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RA judges fall for ‘model in a book’

An ‘exquisite’ laser-cut model by Ben Cowd, Thomas Hopkins and Sara Shafiei has won the £10,000 Architecture Prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, sponsored by Lend Lease and supported by the AJ

The piece, a model within a book of Rome’s 16th century Farnese Gardens, was hailed as the single exhibit the judges ‘all fell for’.

The jury included Paul Finch, of Design Council CABE; Kevin Chapman, UK head of offices at Lend Lease; Kathryn Findlay of Ushida Findlay Architects, and AJ deputy editor Rory Olcayto.

The £5,000 award for Best First-Time Exhibitor went to Article 25. The charity’s kit of parts, by Xenia Georgiou, Michael Ruthenbury, the Article 25 Design Team and 4D Modelshop for the Gola Rainforest National Park headquarters in Sierra Leone, was shown as a completed model alongside a case containing the constituent elements and manual needed for its assembly.

Commendations went to a model showing Carmody Groarke’s competition-winning Lake Windermere Steamboat Museum scheme, Peter Barber’s ‘model for a decent neighbourhood’ contained in a suitcase and Allies and Morrison’s triptych of the Olympic Park from 2000 to 2012 to 2024.

‘There was a wealth of different approaches and fresh ideas,’ said Findlay. ‘Some pieces were mature, others were raw and experimental.’ The Orbit Tower access architect said younger practices and students fresh out of architecture school should be encouraged to submit work.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition runs 4 June – 12 August

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