RIBA announces world’s best student architecture projects

The winners of the 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals, the annual awards for the world’s best student architecture projects, have been revealed today (3 December 2019).

03 December 2019

The winners of the 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals, the annual awards for the world’s best student architecture projects, have been revealed today (3 December 2019).

The RIBA Silver Medal (for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 2 or equivalent) was presented by Lord Foster, a former recipient of the award 60 years ago, to Victoria King (University of Melbourne, AUS) for Surface Tension: Blueprints for Observing Contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary.

Victoria’s project focuses on Sydney Harbour Estuary, using drawing as a method for historical and material exploration and presenting a survey of three sites of post-industrial instability. Victoria developed a set of blueprints from the survey, to explore how contamination can create opportunities for renewal in the area.

Commendations in the RIBA Silver Medal category:

  • Finbar Charleson (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for London Euston
  • Samiur Rahman (University of Greenwich) for GramLiving
  • Piotr Smiechowicz (London South Bank University) for The Moon Catcher

The RIBA Bronze Medal (for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 1 or equivalent) went to Annabelle Tan (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Wetland Frontier.

Annabel proposes to regenerate New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward community and the adjacent Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle, following a period of neglect and segregation. By restoring the lost wetland and tapping into its potential economic, recreational, educational and ecological benefits, the scheme aims to attract newcomers and retain existing residents through restoration efforts.

Commendations in the RIBA Bronze Medal category:

  • Imogen Dhesi (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Riad Al Nisa
  • Samuel Kerin (University of Nottingham) for The Coventry Ring Road Press
  • Paula Pocol (University of Greenwich) for Somers Town Community for Women

RIBA Dissertation Medals were presented to Ruth Pearn (University of Westminster) for Ages Through the Terrace: The Evolving Impact of Age on Social and Spatial Relations in the Home and to Naomi Rubbra (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Towards Effective Architectural Practice: Lessons from the Elthorne Housing Estate.

Ruth’s dissertation analyses the intricacies of multiple generational living, by examining three historical case studies located in Hackney in the 1790s, 1870s and 1970s. The dissertation explores the fluidity and subjectivity of ageing and shows how shifting ideas of childhood, youth, adulthood and old age have impacted on homemaking and domestic architecture. It looks to the future and questions how the terrace may adapt to multigenerational living, as society changes.

Naomi’s project reflects on what people need to live a good life and argues that increased understanding can have lasting benefits for health, wealth, community and society. Naomi analyses the Elthorne Housing Estate in Islington and re-examines the Parker Morris Report (1961), questioning the standard view of residents as young, nuclear families. It also draws on the work of social scientist Jane Darke, looking at the relationship between residents, architects and housing estates (1975).

Commendations in the RIBA Dissertation Medal category were awarded to:

  • Fiona Grieve (University of Westminster) for The Reception of Refugees in the UK
  • Lou-Elena Bouey (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London) for A Sense of Place for the Displaced

Recognising the importance of climate action in the development of architectural design proposals, the RIBA awarded for the first time this year the RIBA Awards for Sustainable Design. At Part I, the award went to Annabelle Tan (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Wetland Frontier and at Part II to Findlay McFarlane (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) for Blotting Ornithologics: The Calcutta Institute of Aviculture.

The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing were presented to Thomas Faulkner (Architectural Association) for Common Fields: An Architecture in Response to the Digital Interface (at Part I) and Rachel Wakelin (University of Westminster) for Avian Air – A Tropospheric Bird Sanctuary (at Part II).

The SOM Foundation Fellowships were awarded to Annabelle Tan (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Wetland Frontier at Part I and Sun Yen Yee (University of Westminster) for SEED of Havana: Dissolving Condensers at Part II.

RIBA President Alan Jones said:

“This year’s winners impressed the judges with the rigour and analysis they applied to exploring ideas and solutions relevant to the problems of today. It is exciting to see such talent - and I very much look forward to seeing how their careers progress.”

The 2019 RIBA President’s Medals exhibition is at the RIBA in London from 4 December 2019 to 1 February 2020, before it tours throughout the UK and internationally.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For further press information contact Emily Stallard in the RIBA Press Office: Emily.Stallard@riba.org 020 7307 3813

2. Images from this year’s winners can be downloaded here.

3. The RIBA President’s Medals were established in 1836 and are the RIBA’s oldest awards. Also announced at the RIBA President’s Medals ceremony were the winners of the RIBA President’s Awards for Research and the RIBA Research Medal.

4. In 2019, the RIBA invited the highest ever number of schools of architecture to participate in the President’s Medals: 410 institutions located in 80 countries were invited to submit work, resulting in the second highest number of entries in the history of the awards: 318 entries from 96 schools located in 30 countries.

5. www.presidentsmedals.com features all nominations made since 1998. The site includes a comprehensive visual archive of tens of thousands of images and statements produced by students, as well as photographs and films of the judging of entries, the awards ceremonies, and interviews with the winners.

6. This year’s judging panels included:

Silver Medal:

  • Chair: David Gloster (RIBA Director of Education)
  • Nicky Watson (elected RIBA Council member & RIBA Vice-President Education)
  • Jennifer Bonner (Founder of MALL, a creative practice for art and architecture; Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Master’s in Architecture II Programme at Harvard University).
  • Pereen D’Avoine (Founder and Director of Russian for Fish Architects; Tutor at London Metropolitan University)
  • Don Gray (Emeritus Professor of Architecture, Founder and Head of the Kent School of Architecture 2005-2019; Chair of the Standing Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture – SCHOSA)
  • Jonathan Hale (Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Nottingham)

Bronze Medal:

  • Chair: David Gloster (RIBA Director of Education)
  • Nicky Watson (elected RIBA Council member & RIBA Vice-President Education)
  • Liliana Giraldo Arias (Dean of the School of Architecture of the University of La Salle, Colombia 2006-2018; currently Director of Urban Planning of Colombia’s National Planning Department)
  • Sheila O’Donnell (Founder and Director of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects)
  • Liam Ross (architect and senior lecturer in architectural design at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture)
  • Narinder Sagoo (Senior Partner and Art Director at Foster + Partners)

Dissertation Medal:

  • Chair: Harriet Harriss (Dean of Architecture at the Pratt Institute, NY, USA)
  • Nick Axel (deputy editor at e-flux Architecture)
  • Shawn Rickenbacker (Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the J. Max Bond Center for Urban Futures at the City University of New York)
  • Ingrid Schröder (Director of the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Cambridge)
  • Sally Stewart (Head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at The Glasgow School of Art)

SOM Foundation Fellowship:

  • Mina Hasman (Sustainability Lead at SOM)
  • Kent Jackson (Design Partner at SOM)
  • Phil Obayda (Senior Technical Designer at SOM)
  • Koen Steemers (Professor of Sustainable Design at the University of Cambridge)
  • Simon Sturgis (Managing Director at Targeting Zero)

7. Arper are proud to sponsor the RIBA President’s Medals, and to support the Royal Institute of British Architects in celebrating the most prestigious prizes in architectural education globally. Arper is a leading Italian company that creates chairs, tables, and furnishings for community, work and home. Founded in 1989, Arper is guided by an integrative, human-centred approach, with a vision of exploring design to improve relationships between people and the spaces in which they live.The company has grown dramatically from a furniture manufacturing business to an international design presence with hundreds of employees worldwide. With headquarters in Monastier di Treviso, Italy, Arper has four subsidiaries based in London (Arper UK), New York (Arper USA), Dubai (Arp Middle East), Tokyo (Arper Japan), 11 showrooms in major design world capitals, two meeting hubs (Munich and Beernem) and three branches (Belgium, Singapore, Sweden). www.arper.com

8. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates

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