Masterclass 2017: Staying at The Florey Building

Find out more about your stay at James Stirling's student accommodation

The AF Masterclass 2017 will be staged in the James Stirling-designed Florey Building at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

Photo: the Florey Building breakfast room.

Participants and studio leaders will each have their own room in the Florey building. All residential rooms are positioned around the inner court side of the building overlooking the river. The rooms are accommodated on five floors, the top two floors being planned as a single level of double height rooms with mezzanine floors. There are shared bathroom facilities on each floor.

Bed and breakfast is included in the price of the masterclass, as well as a three course dinner in the Queen's College Hall on the second night.

The studios will be held in the Queen's College and The Ruskin School of Art. 



2017 Architecture Foundation Masterclass: Public Form

A blurry black and white photograph may be the sole record of a visit that James Stirling and his wife Mary made to the Theatre of Epidauros, in the course of a 1965 family holiday to Greece, but it is safe to assume that the architect’s motivations in visiting the ancient site were more than touristic. A hallmark of Alvar Aalto’s output of the preceding decade, the amphitheatre theme emerges first in Stirling’s oeuvre in the radial arrangement of the bookshelves in the Cambridge History Library (1963-67) before finding more explicit statement in Andrew Melville Hall at the University of St Andrews (1963-68) the Florey Building for The Queens’ College, Oxford (1966-71), the unrealised designs for Derby Civic Centre (1970) and the University of St Andrews Arts Centre (1971-74). Each is a design of strikingly expressive form, but their gestural qualities suggest a search for something more than publicity. Stirling manipulates built form with the aim of articulating a public realm that is both intimately contained and open to appropriation - a space conceived very much in the manner of a theatre. 

The 2017 Architecture Foundation Masterclass, will explore the continued capacity of architectural form to support ideas of collective life and public representation. The three studios will develop projects at the scale of a single (although potentially very large) building, on sites that share with the Florey an address to the River Cherwell. This is a condition that demands the cultivation of a relationship to both city and landscape and which invites speculation about new forms of sociability. The studios’ common medium will be the large-scale model, the results being documented by the photographer, David Grandorge, with the aim of producing a publication in early 2018.