Awards programme

RIBA President's Medals

The President's Medals are regarded as the most prestigious student awards in architectural education. They are awarded annually to students nominated by schools of architecture worldwide.

Nominated students submit their design project work either in the Part 1 or Part 2 sections, or from across the degree programme for the Dissertation Award. The awards are judged in the autumn by a judging panel of respected international academics and practitioners and presented at an awards ceremony in early December, which coincides with the opening of an exhibition featuring winning student work.

For a full listing of all the entries submitted to the awards, visit , which holds an archive of images and dissertation synopses from nominated projects and dissertations since 1998.

For details about the submission process,


Student crit introduction  


Student crit - bronze








2013 winners

Silver Medal

Kizhi Island

Kizhi Island  by Ben Hayes

Bronze Medal

Student Crits

To find out more about the judging process and comments of the judges on the winning submissions, view the videos of the design projects judging and dissertation judging

Some past medallists

Past RIBA President's Medallists include David Adjaye, Sean Griffiths, Simon Hudspith, Mouzhan Majidi, Ole Scheeren, and numerous others. Most winners have gone on to set up their own offices or work on award-winning projects in practices such as AHMM, David Chipperfield Architects, Max Fordham, Foster + Partners, Tony Fretton Architects, Niall McLaughlin Architects, OMA, RMJM, Squire + Partners and many others.

Sean Griffiths Sean Griffiths (Dissertation Medal, 1992):

'Immediately after winning the Dissertation Medal, I set up FAT in the midst on the early 90s recession. There was no work and I decided I could be on the dole or be on the dole and have an architectural practice. So I chose the latter. Since then the practice has gradually grown, through nightclub design, housing, schools, public buildings and recently, new studios for the BBC. Most importantly we have managed to continue to produce provocative and interesting work in the UK and abroad (even though it's not to everyone's taste) whilst maintaining a parallel career in teaching and writing. It's been a bumpy ride sometimes but never boring.'

On winning the President's Medal :

'Rather prosaically, it gave me a bit of money to live on as the practice got going. The recognition I got from winning the award gave me a lot of confidence that I had something interesting and reasonably coherent to say about architecture which helped launch both the practice and my teaching career. I'm still interested in the issues that my dissertation was about, although I'm sure it would make me cringe to read it now.'


Mouzhan Majidi Mouzhan Majidi (Silver Medal, 1987):

'After graduating from Strathclyde University I went straight
to Foster + Partners, joining the team on Stansted Airport. In 1992 I moved to Hong Kong as a director responsible for the design of Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, supervising it from inception through to completion in 1998. When I returned to London, I became the director in charge of Wembley Stadium. In 2004, when we restructured the office, I became a senior partner and leader of Group 3, overseeing a diverse range of projects; by far the most challenging was Beijing Airport – the largest airport building in the world, which we completed in 2008. In 2007 I became Chief Executive of Foster + Partners.'

On winning the President's Medal :

'Winning the Silver Medal was both rewarding and inspiring, especially when you consider some of the past recipients. Before you can be put forward for a medal, you have to be selected by your school, so the people that nominate you obviously know you very well. I think that’s one of its great strengths as an award – it has a personal dimension.'


Simon Hudspith Simon Hudspith (Bronze Medal, 1980)

'I studied at Newcastle University before gaining a Harkness Fellowship and continuing my education at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where I won the Samuel Huckel
Architecture Prize. I gained professional experience at the
Terry Farrell Partnership, Venturi Rauch & Scott Brown and ORMS prior to setting up Panter Hudspith Architects in 1988.
I am currently leading project teams designing hundreds of
new homes in Southwark (including two schemes for the Elephant and Castle), and a large residential building within
the Athlete’s Village for the 2012 Olympics.'

On winning the President's Medal :

'I was more than happy with my result at Newcastle, so winning the Bronze Medal was a complete shock. It gave me an incredible boost and the confidence to try for things that I would otherwise have assumed were beyond my reach. However, we shouldn't forget that producing inspired design as a student is one thing; though matching this with a building in the real world is a much tougher nut to crack.'

Top of page