TS&JT Architecture & Design

Teaching Overview

Both partners teach a postgraduate design unit at Kingston School of Architecture. This academic environment provides opportunities for reflection and intellectual rigour, which in turn informs our practice.

Timothy combines his role in the practice with that of Course Director of the BA (Hons) Architecture course at Kingston.

Both partners have been guest critics at Cambridge University, Edinburgh College of Art and ETH Zürich. Timothy has previously taught at London Metropolitan University and Jonathan at Edinburgh College of Art.

MArch Unit 6 13/14

Marginal Classicism

The first three decades of the last century saw the emergence of a particular strain of classicism. Just as the modern movement was gaining momentum and beginning to become the accepted style of building for progressive architects, the margins of Europe - Scandinavia and, to some extent, Britain - witnessed the brief flowering of a subtle, strongly contextual and intriguing form of classical architecture.

In Scandinavia, Eric Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz developed an austere but emotive style of architecture, certainly classical in intent and often in expression, but combining with vernacular traditions to produce buildings that could not have been constructed anywhere else, or indeed, at any other time. In Britain, Lutyens followed a similar path, operating in a free arts and crafts idiom that skilfully incorporated classical planning and elements expressed in materials particular to their locality.

It could be argued that Asplund’s and Lewerentz’s classical training equipped them with a thorough understanding of and interest in spatial sequence, proportion, detail
and atmosphere - an architectural grammar. Even as their use of directly classical detail began to wane, these fundamentally classical concerns permeate their later buildings, which are more conventionally regarded as ‘modernist’ in expression. Peter Blundell Jones has argued that an understanding of classical architecture is fundamental to the richer strain of modern architecture that developed in Northern Europe at the time and which Colin St John Wilson has termed “the other tradition”.

Unit Six analysed, developed, and then applied an appropriate grammar to the difficult problem of constructing a significant new building in the World Heritage Site of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The style of most recent building in Edinburgh can be characterised as either feeble pastiche of historic forms or a timid ‘soft’ modernism, neither of which provide a satisfactory response to the city: the former tends to adopt a sandstone ‘veneer’ assembled in an a-historical tectonic and perhaps clumsily approximating adjacent classical or traditional details, while the latter employ an often crude juxtaposition of modern materials and forms set up in opposition to the surrounding traditional buildings and presumably justified as making the history of the site ‘legible’. Project sites are located in the Old Town, with spectacular sectional relationships to the city. To paraphrase Asplund, Unit Six proposed designs in a style of the place, not of the time.

  • Robert Adam, proposal for Edinburgh South Bridge.

  • Emma Hyett, Courtyard Perspective.

  • Will Creech, Thorvaldsens Museum.

  • Dina Patel, Interior model of proposal.

  • Jay Ruparelia, Royal Mile Elevation, Tower from Street Level.

  • Joe Lyth, Section North Gray's Close.

  • Will Creech, Arcade, Shop Front.

  • Tom Burton, Cowgate Elevation.

  • Tom Burton, Cowgate Arches.

  • Emma Byom, Facade Fragment.

  • Rowena Bond, Royal Mile Elevation.