Our focus this year has been on the post-industrial context of Treorchy, a former mining settlement in the Rhondda Fawr Valley. Collectively, we have concentrated on research and field study in order to explore ideas within a local rural condition, developing a deep contextual understanding of a single town.
Everyone participating in the design unit has developed an individual proposal for a community-led development within Treorchy, reflecting the goals of Wales’ Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, and responding to local social history and context. The process of site selection has helped forge links with key stakeholders and community partners, informing each of the architectural briefs based on an established research theme. The collective vision and each of these architectural thesis’ are documented here as part of the exhibition.
Unit XI is led by the architectural design team from Rural Office, a practice with a reputation for delivering considered architecture, strategic thinking, and research based in Carmarthen. This year’s studio forms part of a longer-term five- year vision, developed through an evolving body of research focused on the social and economic context of the valleys and South Wales.