Architecture students' project takes a fresh look at part of local history.
15 Aug 2013
Students from the BA(Hons) Architecture course at the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts are involved in a project based on local landmark Shoreham Fort in West Sussex.
The fort has two diverse but important histories. It was originally built in 1857 as an experimental fortification to protect the port of Shoreham, West Sussex from the threat of possible invasion by the French.
During the 1900s, the quality of the light in the area attracted early filmmakers and it became the site of the emerging British film industry, which could have ultimately rivaled Hollywood, had the First World War not broken out.
The idea behind the project, which is based on the concept of thinking through making, entitled Showman’s Dream, proposed the establishment of a film school at the fort whilst reworking the language of fortification from defence against invading armies to defence against shifting landscapes.
The group of students, known as Studio 06, led by lecturers Kate Cheyne and Carl Turner, investigated and analysed the site through full-scale devices of observation. The set of devices, designed and fabricated specifically for the fort were tested in situ to re-format the users experience of the site, through sight, sound and movement. An open day gave the Friends of the Shoreham Fort and other local residents an opportunity to see and interact with their work.
These interactions with the public, helped to further develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of the site and how it had been used and recreated. The students then developed site-specific architecture for their film school proposals.
The aim of the project was to challenge students’ preconceptions about engaging with local monuments, and sought to present an alternative vision for the fort that is currently undergoing restoration.