MSA Atelier

Whole atelier Urban Design Charette at the start of the academic year, focussing on Stockport
Whole atelier Urban Design Charette at the start of the academic year, focussing on Stockport

Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) launched the "LULU Landscape and Urbanism" Atelier this year in partnership with URBED. The aim of the Atelier is to provide architecture students with a greater understanding of masterplanning and urban design by bringing together the academic rigour of the MSA and the experience of URBED as practitioners.

The Atelier includes both fifth and sixth year students. At fifth year the objectives are to introduce the masterplan as a mechanism for managing urban development; demonstrate the balance of control and creativity in creating coherant streets and architectural variety; and develop innovative proposals to re-invent the terrace as a housing type. Sixth year students focus more on urban analysis and students are required to act as a team to design, execute and communicate an investigation of a particular place, looking at it's cultural, socio-economic and physical context. Sixth years are also required to develop a critical understanding of a range of urban design theories and explore how these can be applied to a strategic urban design framework.

Each week a member of the URBED team joins the regular MSA tutors. So far we have led walking tours, given lectures, provided design tutorials and guided workshops. We kicked off the year with an exciting multidiciplinary "crash course" in site analysis and design, modelled on our own "Design for Change" workshop. This is a workshop we have delivered over a number of years, primarily to non-professionals as part of hands-on consultation events. This time we brought together over 100 students from different diciplines to masterplan at speed with trace paper, pens and plasticine!

We're looking forward to seeing the final outputs at the end of the academic year.

Project blog

12.06.2019, 17:23
LULU Exhibition 2019

With projects complete, the students have spent the past few weeks setting up a fantastic exhibition over at the Manchester School of Architecture, showcasing a year's worth of hard work.

URBED 'Winner' award to Y6 student Rebecca Rose


URBED 'Highly Commended' award to Y6 student Muhammad Faris


Y6 students located their projects within Salford, Liverpool, Glasgow and Shenzhen.


Y5 students looked at Stockport at a variety of scales, from the overall town masterplan, to the blocks and down to individual housing units.


The exhibition closes on 19th June. 

04.03.2019, 12:46
Sustainability workshop

On Friday 1st March our 6th year LULU Atelier students had a full-day sustainability workshop with Helen Grimshaw of URBED. 

This workshop was an interactive session, encompassing some theory (e.g. what do we mean by sustainability), but most importantly, encouraging the students to critically engage with their emerging masterplan and assess how well it meets particular objectives in relation to people, the environment and economy.

The day was structured around three main themes (people, planet and closing the loop), which were then broken down into topic areas. Students were encouraged to consider how the masterplan framework can enable a high standard of environmental performance and meet the needs of users – but also identify risks and consider some of the realities of the development process once the masterplan goes to detailed design and is built out.

In the last session of the day we shared learning, with each student developing some key actions and areas for focus as they further develop their masterplan.