The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of their 2017 President’s Medals honoring the world’s best student projects. The awards, recognized as the world’s most prestigious in architectural education, were established in 1836 (the institute's oldest award) to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.”
Medals are awarded in three categories: the Bronze for a Part I student (Bachelor level), the Silver for a Part II student (Masters level), and the Dissertation Medal. In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships have been announced.
This year, the Silver Medal was awarded to a student from an institution not currently validated by the RIBA.
“Many congratulations to this year’s RIBA President’s Medals winners,” said RIBA President Ben Derbyshire at the ceremony in London. “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.”
RIBA Silver Medal: Daniel Hall (The Cooper Union, New York, USA)
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.
Tutors: Lauren Kogod and Mersiha Veledar
RIBA Bronze Medal: Kangli Zheng (University of Nottingham)
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.
Tutor: Alison Davies
Dissertation Medal: Rhiain Bower (University of Westminster)
Baricsio: The Slate Quarrymen’s Barracks in North West Wales
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.
Tutor: Harry Charrington
The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing were given 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) also 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).
Silver Medal Commendations
- 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’.
Bronze Medal Commendations
- Luca Garoli (Queen’s University Belfast), for ‘Innovate to Conserve: Whiskey Distillery in Ballycastle’,
- Gabriel Beard (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for ‘Ascaya City Hall: Constructing a Virtual Civic Image’
- Shi Yin Ling (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for ‘Seasonal Dense(cities) – Living Garden Typologies for Future London’
Dissertation Medal Commendations
- 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’.