London High Street


USI-AAM 2011

Borough High street, London

Diploma 2011 direct by Jonathan Sergison 

Diploma design studio Quintus Miller Assistant Arquint Men Duri 

crit. A. Galfetti, M. Brearley, C. Frank, M. Monotti, F. Izzo, M. Pimlott



The overall ambition for this year’s Diploma work is to carry out a very broad urban investigation of London. Throughout its history, London has always resisted easy understanding and characterisation, as well as fiscal policy constraints. Today it is the largest urban conglomerate in Europe in terms of population and land area. 

As a way of structuring the work of the London Diploma, we will take one of London’s oldest infrastructural elements: the high streets and ancient roadways, some of which are almost 2000 years old. These provide one of the rare structuring elements to the city and their role within the transport infrastructure means they can effectively support the future growth and expansion of the city. Twelve high streets or “development corridors” have been selected as the focus for this year’s work. Each Diploma studio will work on one, and within these sites have been identified for individual projects, so that no two students will work on the same site. The result of the Diploma work will be an unprecedented urban investigation completed in advance of the Olympic Games that will be hosted by London in 2012. Between the crossing of Borough High Street and Borough Road just south of the river Thames is located this innovative, yet refined design; a triangular network of structures totaling over 40,000m2, interwoven to create an irregular structure apt for the heterogeneous nature of Borough High Street. This busy intersection is home to the highest point of the project, acting as a pillar of design and engineering ingenuity within the city district. The adjoining flanks cascade down the two streets, and are connected by the remaining side of the triangle, allowing the general public the opportunity to walk the entire way around the design. Whilst standing high above the surrounding skyline, the structure itself is rather introvert and utilizes sit-cast raw concert as the principal material. This choice results in a building with a tough, but not intimidating, expression, with hard, dark colors to tie the building to its geographical context: London, an industrial city host to both age-old historical designs and modern architectural concepts, but always keeping a sense of organization and rigidness within. Within each of the three corners of the triangular structure are located the main access points to the building, but none of these entrances have any specific priority over one another. These access points channel the flow of pedestrians into the lobby, where the main cores for each constituent building are located. In the upper floors, the core directs people through the public area and into the individual working divisions, all connected within the design. On the ground level, all the street-facing spaces are reserved for commercial use, whilst the upper levels serve again as office space. Both the core and the faced pillars are the most striking structures within the building, providing a unique sense of dynamism with valuable flexibility and an abundance of natural light. Within the very center of CHIRON lies the heart of the project; a large auditorium containing 900 seats, surrounded by an auditorium lobby that acts as a sound buffer between the auditorium and the rest of the project.



London High Street 

21 jun 2011 - 15 Sep 2011 

Palazzo Turconi 

Largo Bernasconi 2 CH-6850 




London High Street 

20cm x 20cm 


MAP, Mendrisio, 2012 


Alice Busani
dipl. architetto USI-AAM
OAPPC della Provincia di Parma n.1090