong presence of Afro-Cuban religion and culture (especially dance and music), lack of privacy, noise but a strong sense of sollidarity among neighbours. Sometimes the front rooms have direct access from the street (so they are called accesorias) and have slightly better living conditions.

Cuartería is a large former mansion or older hotel or boarding house
subdivided into rooms, one family per room, sometimes with over 60 families. . Residents initially shared common bathrooms, toilets and kitchens, but in time many brought these functions within their own domain, either by addition or subdivision. Generally, these interventions were makeshift and contributed to aggravate natural ventilation and lighting, and also distort the architectural and urban image.

Casa de vecindad is a smaller subdivided house, generally with 12 rooms or less.

Pasajes are a double row of small dwellings (similar to efficiencies) consisting
of a living-dining room, kitchenette, one bedroom, bathroom and a small service courtyard, set along a long, narrow alley usually open to streets at both ends. An improved version of ciudadela, equivalent to an efficiency, where each family has a very small apartment (living-dining, bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and a minimum laundry court. Units form a single or double row along a narrow central public court, that often opens into two streets. Access to the units is through that court, which in fact perform as an alley.

Solar is the popular term to refer to all forms of buildings subdivided into single-room units, usually with shared services.

Barbacoa is  a makeshift loft, usually self-built with scraps of wood and metal. Barbacoas use the traditional high ceilings in old buildings at the central city to create extra livable space. They usually violate many building regulations, are hazardous, hot, uncomfortable and distort the facades and the streetscape.

Casetas are shacks usually built in the flat roofs (azoteas) at the central city. They often start with leftover materials and improve gradually until some become regular dwellings. They have  good views and ventilation. But they often violate the codes and the rights of other neighbours, accelerate
leaks from the roofs, and make illegal sewer connections to the rain water collection system.


Instituto Nacional de Ahorro y Vivienda, INAV 1959-1971

A housing programme that used National Lottery to finance social housing. INAV built 10,000 good quality dwellings throughout Cuba from 1959-1961, with 6,000 done in Havana. This included the best Cuban social housing complex, the Unidad # 1 at Habana del Este (called afterwards Ciudad Camilo Cienfuegos), that was designated in 1991 as a National Landmark. A fully-equipped and landscaped neighborhood unit for 8,000 with 1306
apartments in four-story walk-ups and eleven-story slabs was designed by a group of young architects and self-taught urban planners (Mario González, Hugo D´Acosta-Calheiros, Mercedes Alvarez, Reynaldo Estévez and others) and built under the direction of Roberto Carrazana.


La Pastorita 1959-1962


Unidad Vecinal N1, Habana del Este 1959-1961







Housing blocks constructed under the Soviet KPD large concrete panel housing system after the donation of Soviet factories and technological know-how. This programme started in Santiago de Cuba in 1965.




The Microbrigades provided an alternative to the construction of dwellings by State building enterprises that had the advantage of personal motivation.  a massive housing program combining active participation of future residents as construction workers with strong State support in building materials and equipment, and technical advice.

In this way, semi-prefabricated buildings were built, with traditional technologies, which did not require highly skilled labour. The population (not necessarily the future inhabitants of the houses) participated in the construction of the buildings, but not in their planning and design. Alamar neighbourhood in Habana del Estehas many examples of this type of housing construction.




Tutorials W4 2T 2

This Friday tutorials will be in groups. We will check your building location and its implementation on site. You should bring site axo with strip block printed. We can also check arguments and research work in progress.

2 Logan James and Marina
3 Mira and Defne
3.45 Emily and Carmen
4.30 Carlo and Dana
5.15 Jumana and Cheri
6 Laetitia and Sonia

Tutorials W4

Tutorials next Monday 28th of January will be as follows,

10.30 Emily
11 Defne
11:30 Dana
12 Jumana
12:30 James

2 Carmen
2:30 Mira
3 Logan
3;30 Cheri
4 Carlo
4:30 Laetitia
5 Marina
5:30 SOnia

After Friday feedback and discussion, everyone should review argument, rewrite and change or finish collage of building on site if so. Everyone should have for Monday the strip block schematically redrawn on site in 3D and Plan.

Pin-up Site Investigation

All your research work so far will be reviewed in a pin-up next Friday 25th of January in 33 Ground Floor Back  from 11 to 2pm and from 3 to 6pm. Please bring all your pages as a digital file to be shown on the screen in a presentation format. You should also bring your small unit trip portfolios and videos with you.

After this review, all of you should have a clear argument and a research to support it,  site location, residents or users to target and a broad building programmatic brief.

Our guest critics for this pin-up will be Elias Tamer, Fang Lee, Stavros Papavassiliou, Catalin Crina.

We will finish the day with Kwang Yi Goh presentation of his portfolio from Inter 8 on generating new communities in Bogota, Colombia

Politics of the Strip-Block – City Insertions

Building on the discussing on formal aspects started in the first term, the politics generated by the SB in the city fabric after placed will be assessed and discussed. Collages and short texts will define each proposal critical position.

Afterwards, SB proposals will be interrogated regarding their relationships with its immediate context and the passer-by. The placement of the SB in its particular location will bring the context forward in the progress of design definition. Its capability in specific locations to engage with the city public space will be also put into question.

– Pier Vittorio Aureli, “Rossi: The Concept of the locus as a political category of the city”, in The Project of Autonomy, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008, pp.53-69.
– Rafael Moneo, “On Typology”, in Oppositions reader : selected readings from a journal for ideas and criticism in architecture, 1973-1984, New York : Princeton Arch Press, c1998.
– Francisco Gonzalez De Canales & Nicholas Ray (Ed):”Form” in Rafael Moneo : building, teaching, writing, New Haven : Yale University Press, 2015.
– David Harvey: Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, London; New York : Verso, 2012.
– Reinhold Martin: The Urban Apparatus: Mediapolitics and the city, University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
Lecture: Canales & Lombardero, “New Formalism”, Lecture at Architectural Association, 2017.