Akhil Bakhda
Inter 12

This year involved emphasising the idea of copying as an intuitive yet conscious aspect of the design process. Thematically, I found myself exploring ideas pertaining the possibility of an explicit military aesthetic in architectural form and decoration. This took me on journeys from altering the loaded meaning of a handgun by subverting its materiality and interior space, to understanding the role and potential of Trafalgar Square as a re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar. Eventually my project culminated in a proposal for a new Admiralty Arch. The existing Admiralty Arch in London is an eccentric ceremonial gateway connecting the crown (Buckingham Palace) to the state (Parliament) via Trafalgar Square, a place famous historically for numerous acts of public dissent. The proposal involved  exploring a new explicit military aesthetic designed to provoke a sense of war by copying historically and contextually relevant military artefacts (Lord Nelson's HMS Victory as part of the form of the building for example) and understanding the social consequences of such design decisions. In addition, the proposal addressed the conflicting roles of multiple programs in such an unusual building, where cabinet office buildings, a homeless shelter and a Kubrickian War Room coexist harmoniously. Below is a sample of some of the work and research completed in this project.

An image of the final presentation model, a culmination of a journey interrogating an explicit military aesthetic in architectural form and decoration.A screenshot from an animation exploring a Colt handgun made from the ingredients of a BLT sandwich in order to subvert its charged meaning through changing its materiality.As part of a study trip to Venice, this drawing encompasses the desire to create new spatial configurations of the Doge's Palace by warping the perspective of current plans and elevations according to Tigerman's Crabtree grids.A contextual overview of the new Admiralty Arch, detailing key features of the proposal and surrounding geography.An isometric site plan providing a visualisation of the scheme for the proposed new Admiralty Arch.A section drawing showing the banality of mundane office floor planning in juxtaposition with the grandeur of explicit military form and decoration.A section drawing detailing key features of the new Admiralty Arch proposal, including access points and the contrasts between specific programs in the building.A visualisation of the new Admiralty Arch proposal from a human perspective.Floor plans detailing key features of the new Admiralty Arch, including the separation of multiple programs from emergency living quarters, to the Social Inclusion Taskforce, to the feature War Room.Views of the sectional presentation model of the new Admiralty Arch.