We asked Gregory Barrett, an MPhil Architecture & Urban Design student at the University of Cambridge, to tell us why YOU should include the Architecture Add-On as part of your Reach Cambridge experience this summer!
Gregory won several awards for his work at undergraduate level, and often writes for Mark magazine, an international publication which explores and anticipates themes in modern architectural practice. He’s also going to be teaching some of the Architecture add-on at Reach this summer! In short, we couldn’t think of anyone better to tell us why the architecture of Cambridge is well worth studying. Here’s what he told us…
King’s College chapel in the sunshine
Why study Architecture?
We all inhabit the built environment. Architecture is a medium which allows us to change the world we all experience.
Architecture is the unique discipline of understanding, imagining and designing the places and spaces we all inhabit. Drawing upon the creative and the technically engaging, studying architecture involves appreciating the built environment as a whole. Far more than just buildings
, this means learning from and creating spaces, buildings, streets, towns and cities; all influenced by everything from economics to sociology, philosophy to technical materiality. The discipline teaches students to think spatially: distilling history, theory, and technical appreciation. These insights may then be relayed with the deft stroke of a pencil, a few choice words, or the play of light inside an intricate model.
Whether you enjoy the history of art
or the beauty of engineering
, architecture has an incredible amount to offer. We all inhabit the built environment. Architecture is a medium which allows us to change the world we all experience; a medium through which we can make a difference.
Some of Gregory’s work: Architecture & Urban Design in action!
is a fantastically rich canvas for understanding and creating architectural designs. The famous colleges themselves create an intricate urban fabric, drawing upon beautiful architecture from every epoch
; everything from Saxon churches to post-modern faculty buildings. From the stunning Trinity College Library (designed by Sir Christopher Wren of St Pauls fame in 1676) to the soaring concrete brutalism of Fitzwilliam College (envisaged by Sir Denys Lasdun, who designed the Royal National Theatre on London’s South Bank) and everything in between.
With built form realised by some of the most famous and influential architects in the world, all Cambridge requires you to do is look up to learn. That being said, it’s helpful to have a guide at hand – that’s where I come in! In the Architecture Add-On, we’ll be combining technical knowledge
with hands-on experience
, going on sketching trips around the city
and putting all we’ve been learning into practice.
Cambridge is also home to a leading school of architecture (consistently ranked best in the country) and the home of the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, a world-renowned institution… Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up studying here!
Whether you’re a keen budding architect or would simply love to learn more about the built world around you – in one of the world’s most beautiful and architecturally diverse cities – I would strongly recommend you consider adding the Architecture course to your Reach Cambridge experience.
If you need any further persuasion, why not check out our photo gallery of some of the Cambridge architecture below?