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Leicester student scoops international design prize

An architecture student from De Montfort University has been awarded the TECU Project Award for ‘outstanding use’ of copper

Robert Symonds received the prize for his fifth-year project ‘The Solas Gealaich Coven’ a meeting place for modern day wiccans in the rooftops of Old Town in Edinburgh.

The award recognizes ‘outstanding built and conceptual projects’ that uses copper, and runs every three years. The award usually goes to graduating students in their final year of study.

However Symonds, 23, from Chesterfield, has become the first student ever to win with fifth year work.

Talking about his project, he said, ‘The ‘chimney’ structures I designed on the roof reflect the traditional Edinburgh rooftop forms but are twisted into alignment to create a framed view of the full moon.’

The award is good news for the Leicester School of Architecture who have enjoyed an ascending profile recently following an uncertain last decade that saw them lose and then regain their Part 1 and Part 2 validation from the ARB.

The school’s head, Professor David Dernier said, ‘What makes Robert’s achievement even more remarkable was that he was competing with graduating students from around the world from 2008, 2009, and 2010 and is the first non-graduating student to ever receive this award!’

The award ceremony will take place in Germany in January 2011.

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