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RIBA reveals the world’s best student projects of 2017

RIBA reveals the world’s best student projects of 2017

A proposal to build ’room boxes’ on top of London’s terraced houses in response to the housing crisis and a design for a school damaged in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake win 2017 President’s Medals.

From left to right: Kangli Zheng ‘Castle in the Sky’; Rhiain Bower ‘Baricsio: The Slate Quarrymen’s Barracks in North West Wales’ and Daniel Hall ‘Cycles of Toolmaking: An Optic, Tactile, Haptic, Material, Scalar and Pedagogic Study’

The winners of the 2017 RIBA President’s Medals were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London this evening (5 December 2017).

The RIBA Silver Medal (for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 2 or equivalent) was awarded to Daniel Hall (The Cooper Union, New York, USA), tutored by Lauren Kogod, for ‘Cycles of Toolmaking: An Optic, Tactile, Haptic, Material, Scalar and Pedagogic Study’. Sited in the ceramic town of Mashiko, Japan, the project proposes a place for learning which responds to the attitudes towards land use, extraction of clay, ceramic craft, agriculture, and water infrastructure, to replace a school damaged in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.

This is the first time The Cooper Union entered the awards and the first time that the RIBA Silver Medal goes to a higher education institution not currently validated by the RIBA.

Commendations in the Silver Medal category were given to:

  • Danielle Fountain (De Montfort University) for ‘The House of Ambiguity: Constructing Fictional Space’;
  • Tom Hewitt (Northumbria University) for ‘Landhaus: Walking the Landscape as Design Practice’;
  • Ivo Tedbury (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL), for ‘Semblr’.


The RIBA Bronze Medal (for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 1 or equivalent) went to Kangli Zheng (University of Nottingham), tutored by Alison Davies, for ‘Castle in the Sky’. The project is a response to London’s housing crisis, proposing an alternative model: flexible room boxes plugged into the available space above London’s terraces. In these communities in the sky, the space is defined by its occupants, who can replace and customise architectural typologies such as residential homes, co-housing spaces, storage properties, and shared public gardens.

This is the first time that a student at the University of Nottingham has received an RIBA Medal.

The RIBA Bronze Medal judging panel also awarded a High Commendation to Luca Garoli (Queen’s University Belfast), for ‘Innovate to Conserve: Whiskey Distillery in Ballycastle’, and gave Commendations to Gabriel Beard (for ‘Ascaya City Hall: Constructing a Virtual Civic Image’) and to Shi Yin Ling (for ‘Seasonal Dense(cities) – Living Garden Typologies for Future London’), both from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

The RIBA Dissertation Medal was awarded to Rhiain Bower (University of Westminster) for ‘Baricsio: The Slate Quarrymen’s Barracks in North West Wales’, tutored by Harry Charrington. This study of 19th century barrack dwelling for slate quarrymen in North-West Wales documents the physical structures, collating fieldwork and archival data, and the wider social sphere through newspapers, poetry and accounts of social history.

Commendations in the Dissertation Medal category were awarded to:

  • Christopher Rogers (RIBA Studio) for ‘Architecture in Uniform: PSTD Prevention in Military Architecture’;
  • Naomi Rubbra (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) for ‘Building Resilient Communities in NYC: Rethinking Gentrification and the Role of the Architect’;
  • Rory Sherlock (Architectural Association) for ‘Multimedia Oblivion – Palmyra: Violence, erasure and the corporeal architectural body’.


The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing were presented to Gabriel Beard (RIBA Part 1) for ‘Ascaya City Hall: Constructing a Virtual Civic Image’ and Thomas Parker (RIBA Part 2) for ‘An Architecture of Lumetric Causality’, both from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

The UK office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) awarded the SOM Foundation Fellowships UK to Andrei-Ciprian Cojocaru (RIBA Part 1 at University of Greenwich) for ‘24 Hour Soho Entertainment Centre’ at Part 1, and Andres Souto (RIBA Part 2 at Royal College of Art) for ‘The Aesthetics of Hope & The Newest Basilica of Guadalupe’, and commended Luca Garoli (Queen’s University Belfast) and Claire Longridge (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture).

RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said:

“Many congratulations to this year’s RIBA President’s Medals winners. The entries for this awards programme are always impressive and this year was no exception, with more entries than ever before.

I am extremely pleased to see that the creativity and accomplished technique in the work of these budding architects is matched with a renewed ambition and focus on the important role that architecture plays in social betterment.

The passion and intelligence with which these graduates address complex architectural briefs by drawing from personal experiences and involving those for whom their buildings are designed is achieved with remarkable rigour and commitment.

I very much look forward to following their successful careers.”

The 2017 RIBA President’s Medals exhibition is on display at the RIBA in London until Saturday 10 February, and at RIBA North in Liverpool until 24 February 2018.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For further press information contact Abigail Chiswell-White in the RIBA Press Office: Abigail.Chiswell-White@riba.org 020 7307 3811

2. To download images from this year’s winners, visit: https://riba.box.com/v/PresidentsMedals2017

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. Participation in the RIBA President’s Medals is by invitation only. In 2017, the RIBA invited 373 schools of architecture located in 70 countries to submit one dissertation for the RIBA Dissertation Medal, up to two design projects for the RIBA Bronze Medal, and up to two design projects for the RIBA Silver Medal.

5. In 2017, the RIBA President’s Medals awards attracted the highest number of entries in its history: 293 design projects and dissertations were submitted by 97 schools of architecture located in 34 countries.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. This year’s judging panels included:

Silver Medal:

  • Chair: David Gloster, RIBA Director of Education
  • Sean Griffiths (Professor of Architecture at University of Westminster)
  • Alan Jones, RIBA Vice-President Education
  • Jing Liu (Founder and Principal of SO-IL, New York City; tutor at Columbia University)


Bronze Medal:

  • Chair: David Gloster, RIBA Director of Education
  • Giuseppe (Pippo) Ciorra (Senior Curator of Architecture at MAXXI, Rome)
  • Alan Jones, RIBA Vice-President Education
  • Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno (RIBA Fellow; Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; Izaskun Chinchilla Architects)
  • Tracy Meller (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)


Dissertation Medal:

  • Chair: Professor Peg Rawes (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL)
  • Professor Tom Avermaete (Delft University of Technology)
  • Dr Mhairi McVicar (Cardiff University)
  • Professor Dmitry Shvidkovsky (Moscow Institute of Architecture)

9. 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.

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