by Laura Vitzthum, AA 5th Year Diploma Unit 2
08 May 2019 Architectural Association, London  

Establishing the Picturesque


How can weaving and local building techniques create picturesque conditions that resonate with contemporary social media proliferation?


By adopting centuries-old knowledge of weaving and material culture, the project instigates a continuous way of building, which pairs craftsmanship and new digital construction methods. Showcasing the steps in the process as the only way of reviving the artisan's craft in a world dominated by image production, the project makes use of quotidian practises while creating this experience for the visitor to capture. The technical thesis allowed me to explore the possibilities of designing and constructing spaces that create these picturesque qualities. Framing the studio project through a more technical angle and working out details and material solutions, helped me to get a better understanding of the various building systems, which are inseparably linked.


The solid ground, which makes use of earth as a material to carve, raise and shape the spaces; the continuous ramps, some parts cantilevered and others sitting on the ground, which in turn form a calibrated sequence that gradually reveals the different activities; and the third part, a lightweight structure of bent steel pipes and a reinforcing  fibre winding system that not only works on a structural level, but also on an environmental and social level. I tested different parameters, materials and construction methods, as well as layering options that allowed for a calibrated perception of spaces.


Having received this recognition is a great honour for me, as the technical thesis not only allowed me to get a better understanding of the building elements, but it became a vital part in the development of my studio project.

  For more information:

Diploma 2 Unit Brief

Technical Studies at the AA