The Abedian School of Architecture is located on the campus designed in the 1980s by Arata Isozaki. It forms part of the Faculty of Architecture and Sustainable Design. Winning the competition in January 2011, CRAB was awarded the contract and the building was completed in 2013.
Peter Cook’s and Gavin Robotham’s long experience as teachers of architecture and their regular working knowledge of several including the Bartlett, AA, Harvard, SCI-ARC, Columbia, Frankfurt and UCLA enabled them to incorporate a response to many anecdotal criteria as well as constructional and climatic objectives.
The building is a long, airy loft on two to three levels articulated by a series of ‘scoops’: defining structure-enclosures that can be used for casual meetings and ‘crit’ sessions. These line the central street that gently rises up the hilltop site. As befits a hot and sometimes sticky climate, the building is airy and folds over upon itself in a series of fan-like roofs and slits with advantage is taken of the east-west axis to clarify a very climate-controlled development of the building envelope that includes sunshade ‘eyebrows’ on the sundrenched north side.
The Abedian School of Architecture is CRAB’S second University building. As with their other work, the sociology and sense of ‘theatre’, of small, intimate groups within institutions, the importance of the non-curricula moments – and a ‘sense of theatre’ – all run through the project which is taken right through to their design of its colourful and highly flexible furniture.