Research excellence at the University of Kent

Kent School of Architecture

The Research Excellence Framework also assesses the impact that the research has outside academia. The case studies below are a selection of the research submitted by Kent School of Architecture.

Le Petit Bayle

Jef Smith

At a time when environmental design is constantly being discussed, the award-winning Le Petit Bayle – set in a remote region of France – is receiving accolades from many specialists in the field.

Kent’s Jef Smith and his London-based practice, Meld Architecture, worked with Victoria Thornton to design the house using simple, low-tech sustainability strategies.

The house is made using local materials, relies on solar energy to heat it in the winter and shading devices to cool it in the summer, and makes careful use of rain. Yet the sustainability was not merely about pragmatic choices but became an integral part of the design – generating the selection of the form and materials.

Le Petit Bayle has featured prominently in high-profile publications such as The Architectural Review, the Architects’ Journal, and the RIBA Journal, as well as popular publications, such as Grand Designs magazine.

It regularly attracts visits from professionals and public alike.

Le Petit Bayle

Re-evaluating historic buildings

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin

Changes in architectural practice during key periods in British history often meant that the architects of the day were forced to adopt new styles and practices, or face a serious loss of reputation.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s research has led to a re-evaluation of many architects who fell out of favour in their own times. Through gaining access to neglected archives, he was able to find new historical evidence and suggest alternative interpretations of ‘unsuccessful’ architects such as Horace Field and Leonard Manasseh.

As a result of the research, creations by Manasseh and other architects have been granted protection as listed buildings. Manasseh is also to be included in the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

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Last Updated: 11/02/2015

Banner photo (c) Simon Tollington, DICE