Polyark Super Mega Crit

CSA Diploma School will be taking part in:


Friday 28th January to Saturday 29th January 2011
At the University of Westminster P3

The event is open to all; come along and support the school and get involved in the Polyark Project.

The overall aim of this event is to:

summarise and showcase the work produced by the students of each school that participated in Polyark II;
celebrate and publicise the schools’ early participation in a highly successful project;
review Cedric Price’s contribution to architects’ thinking over the last 50 years and his enthusiasm for the UK railway system including its potential to provide valuable brownfield sites;
consider Cedric’s ambition for a National School of Architecture & provide a forum for debate about architecture education;
provide a forum for debate about the Polyark ll project and develop, on a preliminary basis, the themes for Polyark lll;
inaugurate and publicise Polyark lll.

Friday 28th January

Between 9.00 and 13.00 - Arrivals, registration and pin-up

13.00 – 13.45 Break for Lunch
13.45 – 14.00 Welcome and Introductions

14.00 - 14.30 The original Polyark - Peter Murray

In the early 1070s the Polyark double decker bus set off from the Architectural Association filled with architectural students and visited other schools of architecture at Cambridge, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bath and Edinburgh. This was the brainchild of Cedric Price to promote collaboration and his dream of a National School of Architecture. Peter Murray was there and will share some of his experiences of the original Polyark project.

14.30 – 15.30 Crit One: Strathclyde

15.30 – 16.00 Railways and Cedric – Bernard Gambrill

Cedric Price was involved with High Speed One The strategy and implementation of the Crossrail project will be outlined, with an assessment of how this will affect urban patterns in the future. Comments will be offered on the connections that can be made between Crossrail and Price’s fascination for networks, particularly focusing on the impact of railways as shapers of cities, suburbs, and the transmission of ideas.

16.00 – 17.00 Crit Two: Birmingham

17.00 – 17.30 Cedric Price – Paul Finch and Samantha Hardingham

Cedric Price was the architect of the Potteries Thinkbelt, the Fun Palace, the Kentish Town Generator, and the aviary at London Zoo among many other highly polemical, realised and unrealised projects. Cedric made a highly significant contribution to architects’ thinking over the last 50 years and his legacy is kept alive by his many friends, colleagues and his partner the actress Eleanor Bron.

17.30 – 18.30 Crit Three: South Bank

19.00 Drinks and party

Saturday 29th January

09.30 – 10.00 Polyark II - John Lyall

During the academic year 2009-10, 8 schools of architecture worked collaboratively as paired schools and exchanged sites, data, locations, and ideas to develop their design proposals. Reflecting Cedric Price’s lifelong enthusiasm for railways and high speed transport connections the theme for Polyark II was the redevelopment of the UK’s railway backlands.

10.00 – 11.00 Crit 4: Architectural Association

11.00 – 11.30 Railways and Urbanisation – John Worthington

The establishment of the permanent way in 19th century societies transformed the connectivity of global cities, creating new social relations through the spread of industrialisation. The railway also defined the nature and vocabulary of modern engineering projects, consolidating engineers as key actors in contemporary design process and implementation. The subterranean and subaqueous tunnel, the cutting, viaduct, and long span bridge were all products of the railway, contributing an entirely new synthetic geology to previously unmanaged landscapes.

11.30 – 12.30 Crit 5:Lincoln

12.30 – 13.00 The National Plan by Cedric Price – John Lyall and David Gloster

All architectural schools in the UK should be co-ordinated to produce a range of architectural educational investigation far more comprehensive than that now offered by any single school and students should be enabled to move from one school to the other during their course. This was Cedric Price’s dream and the advantages he envisaged included the ability for schools to specialise within architecture and share that centre of excellence with other schools. John Lyall and David Gloster will expand on the principles and possibilities of the National Plan in this session.

14.00 15.00 Crit 6: Liverpool Break for Lunch

15.00 – 15.30 The Future of UK Architectural Schools – David Gloster

Cedric Price proposed a National School of Architecture. With developments in the education system, architectural education and communications & media, the dream as realised could look very different but achieve the same aims. David Gloster will give a brief overview of the current situation and the possibilities for more integration of syllabus and course content to enable more flexible learning and sharing of ideas.

15.30 – 16.30 Crit 7: DeMontfort
16.30 – 17.30 Crit 8: Canterbury

17.30 – 18.30 Close with “PIII at P3” The next Polyark project – John Lyall, David Gloster, Will McLean and Kate Heron?

The first Polyark revival was a resounding success. The railway theme has put the project firmly on track and we now look to the next tranche of schools to embrace and develop Polyark III in the next academic year. Who will join? What should the theme be? John Lyall, David Gloster, Will McLean and Kate Heron will debate the questions and coordinate discussions from the floor.