Unit E 2004-2005


Jonathan Dawes
Ellis Woodman


Scobie Alvis
Dominic Cullinan
Yuji Fukui at Geidai University, Ueno, Tokyo
Nello Gregori
Stephen Sinclair
Peter Staub
Roy Stevens


Don Barker
Liz Betterton
Jim Bond
David Bellasi
Arne Berndt
Claudia Dutson
Johanna Helgadottir
Benjamin Lee
Rui Li
Victoria Loh
Taichi Maeda
Giada Pilo
Tahera Rouf
Bo Tang
Aya Takashima
Billy Tang
Ivi Vassilopoulou
Hitoshi Yamamura

Stranded Surfaces, Johanna Helgadottir Unfolded grain, Ben Lee Deviating elements, Claudia Dutson Twisting Surfaces, Hitoshi Yamamura Complex voids, Liz Betterton Branching Studies, Victoria Loh Scored surfaces, Johanna Helgadottir Fabric formed concrete surfaces, Johanna Helgadottir Laminations unravelled, Taichi Maeda Unit E @ YIPT Neon Signage studies, Bo Tang Unfolded Signage mappings, Bo Tang Omotesando voids, Liz Betterton Voids unravelled, Liz Betterton SMC flow disruptions, David Bellasi Ginza Signage studies, Giada Pilo Shibuya Movement patterns, Hitoshi Yamamura Shibuya Mark City Infrastructure, Rui Li Shibuyalove Exhibition 14.02.05 Unit E Strategic workshop Inhabitable bride connector, Aya Takashima Reorganised Old Street Station, Giada Pilo Car Park development, Old Street, Rui Li Skin and surface study, Rui Li

Scissors: Paper: Stone

Our aims for this year were to initiate architectural research at the intersection of real and fictional worlds. We primarily studied techniques of cutting, wrapping and carving space to develop spatial languages and rules with useful form-making and organisational analogies.


We visited Japan, examining the interwoven topological, temporal and programmatic qualities of unique urban conditions in and around Shibuya, Tokyo. We considered specific buildings according to their surface qualities, articulated ground planes or inclusive structural organisations, taking themes common to earlier studies. We also looked at signage and the status of the building as a sign, redefining the identity of the building skin in Omotesando and Ginza. This work culminated in an exhibition, Shibuyalove, held in the new AVA gallery.

Scissors Cuts Paper...

Through material experimentation and workshops we explored the latent qualities of materials by folding, splitting, expanding, casting and laminating. Our research focussed upon the crystallisation of tactile relations and unexpected geometries when concepts interact with one another: scissors cuts paper, paper wraps stone etc.

Old Street: New Intensity

The landlocked transport interchange of Old Street Station provided the context for testing and a unit appreciation of the site through collective fieldwork and mappings. These formed the basis of a group appraisal document and a series of loose strategic agenda.
Individually, each project has questioned how to unravel the current distinction between segregated transport infrastructure and its relation with other uses. Building and landscape elements have emerged with tailored material qualities and programmatic concerns, developed from earlier analogies and responding to the dynamic conditions present.

Heterogeneous Fabric

The resolution of built fabric was based upon a redefinition of individual surface, material and volumetric interests forming a range of approaches and applications:

Perforated or expanded building skins were developed that modulate their porosity, scale and texture according to their adjacency or the uses they wrap around.
Sponge-like structures with fractal geometries were introduced, inhabiting new infrastructure as an extension of the pavement territory to mediate between differing scales and uses.
New artificial ground surfaces camouflaged the industrial present and simultaneously provided spaces of a different nature: for recreation, education and future social inclusion.