Harry Thorpe, currently a Level 6 student on the BA (Hons) Architecture course, recently spent a weekend at the University of Sheffield for the TRADA Urban Buzz competition.

Harry details his time at the TRADA Urban Buzz competition, which he attended with 59 other students from 28 universities from across the UK:

“The TRADA Urban Buzz competition involved designing a multi-storey carpark constructed using timber as a way to promote the technical capabilities of the material. TRADA are an international research organisation promoting the uses of timber within the construction industry hosting the event.

There were 12 groups involved to compete against each other to win the competition, each given the same site; an existing car park in Bristol. Each group was a mixture of architecture, structural engineering, and landscape architects. This multi-disciplined team was similar to how projects would be collaborated on with live projects, working closely together back and forth on design changes.

The design for the project was to create a gridshell cladding over a fairly familiar car park typology. This way, the building could be re-used as a car park after, or it could be utilised to house other functions, as the structure is regulated and easily applicable to a variety of functions.

The opportunity to work with students from other practices gives great insight into how the real projects within architecture might work. It also expressed how important each specialty is to the other and therefore shows how vital collaboration is within architecture.

Working within the competition and being advised by timber specialists and experts also expanded an awareness of how versatile timber can be as construction material. Timber can be manipulated extensively to accommodate various designs, not only this but it is a highly sustainable method, and is often a quicker option of construction.”

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Architecture course.