Urban Room

Invisible Studio, Reading, 2019



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This is our third pavilion that we have completed with architecture students at the University of Reading

This project is the ‘Urban Room’ that hosted a 6 week program of events designed to engage with local community groups and artists and act as a place for debate. It also hosted the end of year show for the first graduating cohort, before being relocated to a local primary school.

Xylotek Advanced Timber Structures worked with the students on the construction, which was designed by Invisible Studio and engineered by Corbett Tasker. It is subtitled ‘Equivalent #3’ as it is the third structure we have built using identical (or equivalent) timber sections – on this project 75 x 50mm larch grown by us in the woodland we manage alongside practice.

The Urban Room took 4 days to build, and was designed in order that an entire year of students could work on the project simultaneously. The project will host the end of year show for the first graduating cohort of students since the school was formed 3 years ago before being relocated and forming an outdoor classroom at Badgemore Primary School where it has been designed for a minimum of 10 year life span and will form a key teaching and learning space.

The University says: Artists and architects came together in a unique project being launched by the University of Reading over the summer. They focused on ‘How can arts practice help create a ‘door’ between the town and the University?’ in a series of programmes hosted in a purpose-built Urban Room on the University’s London Road campus.

The Urban Room was unveiled early summer and has been planned, designed by Invisible Studio and built by the second-year students of the School of Architecture. It is a temporary wooden structure which carries the potential for enabling conversation and encounters between people and communities across Reading as a town and the University. The room has been built as part of the students’ coursework, and is supported by The Shanly Group.

Professor Lorraine Farrelly, Head of Architecture/Carolina Vasilikou, Lecturer in Architecture said: “As part of the University’s arts strategy, we will be inviting Reading artists, University students and staff, community organisations and the public to discover and rediscover the Urban Room during a series of interventions, invitations and events throughout May and June.” Miranda Laurence, Arts Development Officer, said: “Working in collaboration with local arts organisation jelly, the Urban Room will host six artist micro-residencies, where Reading artists will be invited to occupy the space for two days at a time, providing specific moments for the general public to encounter their practice and exchange ideas.”

All photographs Jim Stephenson


  • Begun: Apr 2019
  • Completed: Apr 2019
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £10,000
  • Funding: Local Housebuilder Donation
  • Tender date: Mar 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: University of Reading, Reading, RG, United Kingdom

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