Urban Artefacts by Studio 3 – At BPN Architects

BPN (Architects) have the pleasure in hosting a new exhibition called ‘Urban Artefacts’ by Studio 3, a group of MArch students from Birmingham City University.

Studio 3 have worked on analysing Birmingham and Milan in minute detail over the past year in order to understand the city and its architecture. Through the use of acute observations, and a respect and care for the nature of an existing place, Studio 3 has documented examples of civic Birmingham manifested in the streets, facades and public spaces through drawings, photographs, and models. These precise studies and observations of the existing city were translated into a series of propositions for change.

The exhibition highlights the potential of previously unnoticed areas and proposes new interventions to improve the urban realm through a greater detailed understanding of the existing urban conditions.

The preview for the show is this Thursday 17th July, from 5 till 7pm. The exhibition will remain at 3 Mary Street until 7th August.

We look forward to seeing you there!

To arrange a visit please email:

Further details can be found at:

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Year 2 – Landscape

Year 2 – First project – A landscape on a future cultural site for Birmingham.

The project took inspiration from Wassily Kandinsky Composition VI painting to create a central focus (Steven Holl Knut Hamsun Centre.) The landscape aims to shift focus and provide centres of high and low intensity. It links to the outside of the site with the new Library, BT tower and NIA.

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First Day at Uni

My first day at uni was rather eventful. Was terribly and unctrollably ill on the train to uni to such an extent tha I had to purchase some new aftershave that was no really factored into my budget. When we got to the campus we were put onto a walk to the other side of birmingham to digbeth which was fun. Where we learned that most of our lectures will happen at this place while the uni was sorted, which is always fun. Then walked all the way to sign my life away with enrollment so my uni journey has started.

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On the Road to Architecture Part 4

I do believe it is about time for me to update you lovely people about my journey to university and my chosen subject to read of Architecture. At the last contact I had been made an offer by both BIAD and Oxford Brookes for architecture courses and I was thinking about the technology that I needed to acquire to do this course.

On the offer front I have made BIAD my first choice for architecture on my UCAS form, this is mainly because I feel as a university it has a much better feel that at Oxford. Even though Oxford is a nicer area for my studies I believe it has to be Birmingham all the way.  Some people may be confused by this decision over a ‘higher’ placed university, but that university did not fit me and it also did not fit my ethos of an environment that should make you happy the second you walk in, much as what Birmingham provided me.

In terms of technology, I do believe I will be purchasing a Macbook Pro sometime soon as at the moment they are running a free iPod Touch offer and printer rebate. That all sounds lovely and inviting for me. I may in the future by an iPhone but it depends on my financial situation.

Talking about finanaces I have a good solid chunk of money coming my way, courtesy of the student finance people. As I am not staying in Birmingham this should tide me over nicely.

My next update should be after my A level results.

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Work Over

This week my History coursework was handed in along with my business coursework, I have worked hard on these so should get what I deserve in terms of grade from them. I also handed my design coursework in, which has taken a lot of out of me mentally and physically. While it wasn’t completed my heath deteriorated and stress rose, since the design is finished I suddenly feel the weight off my shoulders until my exams. I feel a lot happier within myself now and just can’t wait to go to sleep and actually get a decent nights kip.

Below is my finished design project, it has taken over 2 months to make and hours of painstaking work (I cannot show  you any more yet as the exam board may not wish for me to disclose it) but it is done.

Finished Design Coursework

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On the Road to Architecture Part 2

Well it has been a few weeks since my UCAS has been sent off; progress of my education has been made beyond my hopes before it went off.

Initially Birmingham City University contacted me first and put an interview date and then so did De Montfort, and now Oxford Brookes which completes the set. I am really pleased that ‘Brookes university actually allowed me the privilege of having an interview/portfolio review, as apparently they have over a 1000 applications and must cut it down someone significantly at interview stage.

I did apply to Nottingham University, but was rejected for architecture. This was mainly because I did not meet the entry criteria (which I never checked) which was an astounding 3 A’s at A2. Nottingham did  not completely reject me, they offered me a place on a new course called Sustainable Built Environment which looks pretty good and I would be willing to go there.

So overall progress has been made and I am very pleased.

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On the Road to Architecture

Students Architecture

It seems to me that most of my fellow students are constantly doing subjects which give them a reduced workload and less responsibility – an easy run through university. It became apparent to me that I was probably one of the only sixth formers who were doing a subject which needs massive commitments and long hours in order to complete it.

I am of course talking about Architecture. That funny subject that takes over 7 years to finally finish and is protected by the government in the same likes as being a doctor for example. That means if you were to go outside and show you’re an architect and you weren’t on the register – the police could prosecute you.

My first port of call to get on an architecture course is to of course visit the schools in question and look at what they are about. It is important at this point to ignore anything league tables show because in a since they are just mathematical bollocks.

The first I visited was Birmingham City University; you might be thinking now why an A at A level achiever wants to go to a school with such stigma attached. Well the simple answer is I really do not care about its name; I wanted the quality of its teaching. I was pleasantly surprised, the work was top notch, the facilities were excellent and I had an overall feeling of eccentric warmth in the building. This school was going to be on my list, not just because of that, but because it was based on a complete and famous art campus. This campus has so much creativity going on it might as well explode with ideas of the future flowing through it.

On my magical road trip, we went north, left my home in the midlands and went to the glorious once industrial centre of the world Sheffield. The city was beautiful, the trams were delightful; they were clean and fast moving (well done to Sheffield for re-introducing probably the best form of public transport ever). However, when we went to the area were architecture was my overall optimistic opinion dropped. The supposed 2nd best university for architecture (as the AJ points out) was based in a monolithic 20 storey tower, 60’s gray façade. It did not look good at all for the future of this school in my opinion. The talk for the university was for some strange reason in an old decrepit chemistry building, and we thought well can we look at the actually place of study. So we went to the tower and were greeted with the un-usual system of lifts that did not work and that I have a fear of, walking up the escape stair shafts up 15 storeys in the sweltering head (my mom almost died from exhaustion.) But it would be worth it as it was a top 5 university, sadly it wasn’t, the work was for all intensive purposes rubbish. It lacked any imagination and was gray and drab much like the university. The talk was terrible when we got in it, the room was stuffy and the tutor was boring and un-charismatic. I left disappointed, the city was fantastic but the university was less than average. I still do not know how a Russell group university would be so lacking in any attractive substance. Saying that the university is being re-developed so in 5 years time it may be a different story but atm it is not right for me in a sense.

My last journey south was over an hour from my home in the fine sleepy city of Oxford; leafy and green with a general lovely atmosphere that greeted me. Our first challenge was to get on a special park and ride at Uni-Part; this was more of a challenge than first thought as the university was not allowed to put signs up as to where it is. When asking the locals we managed to find the gigantic building that was nestled behind a gigantic gas tower next to the BMW Mini factory.  If this was an improvement that would be it, more signs needed to point the way. We got on the free park and ride buses that took us to the campus that I wanted. Although the building was 60’s it had be modernised and was clean and tidy. I loved the overall aesthetic it was a comfortable place to study that I would see myself working it day to day with ease. The same with the architecture department it was on par with Birmingham and I would be happy to study there. The students were friendly to which is always nice to see that they are enjoying it. Upon leaving I knew it was right to go on my UCAS form for the right reasons.

What did this all show that you should always look at the university you want to go to, because if like Sheffield it would only let you down. I could of barrel rolled into that university and I would have left almost instantaneously. Now all I need to do is complete the portfolio and get a conditional it is going to be a hard 6 months but I am sure it will be worth it.

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