AA Intermediate 5

London 2008

A Sorting Hotel

There is a new typology of building which is seldom explored in the current architectural debate: massive , purpose-specific infrastructural buildings that belong to a bygone political era and have now become obsolete.

Rather than purpose yet another mied-use development (the stock response to this problem of modrn technology), the unit's agenda was to investigate different ways of appropriating this forgotten building type and proposing single intervention - a hotel - following a critical reassessment of the site.

Each students' hotel brief was the result of an abstract exploration theough the medium of a film trailer - a trailer for a hotel that doesn't exist. This exercise took inspiration from Francesco Vezzoli's parody trailer, 'Caligula', and culminated in a two-minute trailer integrating the work of all 14 students.

After a delicious and intimidating unit trip to Las Vegas, the students appied their abstracts to the given site: the former Royal Mail sorting office in New Oxford Street, London.

Through plastic and contextual design processes the students started to translat their concepts into architectural narratives in the form of large-scale models.

The result of this year's work is an assemblage proposal, to be contrasted with the Madrid Puerta America Hotel typology, where students' proposals are the results of their intentions clashing with both the existing context and other students' designs.

For this reason no single projects is selected here. Instead, each student's hotel is represented with her/his first image and final design, leaving open the fundamental ontological question of what a contemporary is.


Unit Staff

Stefano Rabolli Pansera

Peter W. Ferretto


Anna Anderich, Alina

Beissenova, Umberto Bellardi

Ricci, Tommaso Davi

Tommy Gunawan, Fredrik

Hellberg, Fusako Ishikawa

Camille Lacadee, Alexander

Laing, Miscia Leibovich

Aram Mooradian, Sayaka Namba

Yuko Odaira, Jaime Sol Robles


Joel Newman, Samuel

Ruckstuhl, Jan Jongert

Christian Zollner, Goswin

Schwendinger, Michael