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RIBA North East Student Award 2021 winners

RIBA North East celebrate the talent and creativity of future architects in the region with the winners of the 2021 Student Awards.

20 July 2021

RIBA North East were delighted to host the regional Student Awards 2021 to celebrate the talented architecture students in the North East and to reward them in the pursuit of excellence in the study of of architecture.

Schemes submitted for the Student Awards were designed by students from Schools of Architecture at Newcastle University and Northumbria University. Each school was asked to submit two Part 1 design projects and two Part 2 design projects.

The entries comprised of the students’ main end of year projects. Students were asked to put their final degree show into a PowerPoint presentation. Students then presented their work to the jury panel digitally via Microsoft Teams.

This year's judging panel featured Andrew Thompson of Faulkner Browns Architects, Maral Tulip of xsite architecture, and Craig Stott of Leeds Beckett University.

RIBA North East Student Award winners

Part 1 winner: Jake Harrison - Northumbria University

Part 2 winner: Harrison Lowthrop - Northumbria University (Degree Apprenticeship)

Commendation: Emma Beale - Newcastle University (Part 1)

Presentation Prize: Nicholas Honey and Robert Thackeray - Newcastle University (Part 2)

Submissions and judges' comments

Part 1 submissions

Jake Harrison - Northumbria University (winner)

Of Woods and Water, Bothal Crematorium

  • Jake’s project brought together insightful brief development, a contextual yet contemporary architectural response and beautiful imagery which made it my standout winner for the undergraduate prize.
  • Beautiful series of spaces which intelligently integrates within the landscape context.
  • Jake showed an outstanding care and attention to the brief which subsequently lead him to use it as a narrative to inform his design and choice of material and arrangement. The imagery was beautifully executed and communicated which carried a touch of calm, sensitivity and tactile nature which complimented the context of the project.

Jake Harrison, Of Woods & Water

Lewis Endersby - Northumbria University

  • Lewis’ project used small interventions to frame the architect as a conduit for community change in a rural setting. He showed an astute awareness of materials, befitting of the craft orientated brief, as well as contemporary issues such as the climate emergency and whole life carbon. His imagery was alluring and demonstrated an excellent level of resolution in his architecture.
  • Genuine interpretation of place results in a sensitive architecture reflecting locality in terms of both proposed typology and material choices. Excellent expression of structure giving the design an identity whilst respecting and integrating with context.

Benoit Rawlings; City Ruins (left) and Emma Beale; Redcar Medicinal Seaweed Centre (right)

Benoit Rawlings - Newcastle University

City Ruins

  • Benoit's project followed a developmental and abstract thread from print making and form finding through to a well realised building in a challenging context. His use of testing through making at a broad range of scales should be highly commended as his models were both beautifully crafted and documented.
  • Beautiful models and artistic evolution gave the project form derived from conceptual inspiration.
  • Excellent response to urban context resulting in a project that successfully integrates into a tight and difficult site.

Emma Beale - Newcastle University (Commendation)

The Redcar Medicinal Seaweed Centre

  • Emma developed an astute and humane brief aiming to tackle a multitude of societal and environmental issues through her intervention. She developed innovative ways to engage in the community during challenging circumstances and considered the human impact of her architecture at all stages.
  • Emma's project was beautifully investigated and the process to which informed her decisions was outstanding. What stood out the most about Emma was that at different stages of her project she constantly went back and checked her decision makings against her brief and the process. This showed a very mature way of understanding an architectural process and never losing sight of the initial vision and brief whilst constantly evolving it and making it more complete whilst recognising and reacting to any new circumstance that a project is faced with (in this case the global pandemic).

Robert Thackeray and Nick Honey; Reclaiming Playtime

Part 2 submissions

Nick Honey and Robert Thackeray - Newcastle University (Presentation Prize)

Reclaiming Playtime

  • The presentation of their project was an innovative way to explain their ideas using stop motion animation which carried through the concept of play and playfulness in both its themes and visual styles.
  • Excellent and engaging video provided a super way to enjoy the project, combined with the beautiful model forming a stage for the community actions to be communicated.
  • Nick and Rob’s presentation of their project was outstanding. They demonstrated a unique skill in demonstrating their ideas in a new way which was refreshing to see. It was cleverly done which communicated their design idea very well. It was a joy to watch and witness the process they have gone through to inform their journey and end result.

Tom Stanley - Newcastle University

Struggimenti D'Architettura

  • Tom's project was a highly experimental, at times, self-referential exploration of architecture as a conflicted industry. He considered the mechanisms to realise architecture with an incredibly well developed understanding of the socio-political forces required to realise an idea in contemporary practice.
  • Terrific use of abstract mapping, drawings and models to generate an architectural proposition that is simultaneously contextual yet boundless.
  • Excellent use of making and assemblage as a visceral working of architectural production.

Jacob Nicol - Northumbria University

Future Processes from Past Infrastructure

  • Jacob showed a fantastic understanding of the process of Kelp farming, around which his project was based. His proposals to reuse oil rigs in an innovative way demonstrated an astute appreciation of the climate crisis as well as an innovative and developed technical understanding
  • Very strong technical and ecological underpinning for the project through material reuse.
  • Excellent brief development of a new industrial process to generate economic growth.
  • Beautiful range of images including hand drawings and photo realistic renders.

Jacob Nicol; Future Processes from Past Infrastructure

Harrison Lowthrop - Northumbria University (winner)

Finding a Balance

  • Harrison demonstrated an ability to work at all scales in a wide range of mediums to develop and subsequently strengthen his ideas. His marriage of traditional craft values and techniques with modern design and fabrication methods ensured his project was considerate and unapologetically forward looking.
  • Material understanding and technical resolution are at a level where the project could begin onsite tomorrow, a remarkable achievement.
  • Harrison’s project became a winning project for us as he demonstrated something that has been lost. With his gentle and sensitive intervention, he could reignite and rejuvenate the small island of Ulva. His project is something that all of the judges could see being realised and be a positive asset to its context and its people.

Harrison Lowhtrop; Finding a Balance

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