Thursday 29th June 2017

Margaret Bursa

Margaret and I know each other from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Know as Mags amongst her friends, her work carries a distinct “Bartlett” flavour yet she has managed to push the boundaries of it and started many new trends throughout the school. Her style and approach to Architecture is unique and has always been inspirational to me.

I am happy to be able to share with you her work, which are true pieces of art. Mags describes her works as “fuelled by the need to express the materiality, colour and richness in the details of the everyday through an assemblage of design components. The models and drawings are both an interplay of these observations and responsive spatial design.”

Mags’s work is so wonderful it is inspiring and beautiful – makes me sad that I am no longer an architect. Lets hope one day we can experience one of her colourful creations in real life. For now we can enjoy her incredible drawings and models which are precise, colourful and architecturally expressive.

Text by Margaret Bursa:

The New Local is a social manifesto, designed to challenge the accepted architecture of the suburb and then the metropolis reflecting changing attitudes to life and our daily pattern of work, rest and play. My resulting architectural design – housing, parkscapes, and playgrounds, are investigated at scales ranging from the masterplan to a focus on the details of the everyday.

The Czech town of Zlín is the site of a social, industrial and architectural experiment begun by Tomas Bata in 1894. However, his shoe-making factories that were once the town’s driving force no longer operate and so the social and commercial structure of the town and its suburbs are in decline. Responding to the New Local Manifesto a layer of facilities is laid over and interwoven into the residential neighborhoods where seven housing typologies are afforded dual functions of work and domestic life such the House of Drink, where both production and consumption are combined.



The New Local in New York creates a ‘landscape of movement’ that takes the form of a condensed urban playground on the west side of Manhattan, overhanging onto the River Hudson. The landscape responds to the principles of the New Local in Zlín, making a shift of small town social relationships to a neighborhood in the metropolis. This shift responds to the needs of the work-propelled urban dweller. It is also inspired by the ongoing relocation of immigrants and cultures to America, in particular Sokol, a Czech mass-exercise movement, promoting togetherness, flocking, fresh air and cultural pride.

The resulting architectural landscape is conceived as a life-size topographical map, using and respecting nature to create a building that will blur and soften the edges of lower Manhattan to allow nature and society to meet. In addition to creating movement through exercise, the building will breathe and exercise to create energy.



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