Winner of 2012 RIBA ICE McAslan Bursary announced

The 2012 RIBA ICE McAslan Bursary has been awarded to architect Nicola Antaki to deliver an ingenious school design project in India. The annual bursary is administered by the RIBA and funded by John McAslan + Partners to support environmental and community projects in the UK and abroad.

The bursary of £7,500 will help Nicola Antaki’s project ‘Healthier Learning Spaces for Municipal Schools in Mumbai’ to develop affordable and reproducible 1:1 prototypes of designs for spaces that will help children to learn and play, and demonstrate the positive contribution a well-designed learning environment can make.

The first project to be supported through Nicola’s bursary will be the development of a roof garden at Lovegrove School in Mumbai. The aim is to illustrate to the local government how minimal investment in the school environment - such as the creation of a small roof garden - can deliver inspirational teaching resources and support improvements in child health and school attendance and attainment.

Nicola Antaki said

'I am very grateful to John McAslan + Partners for choosing to fund and support this school community project based in Mumbai. The RIBA ICE McAslan bursary will offer an invaluable opportunity to make this live design-led research project happen. Its aim is to improve educational spaces in Mumbai through design, whilst developing prototypes that will hopefully be re-usable in similar environments. The school’s pupils, staff, families and I are all looking forward to the year ahead!'

John McAslan, chairman of John McAslan + Partners said:

'The submissions for this year’s RIBA ICE McAslan Bursary have been very impressive. The winning entry, ‘Healthier Learning Spaces for Municipal Schools in Mumbai’ by Nicola Antaki stood out due to its breadth of vision and ingenuity, tackling important social, cultural and environmental issues in a major global city. As in previous years, the practice will offer close mentoring support to the project team and looks forward to seeing this significant project take shape.'

RIBA President, Angela Brady said:

'The RIBA ICE McAslan Bursary annually supports highly important work and this year is no exception. Nicola’s dedicated work and ambition is to be highly admired. We are delighted to support her socially responsive and responsible approach to architecture.'

ICE President, Professor Barry Clarke, said:

'Having been a university lecturer for many years, I recognise just how important the learning environment is and the difference it can make to a student’s attitude, focus and overall education. Nicola’s vision is inspirational and a worthy recipient of the Bursary. Hopefully it will help her to progress the project and convince others of its benefits.'


Notes to editors

  • For press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761
  • To download images of Nicola Antaki and the winning project please visit:
  • Nicola Antaki Biography: Nicola Antaki studied Architecture at Oxford Brookes and at the Royal College of Art (RCA). After graduating from the RCA, she worked for a number of years at Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture, designing sustainable schools and nurseries, and completed her Part 3 RIBA professional certificate at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Nicola has been working on a research project in Mumbai, India since February 2011, looking at how architecture can affect learning outcomes in primary school children. The focus of this project is on healthy environments for children who live in informal settlements. She started a PhD course on the subject in 2012
  • The RIBA ICE McAslan Bursary aims to support architectural and engineering students, graduates and newly qualified architects and engineers committed to the progress of environmental and community issues in the UK or abroad.
    5. The solo award recipient was selected from a total number of 35 submissions by a panel of experts comprising staff from John McAslan + Partners, and senior RIBA and ICE members
  • John McAslan + Partners is a leading architectural and design practice based in London with offices in Manchester and Edinburgh. Their extensive portfolio of award-winning projects in the UK and overseas includes infrastructure, commercial, residential, education, cultural, heritage, urban design, and landscape sectors. Each project benefits from specialist sector-specific teams as well as cross-practice collaboration. The practice has a strong reputation for delivering new-build architecture, and giving vibrant and sustainable life to historic buildings through adaptive interventions; completed projects include the Grade I listed Modernist masterpiece, the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill on the south coast of England, the renowned Roundhouse arts venue in Camden, London, and more recently the complete restoration of the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Major ongoing projects include the £550m transformation of King's Cross station, Crossrail Bond Street station in London, and a number of significant projects in Doha, Qatar. Recently completed projects include the Charles Carter Building for Lancaster University, the redevelopment of the historic Stanislavsky Factory in Moscow, and the British Embassy in Algiers. Visit
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  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit or follow us at
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a leading source of professional expertise in transport, water supply and treatment, flood management, waste and energy. Established in 1818, it has over 80,000 members throughout the world. ICE’s vision is to place civil engineering the heart of society, delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise.