See all

Studio FBA in 2023

Faulknerbrowns Studio Fba Masters Architecture Newcastle University Emily Charlton Lh

This summer, we concluded our 5th year of leading a studio for MArch students at Newcastle University. Each year, ‘Studio FBA’ follows a research theme that asks the students to consider use of energy and material choice in their designs, which often leads to projects reusing existing buildings.

However, last September, Dan Burn, Irina Korneychuk and Danka Stefan set a brief which specifically requested for students to find an existing building for reuse and develop proposals to reconnect it to its locality.

Projects by Sarah Hawkings, Niamh McNamee and Rebecca Neumann

The students began their projects in groups, surveying large areas of Newcastle and mapping the results of their survey. The intention was to gain an understanding of the area’s social and economic characteristics, as well as the site’s geography and topography, before choosing a building for their intervention.

Projects by Natalie Lau, Siu Pun and Sean Bartlem

Working from the urban scale towards the building scale led to some interesting building choices, with students taking on overlooked structures and places and unusual building typologies. New ideas were developed for abandoned car parks, industrial warehouses, large retail sheds, a bingo hall, a 19th century listed bath house, the listed Keelmen's Hospital and even Newcastle’s Central Station.

Faulknerbrowns Studio Fba Masters Architecture Newcastle University Emily Charlton 2 L
Emily Charlton's proposals for the Keelmen's Hospital

Each project asked important questions about how to reuse existing structures, how an overlooked building can be reinvigorated for a meaningful new use, making better connections to the local area. Practical considerations such as structural choices, circulation and reconfigured entrance positions all proved to be challenges for the group.

Projects by Tony Afzal, Elizabeth Chio and Laura Vickers

Aligning new uses to existing spaces tested the students’ skill and understanding of proportion and scale, as well as asking important questions about the balance between when to re-use and when to demolish in order to provider longer term flexibility.

Projects by Ilyeob Kim, Alex Bramhall and Rory Durnin

'The environmental argument in favour of building reuse is clear. In the UK, the construction industry accounts for 60% of all materials used, while creating a third of all waste and generating 45% of all CO2 emissions in the process. The challenge for architects and developers, therefore, is to retrofit, reuse and reimagine our existing building stock, making use of the “embodied carbon” that has already been expended, rather than contributing to escalating emissions with further demolition and new construction.'

- Daniel Burn, studio lead in 2022/23

Faulknerbrowns Studio Fba Masters Architecture Newcastle University Olivia Jackson L
Proposals for a new create hub in Byker, by Olivia Jackson

Following the success of this year's cohort, we will be continuing Studio FBA in September, with a new group of students at Newcastle University and a similar focus on the creative reuse of existing buildings.