Summer school at CAT – blogs by architecture students

Hello again,

The summer school is well on it’s way now and the students are soon ready to start their practical sessions.  But first, a few more of their blogs.

Sophia’s blog.

I am coming every month from London to attend the course. CAT has been an exceptional place to deepen my understanding of what I call “the production of architecture” and develop my own ability to produce design ideas with a pertinent focus on sustainability. Sometimes, like this month, I drag along my model on the bus, tube, train and taxi, to illustrate my ideas. I am using my site model to develop a concept on a mixed-use development. It’s great to have these few days to focus and progress on our design work without interruption (bar the table tennis competition!). I wish every month was like summer school.

Adam Harris’ blog.

As an attempt to provide a snapshot of what its like to be an architecture student at CAT, below is a narrative of what’s going on in the studio at this week’s summer school. A room with a view. A window looking into a peaceful and sensual courtyard with still water, reflecting light into the rooms which surround it. A studio with pools of natural light and areas of drama and contrast that accentuate the beauty of this precious light. A studio filled with desks, desks filled with the apparatuses that allow architecture to be enjoyed; pencils, markers of red and green, rolls of tracing paper and model making materials scattered all around. Chairs of which house the courses’ best kept secret; warm-hearted students. These people have become the making of our studies. These people are made of the stuff which will hopefully make friends for life. Friends who provide laughter, care and affection, help and support. Creativity thrives on these essential ingredients.

Trevor Jones’ blog.

I joined CAT as a mature student to finally fulfill my ambition to become an architect. Nine months on; I’m now designing a Wellness Centre on Hilbre Island off the Wirral Coastline. The initial source of inspiration was from the book “Liquid Assets” and the revival of Lidos. As an avid reader of Psychologies, I also discovered the 1960’s Esalen institute in the Big Sur California, where the therapeutic and exotic spa and massage culture came about. The challenge is to make the project self sufficient and sustainable with use of wind, wave and solar energy, but the idea is beginning to evolve typically in the Esalen mentality of self awareness by also creating a facility for naturists. Feedback from naturists or visitor of Esalen please or anything about the best spa experiences are gratefully received.


Summer school at CAT for the architecture Professional Diploma students

The summer school for the architecture Professional Diploma students has started this week at CAT. We will follow them and their impressions throughout the week.


Sean’s blog.

Hello, my name is Sean. I am currently one of the architecture Professional Diploma students here at CAT. I started the course last September and I am taking part in the August summer school. This particular module includes an extended period of major project design development, coupled with a timber construction practical. Today was the third consecutive studio day, which for myself, meant a tutorial in the morning, followed by the continued, evolution of my major thesis design project. This project represents the culmination of 5 years of architectural education and I have chosen to design a mixed use, sustainable development in the heart of Mexico city. Therefore, through confronting and dissecting the cultural, geographical and environmental uniqueness of such a site, I hope to use these studio days to implement an architecturally rich intervention.


Rebecca’s blog.

Hi, my name is Rebecca. The summer school at CAT is a brilliant opportunity to engage with visiting architects and professionals. Been able to sit in the WISE building at CAT for one whole week in certainly inspiring. My scheme “The Learning Society”, a project proposal based in Falmouth, is advocating an alternative approach to student accomodation, i.e. living and working with communities, encouraging a sense of responsibility (in all respects), and creating spaces that spark creativity. Sitting at my desk in the WISE building, I look across a beautifully proportioned internal courtyard, and I cannot help but get the dimensions using my tape measure. This will definitely feature in my scheme! The rain has been steadily pouring for the previous two days, and the timber gutters in the courtyard trickle a steady stream of water into recessed square ponds in the courtyards. Walking under the covered walkway to and from the rammed earth lecture theatre and restaurant, I am once again inspired by the range of sensuous experiences. In simplicity there is creativity. It seems I have all the inspiration I need for my project right here!

Architecture Summer School starts at CAT

From the 11th – 21st August the students studying for CAT’s Professional Diploma in Architecture will attend a Summer School to mark the end of the first 12 months of their 18 month long course. These students, who have all undertaken a Part I first degree in architecture elsewhere, will be examined for a Part II qualification in January 2012. Previous students of the Prof Dip course at CAT have since moved on to undertake Part III qualifications, which will allow them to register as Architects in the UK.

Watch a short video about last year’s Professional Diploma in Architecture Summer School here

The first five days of the Summer School will be spent in the WISE building where three rooms have been allocated as studio space. The students will be working on their Final Projects & will be producing drawings & models to discuss with a range of visiting tutors.

For the second five days the Summer School will move over to the other side of the Dyfi Valley, to CAT’s Coed Gwern woodland. Here the students will work on two live projects to be built from timber supplied by the local Esgair sawmill 500 m from the site. The two projects are to build a Hide for bird watching to be located in the woodland & a  temporary structure to be taken to the Shambala Festival at the end of August.

The Hide is to be substantial structure with a curved profile built up out of timber slats. The Shambala pavilion is a fabric-covered lightweight frame that will be dismantled to allow transportation to the Festival & then quickly re-erected by a team from CAT, including two of the Prof Dip


Both designs were produced during a one-day sketch design session in June & have been worked up over the last two months to allow materials to be ordered & preparations made.

You can follow the progress of the Summer School, including the construction of the two structures on this blog over the next 10 days.