top of page


Unit 5 is interested in the contemporary landscape and the relationship between land-use, science fact & fictions and the cultural identity of a place. We nurture an individual and original design approach and are interested in novel and experimental methods of visualising architecture. Physical models, dense drawings and spatial testing form part of our design investigations. We see our unit as a testing ground and laboratory for imaginative thinking, research and enjoy speculating about future scenarios that we can’t fully foresee. The very best work challenges conventions, surprises and awakens our imagination!

Unit 5 is a long-standing architectural design unit on The Bartlett's BSc program and has been run since 2004 by Julia Backhaus in various partnerships. Ben Hayes joined the unit in 2018.

Please see below for the profiles of our current tutors: 

Julia Backhaus

Julia is a practicing architect with over 15 years experience gained in Germany, France and London. She is an Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London.

As the founder and director of Fluxarchitects, Julia takes great joy in working with a diverse range of activities and scales - designing buildings, installations and exhibitions in tandem with teaching and research. Her practice is passionate about a collaborative design process and has worked with a broad spectrum of of clients: from heart surgeons, choreographers, film producers, to charities, children and local communities.  Since 2011 Julia has been the Director for the internationally renowned 

Professional Architecture Programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL. Julia graduated with Distinction in Architecture in Munich. Julia is a co- founder and trustee of the Heart Care and Research foundation, Rwanda and a member of the Bartlett Faculty Health Board.  She holds a Master Degree in Architectural Design with Distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. 

Dipl.- Ing, MArch, ARB

Ben Hayes


Ben is a practicing architect based in London where he co-runs the design and research studio, Unknown Works. He set up the studio’s Hong Kong office and has previously worked for a number of award winning architects in the UK, and has spent five years living and working in China. He has taught on postgraduate and undergraduate courses between the Bartlett School of Architecture and the University of Hong Kong [HKU]. He has held a senior research position for three years at HKU, running design and build projects in Mongolia and China with the research group, Rural Urban Lab. He is a founding member and trustee of the charity ‘Wood Ark’ and collaborates on research projects between Russia and the UK. Ben was educated at the Bartlett School of Architecture where he received a first class honours for his Bachelors, a distinction for his Masters and awarded the RIBA President’s Silver Medal and the SOM Award in 2013. His work has been exhibited at the Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennale, the RIBA and private galleries in London.

See here for previous tutors:

bottom of page