The Royal Institute of British Architects has released the names of the 2019 winners of the President’s Medals, the annual awards for the world’s best student architecture projects. To showcase these achievements, an exhibition will be held in London, from the 4th of December 2019 till the 1st of February 2020, before touring throughout the UK and internationally.
Established in 1836, RIBA’s oldest awards, the RIBA President’s Medals were awarded this year after receiving the second-highest number of entries in the history of the awards. Actually, 410 institutions located in 80 countries were invited to submit their work. Moreover, the winners of the RIBA President’s Awards for Research and the RIBA Research Medal were also announced during the same ceremony. Read on for the full list of this year’s achievers.
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. -- Alan Jones, RIBA President
The RIBA Silver Medal
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
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
The RIBA Dissertation Medals
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
Awarded for the first time this year, the RIBA Awards for Sustainable Design went to Annabelle Tan (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Wetland Frontier and to Findlay McFarlane (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) for Blotting Ornithologics: The Calcutta Institute of Aviculture. Finally, 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 and Rachel Wakelin (University of Westminster) for Avian Air – A Tropospheric Bird Sanctuary.