Richard Waite reviews the University of Huddersfield’s end of year show
'Huddersfield’s ‘special effort to impress’ has paid off. Previously let down by the school’s lifeless, office park-like home, the architecture show has come to life in the double height space of the university’s Quayside building.
In a reversal of last year’s fortunes the undergraduate work outshone the MArch efforts - the school handed out a record 18 firsts to its 65-strong Part I cohort.
According to school head Carl Meddings, the diverse intake of already skilled-up students from across Europe – in particular Romania, Greece and Cyprus – has help lift standards across the board.
Yet Huddersfield’s output remains as practical and nuts-and-bolts as ever. Even Danny Higham’s cavernous Memorial to the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City – potentially an otiose promenade through light, shade and remembrance – has been made useful to the city as a cleverly designed link to the metro system.
Standout units & students
The school does not run a unit system but again showed a consistency of teaching and the school’s mantra of ‘contextual regionalism’ clearly underpinned most of the work displayed.
Part I student Ecaterina Stefanescu’s artist colony and art gallery in Ho Chi Minh City was impressive and accomplished. A strong idea – how to promote the underground art movement - with a considered response to the urban context and an actual building which could probably go on site next week….