The winners of the RIBA President's Medals Student Awards 2009 in association with Atkins were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). These prestigious awards promote excellence in the study of architecture, rewarding talent and encouraging architectural debate world-wide.
Nicholas Szczepaniak , from the University of Westminster, won the Silver Medal for his project "A Defensive Architecture" and Wen Ying Teh from the Architectural Association won the Bronze Medal for her project "An Augmented Ecology of Wildlife and Industry". Rebecca Gregory from the University of Westminster won the Dissertation Medal for her work "The Art of Skew Bridges: The Technique and its History Explored".
The main President's Medals are: the Bronze Medal (awarded to the best Part 1 design project), the Silver Medal (for the best Part 2 design project) and the Dissertation Medal, which is awarded for the best exploration of different subjects, methodologies and presentations.
A record 250 Schools of architecture from 50 countries were invited to nominate two of their best student design projects at Part 1 (first degree), two at Part 2 (second degree) and one dissertation. The awards achieved the highest number of entries ever in 2009, with over 70 schools of architecture from 25 countries accepting the invitation to submit entries.
Ruth Reed , President of the RIBA, said:
"The annual celebration of the President's Medals reward the outstanding young talent in schools of architecture in the UK and across the world, and this year is certainly no exception. Education is an area of great importance to me, and I warmly congratulate this year's winners for their excellent work."
Philip Watson, Head of Education for Atkins, said:
"We are proud once again to sponsor the President's Medals. It is incredibly invigorating to see so many fresh, new ideas coming through from the next generation of architects. This is a way for us to fly the flag for our profession at a time when major streams of publicly funded work, such as new schools programmes, are giving us an opportunity to show off the importance of good design in shaping both people and behaviours."
A number of other awards were also presented at the ceremony, including Commendations in the three main categories.
Commendations for Part 1 were awarded to the projects "Pygmalion's Cathedral of Cosmetic Surgery" by Biten Patel of the University of Brighton, and "The Secret Policemen's Saloon" by Robert Taylor of the University of Sheffield. Marcus Todd from the University of Nottingham was also awarded a Commendation for the Project "Wide Open / Land[S] In Lands".
Commendations for Part 2 were awarded to Selvei Al-Assadi (London South Bank University) for the project "Media City – Vertical Discovery (MC-VD)" and to Stephen Townsend (University of Nottingham) for "Digital Intimacy". The judges awarded a High Commendation at Part 2 to Paul Durcan (from University College Dublin, Ireland) for the project "(Re)Making_City".
Commendations in the Dissertation category were awarded to Giles Smith (University of Cambridge) for "Living Infrastructure: The Vital Occupation of Non-Places Under London's Westway", Adam Towle (University of Sheffield) for "Negotiating the Spectacle: Projecting Fact, Fantasy and Fiction in Dubai", and to Jamie Williamson (Oxford Brookes University) for "[Here Be Monsters]."
The Skidmore Owings and Merrill Foundation awarded two travelling fellowships of £1,250 each, to Robert Taylor from the University of Sheffield for "The Secret Policemen's Saloon" for Part 1, and to Nicholas Szczepaniak, from the University of Westminster for the project "A Defensive Architecture" for Part 2.
The Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing was awarded to Anam Hasan, from the University of Greenwich, for the project "Desert(Ed) Hotel" at Part 1, and to Pascal Bronner, from the Bartlett School of Architecture, for "New Malacovia" at Part 2.
The student medallists receive £1,250 each and the commendation winners receive £500 each. The Serjeant Award winners receive £250 in book vouchers to use at RIBA Bookshops.
Chaired by Oliver Richards (ORMS and RIBA Vice-President for Education), the judging panel for the design projects included Willem Jan Neutelings (Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Rotterdam), Eric Parry (Eric Parry Architects, London), and Nanako Umemoto (Reiser + Umemoto, New York). The jury for the Dissertation Medal, chaired by Professor Peter Blundell Jones (University of Sheffield) , comprised Dr Tim Martin (De Montfort University), Professor Alan Powers (University of Greenwich) and Dr Alexandra Stara (Kingston University).
The public exhibition of winning work is on display at the RIBA, London W1, until the end of January 2010.
Atkins is the principal sponsor of the President's Medals which are also sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), Service Point, the SOM Foundation and Ibstock Brick, while the Architects' Journal is media partner. Tiger Beer and Absolut Vodka were ceremony sponsors.