Recently honored with an Award of Excellence at the 2010 Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Awards, this three-week studio under the direction of Professor Richard Economakis and Professor Samantha Salden produced a detailed masterplan for a sensitive area in the historic city of Bath, in Somerset, England.
Professor Economakis notes the significance of the win: "Given the unusually short time in which this project was produced (three weeks, as compared the more typical full semester allowed by other winning academic teams), the Charter Award reflects the CNU's appreciation of the extraordinary nature of our effort, the quality of the final product, and our enthusiasm and commitment to the vision of traditional urban growth in Bath. The award also comes at a crucial moment in time for Bath, as the city must now choose between allowing its unique character to be irrevokably compromised, or reinforcing those aspects that have made it one of the most admirable urban and architectural settings in Europe."
Intended to familiarize Notre Dame Architecture students with 18th century Georgian architecture and urbanism as they were molded in Bath, along with the urban developments that these subsequently inspired, the team extracted models from the city's historic center and adapted them for the purposes of a contemporary lifestyle. Bath’s historic neighborhoods are renowned for the quality and consistency of their architectural detail, urban scale and their integration of public and private functions.
Recent proposals around Bath have faced public opposition because they have been viewed as incapable of harmonizing with the city’s well-preserved fabric of classical and traditional buildings. Notre Dame students worked to establish a master plan for a central area along the River Avon and proposals for urban and building types that will make the city of Bath a model for future growth, and worthy of its World Heritage status.
The Bath Summer Studio concluded with a public exhibition of the work at the Bath Society Hall.