Roddy Bow was awarded the 2009 RIBA Boyd Scholarship to support a period of professional experience in Paris-based practice Lacaton & Vassal. Roddy spent the period of the scholarship working on a research project to transform an existing building of 300 apartments in the Parisian suburb town, La Courneuve.
Roddy describes the project below:
'Since their construction in the 1960s, the high-rise peripheral housing estates that surround Paris have been the setting for significant political and social segregation. Architecture has found itself at the centre of the difficulties due to the scale of the high-rise housing estates often blamed for the degeneration of these areas. Today, after numerous lightweight initiatives to rehabilitate the buildings, the policy has moved towards demolition. The result is the significant loss of housing units and the dispersion of communities. Contrary to the political discourse there are alternatives to demolition, which explore significant transformations of the existing building fabric rapidly, economically and without the displacement of residents.'
The full report and photo essay of Roddy's experience is in the RIBA Architecture Library. A summary was published in the RIBA Student newsletter in May 2011.
Roddy Bow is currently a post-Part 1 professional experience student and holds a First Class Honours degree (RIBA Part 1) from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He is currently working with Lacaton & Vassal in Paris. He has also worked as a volunteer and remains active with Indian NGO TRUST in Tamil Nadu, whose principal work is running a home for tsunami orphans.