Illustration of a rural landscape with both vernacular and contemporary buildings among wetland

London Metropolitan University presents 10 design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a plaza designed to accomodate protests and a basin that aims to ritualise hand washing post-Covid-19 are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at London Metropolitan University.

Also included is a lamp that is made both by hand and machine, and a hotel catered towards artists that aims to replicate the feeling of being in a studio.


London Metropolitan University

Institution: London Metropolitan University
School: School of Art, Architecture and Design
Course: MArch Architecture, BA Architecture, BA Interior Architecture and Design, BA Interior Design, BA Interior Design and Decoration and BA Product and Furniture Design
Tutors: Professor Maurice Mitchell, Dr Bo Tang, Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Pisano, Karabo Turner, Peter St John, Fabienne Sommer, Ben Speltz, James Hand, Simon Hasan, Janette Harris, Christina Morbi, Kaye Newman and Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros

School statement:

"Internationally recognised for its teaching, excellent facilities, and unique opportunities, the School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University offers courses across a broad range of subject areas including architecture, fashion, fine art, photography, product and furniture, interiors, textiles and visual communication.

"Learning through practice, playing with process, and working with clients; students at the school gain real-world experience in both individual and collaborative projects, engaging with professionals, communities and organisations.

"There is a strong emphasis on socially engaged architecture, art and design applied to both local and global contexts.

"Our public events and exhibitions attract large audiences."


Illustration of a brutalist building with exterior staircase and large windows

Architecture for Spontaneity Dance as 'Right to the City' in Bromley-by-Bow by Lily Markey

"The thesis 'Architecture for Spontaneity' revisits the notion of the 'Right to the City' in the context of a congested East London site on the periphery of the city.

"Set in an area where many have limited access to outdoor recreational space, the project considers dance as a medium through which to reclaim civic ground within a disused void.

"The project considers the void a civic stage, to become activated through a series of palazzos that form enclosures for outdoor public performance.

"A new language is imposed over the existing structure, punctuating the void with frontages that embrace a tension between dance-like figurative forms and ordered arrangements adhering to principles of harmonic proportion."

Student: Lily Markey
Tutors: Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Pisano and Karabo Turner
Course: MArch Architecture


Visualisation of a square inside a building filled with protestors

(Pro)Test by Morgan McGregor

"The (Pro)Test site proposes the introduction of a renewably sourced district heating system and civic square, utilising an existing squatting group's capacity to experiment, as well as to retrofit the massive slab block construction of Loughborough Estate, catalysing site-wide loose-fit improvements in Loughborough Junction.

"A Ground Source Heat Pump district heating network operating out of a new civic hall and energy centre, visibly displayed with a convivial clock tower, is introduced into Hero Square.

"This will involve fabric improvements across the estate, based on a retrofitted, filigree double-skin and existing thermal mass interaction strategy, carried out both in a self-build and contractor-led capacity, with varying typologies coming together to create a consolidated civic square."

Student: Morgan McGregor
Tutors: Professor Maurice Mitchell and Dr Bo Tang
Course: MArch Architecture


A Campus for Flour: Between Horizontal and Vertical by Oliver Reynolds

"Oliver Reynolds of MArch Unit 8 at London Metropolitan University received a commendation for the RIBA President's Silver Medal 2022 for his thesis project 'A Campus for Flour: Between Horizontal and Vertical'.

"The project explored the notion of building less by carefully adapting and reusing existing buildings. The proposal centres on creating dialogues between horizontal and vertical forms, using the diagonal as a repeated expression.

"The overall project was intended to occupy on a fringe site between urban and rural contexts, awaiting imminent large-scale redevelopment.

"Following detailed survey studies, the project acknowledges the scale of both city and person, utilising proportion as a tool to balance existing and proposed arrangements."

Student: Oliver Reynolds
Tutors: Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Pisano and Karabo Turner
Course: MArch Architecture


golden lamp

Laguna by Xappho Paterson

"Designed for residential and contract use, Paterson's Laguna table lamp unites precision machining with hand-craft by both CNC milling and hand-beating a single piece of copper tubing.

"The resulting lamp is a study in material and process efficiency, with the textured reflector creating a mesmerising glow when in use."

Student: Xappho Paterson
Tutor: Simon Hasan
Course: BA Furniture and Product Design


Hotel lobby

Hotel Florere by Maria Brighila

"Hotel Florere lies on the border between the boroughs of City of London Corporation and Tower Hamlets.

"The brief questioned the purpose of hotels and their presence as a cultural centre within their own communities.

"The design aims to accomodate the business person's stay as well as their work and networking environment.

"The hotel reception offers double-height bays enabling the south facing light to flow through the spaces and add grandeur and glimpses to other environments.

"Acoustically enhanced spaces decorated with patterns and textures offer a rich backdrop in which the visitor can relax."

Student: Maria Brighila
Tutors: Janette Harris and Kaye Newman
Course: BA Interior Design


Students taking part in a pottery-making class

Hotel Elysian by Kristina Naneva

"Naneva designed Hotel Elysian to reflect the vibrancy of the creative community that exists within Tower Hamlets and Shoreditch. The hotel presents a place for artists to stay, work together and discuss their practice.

"The spaces capitalises on the light from the south facing facade, to bring in views natural light from the movement of the sun. The spaces are a blank canvas in which a variety of fun and materially-diverse furniture has been placed.

"The visitor can choose and adopt areas that fit their personalities or ergonomic options that are appropriate to an array of users."

Student: Kristina Naneva
Tutors: Janette Harris and Kaye Newman
Course: BA Interior Design


Render of a public community garden

Community Farm by Lisa Pasi

"Pasi has explored a community workspace brief where research has prompted the direction of investigation, leading to a business case suggesting how interested stakeholders from urban farming and eco positive ideas would work together.

"This project proposed a working farm and used the layers of the existing Brutalist estate for paths and lanes that travel around a central field that offers a hilly terrain, changing views and sheltered positions for picnics.

"The building structure presents new green urban landscaping that use space vertically and openly, allowing the weather in to softer platforms that don’t need further furniture that stipulate where and how people use the space.

"It offers a sense of freedom."

Student: Lisa Pasi
Tutors: Christina Morbi and Suzanne Smeeth Poaros
Course: BA Interior Architecture and Design


Hidden Values by Robert Stephanescu

"Stephanescu's workspace proposal responds to research gathered from his psycho-geographical walks in and around Aldgate, mapping the sounds within sensitive diagrams that present the jarring and spontaneous noises that fill an urban street.

"The diagrammatic artwork is found set within the detail of the spaces – these are abstracted but all tell a story or hold a narrative for others to find out.

"The interiors are flooded with light and warmth, showing the intensity of the sunlight and how it casts shadows through the hieroglyphics of the screens.

"The material choices are in tune with the building's own palimpsest where the floors remember paving patterns and the memory of the East End."

Student: Robert Stephanescu
Tutors: Christina Morbi and Suzanne Smeeth Poaros
Course: BA Interior Architecture and Design


Soap Basin by Miguel Souto

"In a world that is adapting to living with Covid-19, Souto's basin – cast from scented vegetable oils – seeks a return to a more ritualistic enjoyment of bathing and hand-washing.

"Designed as a replaceable cartridge, the soap basin is a functional proposal designed for hospitality, wellness and residential interiors."

Student: Miguel Souto
Tutor: Simon Hasan
Course: BA Furniture and Product Design


Illustration of a rural landscape with both vernacular and contemporary buildings among wetland

Resilient Landscapes by Amy Groundsell

"The project advocates for reimagining landscape identity in the UK – replacing the notion of the privatised picturesque with a sublime hybrid landscape of collaboration and collectivity.

"Located in Easton, Suffolk, two barn-like buildings act as bridges between the new landscapes, offering a rural centre for agriculture and ecology to coexist.

"The buildings mediate between a resilient wetland park and an area for sustainable farming.

"The wild wetland park weaves through the village, creating ecological corridors that offer connections through the agricultural matrix.

"Loosely organised around an existing dovecot, the scale and form of the new architecture finds its quality in the industrialisation of agriculture, reinterpreting traditional half-timbered buildings of Suffolk, to form a rural eco-brutalism."

Student: Amy Groundsell
Tutors: Peter St John, Fabienne Sommer, Ben Speltz and James Hand
Course: MArch Architecture

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and London Metropolitan University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.