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Luma Ifram

MA work

HIGH-HOME: A critique of the generic

The project is fundamentally an investigation into the generic. It asks: How is the generic instrumentalised to express a negative sense and how can it be distinguished from the specific? Can we challenge this dualistic understanding of the generic and specific and, thus, read their tension as a driver of spatial and social transformation?

Taking the London residential high-rise – a building type shrouded in controversy – a vicious cycle is revealed: from pride to stigma of the working class and now a symbol of global capitalism. This raises the question of why do we read the 1960s and 2000s residential high-rise in such different ways, as either generic or specific? And how does this reflect on what we mean by the generic? This question is explored through three related periods and observations: the rise of the private high-rise, the fall of the modernist tower block and, finally, the reinvention of some (typically listed) tower blocks from objects of dislike into trendy, hip homes.

By deconstructing the generic, by elevating it from a debate of a positive or negative architectural form to that of social and spatial ambitions, we can contextualise the architecture of the residential high-rise, transgress existing high-rise models and propose new spatial ideas of domesticity through which social housing can be rediscovered. With a simultaneous interest in archival material and its use by various art practices to construct and imagine reality, the specific is explored as emerging from a deconstructed generic, staging the project as the construction of an archive.

The deconstruction of the generic calls for another way of thinking about the London residential high-rise and attempts to reimagine Warren House (an 11 storey, prefab tower block built by the London County Council in 1966) through a slippage between the generic and reality.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2016



  • Degrees

  • MA (Hons) Architecture, University of Edinburgh, 2013
  • Experience

  • Architectural assistant, Soma, Vienna, 2014; ; Architectural Assistant, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vienna, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • RIBA J Eye Line Retrospective Exhibition, Anise Gallery, London, 2015; Trendsetting IV: Architect as Designer, Nabad Art Gallery, Amman, 2013
  • Awards

  • Andrew Grant Undergraduate Prize: Architecture, 2013
  • Publications

  • RIBA Journal, Eye Line Drawing Competition, August 2015, Volume 122 Issue 08, cover & p.65