Celebrating the architecture stars of the future - 2013 RIBA President's Medals winners announced

The winners of the 2013 President’s Medals were announced last night at a special event at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London. The prestigious RIBA President’s Medals, which date back to 1836, reward talent and excellence in the study of architecture.

Ben Hayes, from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) received the RIBA Silver Medal (awarded to best design project at Part 2) for ‘Kizhi Island’. This proposal is for a museum landscape that will restore and reassemble 250 wooden Orthodox churches on Kizhi Island in Northern Russia. The project explores the changing relationship between the Russian landscape and national identity, tracing back the influence of Romanticism at the start of the nineteenth century and looking at the wide-scale impact of Soviet collectivisation and de-ruralisation. ‘Kizhi Island’ addresses two challenges: it protects and restores a fragile heritage that is on the verge of extinction and dramatically redesigns the visitor experience on the island. Ben was tutored by Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Niall McLaughlin and Michiko Sumi.

Ness Lafoy, also from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), was awarded the Bronze Medal (for best Part 1 design project) for her project ‘Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall’, a proposal for a mainland hub for over 50,000 people who inhabit the 455 islands in the archipelago that surrounds the capital of Finland. The Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall provides a warm clubhouse and accommodation for the islanders’ overnight trips to Helsinki. It improves connections between the mainland and the archipelago by introducing a postal service to remote islands and providing a place for the Island Council to meet so that they can begin to improve transport links and promote the archipelago to ensure it is not forgotten. Ness was tutored by Rhys Cannon and Ben Addy.

Tamsin Hanke was awarded the Dissertation Medal for her work ‘Magnitogorsk: Utopian vision of spatial socialism’, supervised by Sophia Psarra at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL). The dissertation looks at the conception, realization and present state of the Russian city of Magnitogorsk as an experimental socialist utopia instigated by Joseph Stalin, asking how a political ideology of socialism was developed spatially in the city during the years 1930 to 1953. It seeks to determine how the current day city is both characterised by its past and how it is adapting to the social and political changes of Russia’s contemporary capitalist economy. The judges were unanimous that this was the most accomplished piece of work and the clear winner. They praised the dissertation for its excellent research across textual sources situating the subject in a historical, theoretical and socio-political context while also drawing from thorough and convincing first-hand experience of the city of Magnitogorsk and its people.

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said of the winners ”Congratulations to Ben, Ness and Tamsin, all deserving recipients of the President’s Medal. They overcame intense competition from the best students of architecture around the world and truly shined with their innovative, challenging and thought-provoking projects.

“2013 has been year of exceptional entries for the RIBA President’s Medals which continues to highlight and reward the very best talent from around the world. It’s been a pleasure to present these awards to the future leaders of our profession.”

Other student awards presented at this evening’s ceremony were:

Silver Medal High Commendation:

Amy Perkins from London Metropolitan University for ‘Outer City Settlement: Reassessing the suburban situation of Hampstead Garden Suburb’

Silver Medal Commendation:

Vladislav Velkov from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (Bulgaria) for ‘Evolution of a building. The unexplored potential of a sugar factory in Sofia’

Bronze Medal High Commendation:

Pierre Blanc from London Metropolitan University for ‘Gubbio Lido: Recovering open space within the walled city’

Bronze Medal Commendations:

Thomas Bush from De Montfort University for ‘Myocardial Augmentation Facility, Orvieto, Italy’

Minghui Ke from Kingston University for ‘UNESCO World Heritage: A contemporary art museum for Santa Chiara in Pisa, Italy

Dissertation Medal Commendations:

Leah Hogan from University College Dublin for ‘The Kahn Legacy: The primacy of the idea’

Shapur Keshvari from Kingston University for ‘Rethinking the Tholos in the Athenian Agora’

Srisaravanan Subramaniam from the National University of Singapore for ‘Seva & the Shrine: Transcending the boundaries of the Hindu temple in Singapore’

Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing

Part 1: Razna Begum from the University of Greenwich for ‘Grunewald’s Athenaeum’

Part 2: Kirsty Badenoch from Aarhus School of Architecture (Denmark) for ‘New Lohachara: A dialogue between man and the [super]natural’

The UK office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also awarded the SOM Foundation UK Fellowships selected from this year’s entries for the RIBA President’s Medals.

SOM Foundation Fellowship Part 1: Pierre Blanc from London Metropolitan University for ‘Gubbio Lido: Recovering open space within the walled city’

SOM Foundation Fellowship Part 2: Ben Hayes from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) for ‘Kizhi Island’

SOM Foundation Commendation: Amy Perkins from London Metropolitan University for ‘Outer City Settlement: Reassessing the suburban situation of Hampstead Garden Suburb’

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org
    1. To download supportive photos of the winners and projects visit: https://app.box.com/s/v7pu8mvtj6h0e67d7bwh 
    2. A full list of this year’s entries can be found at http://www.presidentsmedals.com/, the awards website, which also holds an archive of images and dissertation synopses from nominated projects and dissertations since 1998
    3. This year’s judging panels included:

    Bronze Medal / Part 1 Design Projects:

    Non-voting chair: David Gloster – RIBA Director of Education

    Roz Barr – RIBA Vice-President Elect Education; Roz Barr Architects (UK)

    Peter Böhm – Peter Böhm Architects (Germany)

    Vidhya Pushpanathan – Winner of the 2012 RIBA President’s Bronze Medal

    Satwinder Samra – Senior Lecturer of Architecture (University of Sheffield, UK)

    Silver Medal / Part 2 Design Projects:

    Non-voting chair: David Gloster – RIBA Director of Education

    Roz Barr – RIBA Vice-President Elect Education; Roz Barr Architects (UK)

    Elena Marco – Associate Head of Architecture, University of the West of England (UK)

    David Rieser – Winner of the 2012 RIBA President’s Silver Medal

    Dissertation Panel (Dissertation Medal):

    Non-voting chair: Alexandra Stara – Reader in the History and Theory of Architecture, Kingston University (UK)

    Will Hunter – Deputy Editor, Architectural Review (UK)

    David Leatherbarrow – Professor of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (USA)

    Peg Rawes – Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of Research, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (UK)

    SOM Foundation UK Fellowships:

    Kent Jackson - SOM Design Director

    Dmitri Jajich - SOM Structural Engineer

    Níall McLaughlin - Níall McLaughlin Architects

    Fred Pilbrow - Pilbrow & Partners

    The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals Student Awards are the most prestigious awards in architectural education in the world. First awarded in 1836 as the RIBA Silver Medal for an architectural essay (and awarded from 1855 to ‘Measured Drawings’ produced by a talented graduate), this is the RIBA’s oldest award (preceding the Royal Gold Medal, which was established in 1848). In 1984, the Bronze Medal was inaugurated to reward a Part 1 student while the Silver Medal was awarded to a Part 2 student. In 2001, the first Dissertation Medal was awarded. Since its early days, the aim of the awards has been to promote excellence in the study of architecture, to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.

    Each year the RIBA invites approximately 300 schools of architecture from over 60 countries to nominate design projects and dissertations produced by their students

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