BA First Year

BA Architecture


Vasilija Abramović is an architect holding a PhD in the field of Interactive Architecture. She has published in leading scientific journals and has exhibited work internationally. Alongside UoW, she teaches MArch at The Bartlett, UCL.

Florian Brillet has worked in international practices for 16 years, including Dominique Perrault and Jean Nouvel. He has developed his own practice focused on public art commissions and furniture design.

Yannick Guillen Sloma co-founded award- winning practice Guillen Esteras Architects. Interested in public and cultural projects, and sustainable building traditions, it recently won the award to design a kindergarten in Berlin.

Rim Kalsoum is an architectural designer currently working at Weston Williamson & Partners and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster. She is co-founder and creative director of Muslim Women in Architecture.

Neil Kiernan is an experienced practicing architect and BA design tutor for 1st and 3rd year. He has a continued and developing interest in the research of gender, space and architecture.

Alison Gwynne is an architect who was formerly director at Edward Cullinan Architects. Her practice focuses on producing beautifully crafted buildings, with a strong sense of concern for their environmental impact.

Paol Kemp studied at CSM and Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Switzerland. Working at OMMX, he has contributed to various projects from conception to completion including private homes, exhibition design and competitions.

Jenny Kingston is an architect and urban designer working mainly on public realm schemes in rapidly changing areas of London. Alongside teaching at UoW, she works with muf architecture/art.

Balveer Mankia is the founding director of BAL Architecture. Formerly a partner at MAKE, he was involved in the design and delivery of several award-winning schemes. He has taught at the Universities of Greenwich and Nottingham.

Bongani Muchemwa is an architect who has worked with RSHP, CZWG and Burwell Architects. He runs a small practice focusing on public realm, exhibition design, and housing projects, and is a trustee of arts charity BEAM.

Richa Mukhia is a director of award-winning architectural practice M.OS Architects. She has extensive experience in the private and public sector with a particular interest in housing design, public realm and community engagement.

Natalie Newey is Senior Lecturer and SFHEA. She has extensive experience working in practice and is particularly interested in engaging students in community and environmental issues.

Paresh Parmar is an architect and director of Studio PYP, a London-based architecture practice specialising in private residential projects with a strong emphasis on understanding people, spatial needs and sustainability.

Rofayda Salem is a scholarship holder and PhD student at UoW. She is an author on the topic of Islamic architecture and passive solutions.

Conor Sheehan is the co-founder of Studio MASH, a design practice working across the fields of architecture, installation, interiors, graphics and events.

Matthew Stewart is an architect, researcher and writer. He has worked with architectural practices in the UK and internationally on projects across various scales and sectors.

Richard Watson is a tutor, artist and product designer who started teaching at UoW in 1999. He has exhibited his handmade works at UoW and the Architectural Association.

Carine Woiezechoski is an architect and environmental consultant with experience in practice and academia. Her PhD was on building integrated hydroponic farms in Tropical Climates.

Mika Zacharias is an architect and educator who runs her own multi-disciplinary practice. Her work is playful and referential, a design approach that feeds into her work as an educator.

GROUP A: Conor Sheehan & Richa Mukhia

Crafting Community

As a studio, we have been exploring the idea that by turning to a more local way of living, by working locally, using locally available resources and materials, communities can thrive while having a positive impact on the environment. The projects have been designed to strengthen an existing community, help start a new community or revive a lost community in the face of a turbulent present and future by increasing social connectedness.

GROUP B: Richard Watson & Natalie Newey

Making Space to be Creative

In semester 2, the students looked at how they – and others – worked creatively. We then looked more specifically at the habits they employed to prepare themselves to do this. This was summarised in a series of drawings which described both the mental and physical spaces they needed for this to happen.

Drawing from these studies, the students designed a work space for themselves, with a public area where one of the habits that they had identified earlier could be shared with the wider public of Hackney Wick.

GROUP C: Jenny Kingston & Florian Brillet

Leisureplex: The Third Place

The studio is concerned with the role of architecture in building community through social integration. The students were asked to design a Third Place to encourage people to come together through shared interests and activity, and activate the surrounding neighbourhoods and streets.

The projects are sited in Hackney Wick. Locally-led research finds existing residents, particularly young people, feeling excluded from the benefits development brings to an area. The projects aim to combat loneliness and support new communities through well-designed and thoughtful architecture.

GROUP D: Alison Gwynne & Balveer Mankia

Upcycled Studios

WE HAVE BEEN critically appraising the value of waste material, and exploring the design possibilities of live/work/share studio spaces for 21st-century sculptors and makers who transform obsolete or waste materials into desirable works of art.

Students researched a sculptor of their choice to understand the technical, social and scientific realities of their sculpting techniques. Through a series of modelling tasks, students developed a unique architectural language and new material approaches, infused with the spatial and material essence of their chosen sculptors’ work. The resultant designs and their contextual interventions embody the ideologies and sculptural effects of upcycled art and its place in the circular economy.

GROUP E: Neil Kiernan & Rim Kalsoum

Food for Thought: Cultivating positive food practices in Hackney Wick

LARGE SCALE FOOD production, intensive processing, consumption practices and waste are having noticeable impacts on the environment and our health. High quality, low processed, nutrient rich food has the potential to mitigate this. The brief asked the students to design a public building in Hackney Wick to house the production and operation of a sustainable food organisation, incorporating circular economy principles for the local community. Carefully researched site and food investigations helped each student generate an innovative and exciting client brief. Final proposals include an algae production plant and restaurant, a seaweed pie and mash shop, and an orange-infused hammam tea room.

GROUP F: Yannick Guillen & Vasilija Abramović

Productive City

This semester, students looked at industry in the city. Students were tasked with designing a small space for making, testing, or repairing which will serve the community of residents and businesses of Hackney Wick and Fish Island. These imagined places of production aim to become an integral part of the community, offering a place to share knowledge, skills and resources. The proposals considered the circularity of materials, finding new uses to often overlooked or discarded objects, and in doing so seek to have a positive impact on the immediate and wider environment.

GROUP G: Matthew Stewart & Paol Kemp


Our main project this year was to design a community building based around the theme of ‘comfort’. The building had to work as a new space for Hub 67, a recently closed community centre in Hackney Wick. Proposals were to include a series of rooms for community groups in Hackney Wick, had to navigate scales, public and private functions and, crucially, temperatures. By doing so, the building was intended to provide a social use to the local community while demystifying our everyday relationships with heat, thermal comfort and energy use.

GROUP H: Carine Woiezechoski, Paresh Parmar & Rofayda Salem

Hackney Wick Environmental Incubator

The students were asked to design a sustainable research and development centre or environmental incubator that generates its own energy. The environmental incubator operates as both a private facility for pioneering academic research, and as a public facility that educates the local community on a specific field of sustainable design through a series of immersive activities. The brief focused on three unique sites in Hackney Wick, each with one of the following predefined themes: Recycling/Biomaterial Laboratory; Wellness/Rehabilitation Centre and NHS consultation space; and Food Production and Retail Space.

GROUP J: Mika Zacharias & Bo Muchemwa

Off-Grid Wellness

In the second semester, students examined wellness in its broadest sense, exploring its meaning through different cultural, political, and religious lenses. Our designs aim to be personal in their articulation, yet acknowledge the existing built environment of the proposed site in Hackney Wick.

The brief prioritised community spaces that facilitated mental health and well-being, and each building proposal interpreted this in a specific and whimsical way. Stipulating the proposals be energy-efficient and eco-friendly in response to the energy and living crises, we looked at designs that utilised locally-generated renewable energy. The building’s materials were sourced sustainably to have a minimal impact on the environment.

Archive of First Year’s work from previous years:

BA Y1 2016-2017

BA Y1 2017-2018

BA Y1 2018-2019

BA Y1 2019-2020

BA Y1 2020-2021

BA Y1 2021-2022