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Teaching design at the LSA — Esther Escribano

We spoke to the Design Tutors delivering our programme at the LSA and asked about their design methodology and ethos as professional designers and architects. Esther Escribano is a First Year Design Tutor at the LSA and architect at Studio Weave as well as a PhD candidate at Valladolid University. Here’s what he had to say.

I understand designing architecture as a collaborative exercise in which we are constantly looking for answers and these answers, in turn, bring more questions. I am interested in architecture that fits the purpose and yet adapts to the unforeseen, introducing time as a project-shaping factor. Design becomes architecture when it is activated by the people who inhabit it.

Designing from the context is the natural way for me to approach architecture. A context that means place, memory, space… with its visible and invisible conditions. Architecture should work as a device that transforms spaces and reveals latent aspects of places. I believe in the design process as an integrative activity in which elements such as structure, constructive solutions and materials are present from the beginning. In order to achieve this integration, I try to articulate a strategy for all these elements to work together as an organism.


Project 1 — Greenwich Pavilion

I see this intervention as an artefact that makes the individual question themselves about the city which they inhabit. This building operates, by contrast, as a landmark: In an urban context which is sometimes hostile, this pavilion tries to bring human scale to the visitor. The proposal is a very direct architectural response to its environment — this is building in which bones and skin are the same; a construction in which structure and façade are all composed from the same elements and materials. The coloured elements meanwhile entice people to explore the pavilion, a red door for example invites visitors to enter and the yellow stairs to be climbed while the structure’s other apertures amplify its visual permeability and and instil a sense of openness.


Project 2 — St. Peter in the Forest

The setting of St Peter in the Forest church is very special and multi-layered. Over the years, the church has been adapted in response to its changing circumstances, and in the process some of its colours have faded. The proposal celebrates its rich layers of history and heightens the experiential qualities of this extraordinary place while the intervention adds a new layer to this palimpsest, wrapping the existing construction through a respectful gesture.