Bank and Social Housing

Michael Miller (website)
Yale School of Architecture
1102a: Advanced Design Studio: Fat Studio: Griffiths / Holland / Jacob
Faculty: Sam Jacob (website), Sean Griffith, Jennifer Leung (website)



The collection of work pursues an investigation of the partial control of meaning, positioning of work within history, constructing the critical joke, and the discipline of copying.

The project proposes an unlikely marriage of a banking headquarters, social housing and luxury condos. These programs exist in a singular form, a mimicked Battersea power station, creating a metaphor of 21st century financial power against 19th and 20th century industrial power.

The façade explores a new version of a classic discipline, translating two dimensional drawing into three dimensional architectural surface through tone. Using alphas and a digital stamp, the exterior façade overlays gothic, domestic, industrial and corporate symbols, illustrating the interrelated complexity of real estate and the contest for space, power, and urban life in contemporary London.

A ‘mind-map’ of FAT’s work, in the form of a chess set of art, architecture, and literary influences, reconstructed and remixed FAT into semi-accidental encounters. What if chess characters took the form of Thomas Pynchon, Doge’s Palace, and Jasper Johns and could come together to make something else entirely? How about Piranesi, Soane, Gandy, Giles Gilbert Scott, Portman, and Rudolph?


↑ drawing of FAT’s Sint Lucas School ‘In the Style of’ early OMA screen-prints

↑ non-linear project description: Mind Map

↑ drawing of FAT’s Sint Lucas School ‘In the Style of’ Piranesi

↑ chess piece characters representing art, architecture, and literary influences on FAT’s work

↑ chess set of art, architecture, and literary influences on FAT’s work

↑ doppelganger siting of duplicated Battersea Power Station on South Bank of the Thames in Vauxhall

↑ John Soane House and Museum

↑ Piranesi’s drawing of the Pyramid of Cestius, 18th century

↑ Joseph Gandy’s drawing of Soane’s Bank of England, 1830

↑ new currency note of the bank 

↑ concept section for powerplant-like Bank and Social Housing

↑ plan/section/elevation drawing of Bank and Social Housing
↑ underground grand banking lobby

↑ office space, atrium, social housing units, and sidewalks in plan

↑ luxury condo units in the form of a smokestack or a spire

↑ section through luxury condo units privileging views over square-footage

↑ interior section of banking program, atrium, and social housing units

↑ axonometric of Bank and Social Housing in construction or in ruins

↑ (detail) northeast corner

↑ (detail) southwest corner

↑ (detail) office space block

↑ (detail) office space block

↑ plan oblique narrative drawing

↑ (detail) protesters in cylinder plaza of bank

↑ (detail) roof occupants

↑ (detail) atrium between social housing and bank offices
↑ (detail) sidewalk bar

↑ (detail) section through luxury units, social housing units, and exterior plaza

↑ massing study of Bank and Social Housing form
↑ facade detail of bays and windows

↑ facade studies

↑ 4’x8′ carved door depicting a story of chess characters interacting, testing digital stamping technique


Leave a Reply