Charlotte Peters participated in the Prince's Foundation Summer School in 2016. We ask her what appealed most about the course, its highlights and why she’s passionate about traditional architecture.
“I participated in the Summer School while I was completing my MA in Architecture at Kingston University. I was preparing to write my dissertation based on the history of traditional building techniques and materials in the UK, and knew that this opportunity would provide an invaluable insight into the topic.
“Our first week was spent in London, where we participated in life drawing, geometry lessons and walking tours to sketch the local architecture. I found it interesting to understand the principles of geometry that have heavily influenced architecture. We also visited the Prince’s Natural House at the BRE Centre in Watford. I was impressed with the traditional design that was accomplished using natural materials and used it as a case study for my dissertation.
“The course helped me to affirm my interest in regeneration architecture”
“We then went to Scotland, where we had hands-on tutorials with craft professionals in stonemasonry, pargeting, lime plastering, carpentry and thatching. I hadn't done this before, but it really helped me grasp the time, care and skill required to carry out craft work on a larger scale. The final week was spent in teams, designing a bandstand to be built on the Estate at Dumfries House at a later date.
“I had an amazing time on the course and was able to meet a lot of new people from varying backgrounds and work fields. Not only did this course allow me to gather vital information for my dissertation, but it also helped to affirm my interest in regeneration architecture, while giving me the confidence to pursue this.
“As an architect, I feel that there is often a disjointed relationship between designers and construction specialists. The hands-on nature of the course and all of its elements helps both parties to empathise with each other and share relative experiences. I now have a more in-depth acuity of the field and the craft history that has shaped the built environment in the UK."