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Astrid Bois d'Enghien

MA work

'As I arrived on the train down from London, I managed to get a glimpse of The Phoenix before disappearing into the underground tunnel. I was about to become one the 350 tenants of The Phoenix, this urban redevelopment party sponsored by QPark, Vue Cinema and John Lewis, designed by the Lewes District to ‘fulfil all requirements stipulated in the Core Strategy’. The Phoenix was strongly imposing itself on the formerly industrial site of the North Street Quarter. It appeared like a new landmark for the town, as in conversation with the much-hated County Council building, higher up on the hill, and the truly beloved medieval Lewesian Castle.

Like a visitor to an abandoned film set, I stood by the entrance of The Phoenix and listened to the moving traffic of Eastgate street. Beyond the artisans warehouses, The Phoenix appeared like a mix and match of architectural periods. As if it hadn’t quite decided yet who it wanted to please, or who it was really built for, borrowing classical architectural masterpieces in the hope of satisfying the majority, carefully antagonising the middle class.'

At first sight a quintessential and perfect English town; Lewes also embodies a series of deeper anxieties centred on a desire to cling onto the outdated. In the light of Lewes’s emerging Core Strategy planning policy, this project explores the intricacies of the current dilemma within the English countryside: how to accommodate high density while preserving diversity in a low density settlement?

Info

  • Astrid Bois d'Enghien profile image
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Architecture

    Programme

    MA Architecture, 2013

    Specialism

    ADS2

  • 'As I arrived on the train down from London, I managed to get a glimpse of The Phoenix before disappearing into the underground tunnel. I was about to become one the 350 tenants of The Phoenix, this urban redevelopment party sponsored by QPark, Vue Cinema and John Lewis, designed by the Lewes District to ‘fulfil all requirements stipulated in the Core Strategy’. The Phoenix was strongly imposing itself on the formerly industrial site of the North Street Quarter. It appeared like a new landmark for the town, as in conversation with the much-hated County Council building, higher up on the hill, and the truly beloved medieval Lewesian Castle.

    Like a visitor to an abandoned film set, I stood by the entrance of The Phoenix and listened to the moving traffic of Eastgate street. Beyond the artisans warehouses, The Phoenix appeared like a mix and match of architectural periods. As if it hadn’t quite decided yet who it wanted to please, or who it was really built for, borrowing classical architectural masterpieces in the hope of satisfying the majority, carefully antagonising the middle class.'

    At first sight a quintessential and perfect English town; Lewes also embodies a series of deeper anxieties centred on a desire to cling onto the outdated. In the light of Lewes’s emerging Core Strategy planning policy, this project explores the intricacies of the current dilemma within the English countryside: how to accommodate high density while preserving diversity in a low density settlement?

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), Architecture, Oxford Brooks University, 2010
  • Experience

  • Architectural assistant, Original Field of Architecture, Oxford, 2010–11; Costume designer, The Illegal Architect, London, 2010–11; Architectural assistant, Art & Build, Brussels, 2008; Gallery assistant, Rive Gauche, Namur, 2008
  • Exhibitions

  • Premature Exhibitionism, The Gropher Hole, London, 2012; End of Year Show, Oxford Brookes University, 2008–10; Secret Garden, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge, 2007; Architecture & Ecology, Green Room – Chetwoods Architects, London, 2011
  • Awards

  • Winner, Scott Brownrigg Degree Award for Best hand-drawing, 2010; Winner, Berman Guedes Stretton Prize for Creative Originality in Design, 2009; Nominee, RIBA President's Medals Student Award Bronze Medal, 2010