BA Unit 1: Vestige. Pascal Bronner & Thomas Hillier

A Shepherd stumbles across a mysterious object from outer space, 2015

For the inaugural brief of our brand-new BA unit, we want you to start off by finding a trace of something, something strange and something wonderful – a remnant that triggers your imagination, that makes you dream, wonder and ask yourself: ‘What is this curious looking thing, what was it before and how did it get to this peculiar state?’

It could be a vestige of almost anything – a trace of a building, a landscape, an object, a story, a rumour or a ruin. Anything with a distant and curious past and a questionable future. Something that you can extrapolate from and build upon. Something that will become the nucleus of your architecture, the heart at the centre your thoughts that will draw your ideas together like a magnet in a drawer of pins.

Second years will search for their remnant in London, but worry not, London as we all know is a hotbed for vestiges of the most magnificent kind, whilst third years will have the entire (United) Kingdom to trawl through. Your site, we would imagine, will be unearthed alongside the remnant itself. Sometimes the remnant might even be the site itself, and other times your vestige will guide you to its rightful home. In any case, this will be part of your journey of discovery, and we shall see where it takes us.

We will of course help you identify a vestige of great promise, so that it may grow into a delightful piece of architecture on a delightful site in a delightful neighbourhood. But first, it will have to take a stop on route to becoming a building and manifest itself as a fragment or a ‘limb’ of the structure it will eventually become. Once again, this could be almost anything: A bespoke piece of furniture, a rain gutter, a hole-in-the-wall, a doorhandle, or even a ghost for the attic – let the fate of the design-gods decide! Once it has taken shape as the first slice of your future final building, just in time for Christmas, it can then continue to grow, evolve and eventually become the fully fledged, grown up and feathered piece of architecture you want it to be.