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Architecture student projects from across the globe win RIBA President's Medals 2016

RIBA Presidents Medals 2016

06 December 2016

The winners of the 2016 RIBA President’s Medals were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London this evening (6 December 2016).

First awarded in 1836, the RIBA Presidents Medals reward talent, promote innovation, and encourage excellence in the study of architecture worldwide. This year 275 entries were received from 87 schools of architecture in 33 countries.

The Silver Medal (for best Part 2 design project) was awarded to Thomas Chee (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, tutored by Peter Winston Ferretto and Ingrid Schroder) for Crafts Vault: The V&A Academy of Artisanal Crafts. The project responds to the threat to traditional crafts posed by the 2008 economic downturn and new technology. Chee brings traditional skills back to the modern city by imagining new living craft workshops as an addition to London’s V&A Museum.

Silver Medal commendations were given to:

  • Molly De Courcy Wheeler, University of Westminster, UK, tutored by Sean Griffiths
    More or Less, Bricks
  • Roven Rebeira, City School of Architecture, Sri Lanka, tutored by Tamara Wijayapala
    Centre for Ethno-Elephantology: A cross-species design initiative
  • Mikki Ristola, Aalto University, Finland, tutored by Pekka Heikkinen
    Visitor Centre for Petäjävesi Old Church

The Bronze Medal (for best Part 1 design project) went to Allan Chong (Newcastle University, UK, tutored by Josep-Maria Garcia-Fuentes and Aldric Rodriguez Iborra) for Formless’ – An Alternative Typology for Preservation. Chong explores how buildings are preserved and transformed, through a proposed extension of Sir John Soane's Museum in London. Inspired by Soane’s modifications to his own home, the project pictures the museum of 2065 as shaped by a greater desire for preservation.

Bronze Medal commendations:

  • Muneeb Ali Khan, London South Bank University, UK, tutored by Nicolas Pople
    Lewes Art Foundry
  • Paolo Pisano, Architectural Association, UK, tutored by Ryan Dillon
    The Thirty Years of Architecture: A short guide on abandoning accumulated memories at the mercy of an inclement weather
  • Samiur Rahman, University of Greenwich, UK, tutored by Rahesh Ram and Tom Noonan
    Nuclear NOW!

The Dissertation Medal went to Roy Khatchadourian (University of Liverpool, tutored by Iain Jackson) for A Juxtaposition of Ideological Expressions: Evaluating the urban transformations of Yerevan (Armenia) during 1915-2015. The dissertation reflects on the role of architecture in creating a sense of identity and belonging after years of political oppression in the Armenian city of Yerevan.

Dissertation Medal commendations:

  • Tessa Forde, University of Auckland, New Zealand, tutored by Kathy Waghorn and Aaron Paterson
    The House that Politics Built: Parliament Aotearoa
  • Phillipa Longson, The Cass, London Metropolitan University, UK, tutored by Joseph Kohlmaier
    Are You My Mother? An exploration into the bonds between people and places
  • Robin Farmer, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK, tutored by Brent Carnell
    A Flâneur’s Guide to Boystown: Performativity, pride and place

The Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing (Part 1) went to Lucian Mocanu (University of Greenwich, tutored by Rahesh Ram and Tom Noonan) for New Greenwich Civic Centre: A transformative architecture. The project proposes an alternative centre for Greenwich that can be adapted for society’s needs.

The Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing (Part 2) was awarded to James Bussey (University of Kent, tutored by Adam Cole and George Thomson) for The Company, a dystopian graphic novel exploring architecture, isolation and Potemkin villages through the eyes of a fictional German revolutionary exiled to the island of Helgoland.

The UK office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also awarded SOM Foundation Fellowships to Jack Bailey (Kingston University, UK, tutored by Michael Lee) and Shenpei Ha (The Cass, London Metropolitan University, UK, tutored by Signy Svalastoga, Edward Simpson and Jonathan Cook).

RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“Congratulations to each of the medal winners. I’m delighted to see the breadth of talent from across the globe recognised through these awards, now celebrating their 180th anniversary. The students’ ability to distil complex ideas and present them beautifully is outstanding. Tonight’s winners are talent to watch - I can’t wait to see what else they will go on to achieve.”


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact Callum Reilly in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3757
  2. The RIBA President’s Medals were established in 1836 and are the RIBA’s oldest awards. The RIBA President’s Medals were established in 1836 and are the RIBA’s oldest awards. Every year, the RIBA invites international architects, academics, designers and artists to join the judging panels and award the Bronze Medal for best design project at Part 1, the Silver Medal for best design project at Part 2 and the Dissertation Medal. In addition, the judges award a maximum of three commendations in each category. Also selected by the judging panels are the Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing, in memory of the late architect and Royal Academy surveyor Denis Serjeant, who in 1981 was one of the founding members of the RIBA Student Prizes Group.
  3. Also announced at the RIBA President’s Medals ceremony were the winners of the RIBA President’s Awards for Research and the RIBA President's Medal for Research.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates
  7. This year’s RIBA President's Medals judging panels follow:

Silver Medal

  • Chair: David Gloster, RIBA Director of Education
  • Mel Dodd, Programme Director of Spatial Practices, Central Saint Martins
  • Winka Dubbeldam, Chair and Professor of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
  • Alan Jones, RIBA Vice-President Education
  • Nathalie Rozencwajg, Director, RARE

Bronze Medal

  • Chair: David Gloster, RIBA Director of Education
  • Alessandra Cianchetta, founding partner of AWP - Office for Territorial Reconfiguration
  • Nic Clear, Head of the Department of Architecture and Landscape, University of Greenwich
  • Alan Jones, RIBA Vice-President Education
  • Charlotte Skene Catling, Director, Skene Catling de la Peña

Dissertation Medal

  • Chair: Peg Rawes, Senior Lecturer, Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL)
  • Harriet Harriss, Senior Tutor in Interior Design and Architecture, Royal College of Art
  • Katie Lloyd Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Newcastle University
  • Philip Ursprung, Dean of the Department of Architecture, ETH Zürich

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