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AJ/Hoare Lea Bursary winner revealed

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Bartlett student Joanne Preston has picked up the inaugural Hoare Lea Part 2 student bursary

Preston picked up the £2,000 prize for her proposal to develop an extruded clay tile that behaves as a solar chimney, which the judges described as a ‘really practical and original idea’.

Engineers from Hoare Lea will now work with Preston over the next four months to develop her idea offering mentoring and advice.  

Preston saw off competition from an eclectic mix of schemes including futuristic bus stops, research into the role of environmental values in UK housing, a masterplan for a new settlement in Norway, and a bird hide to bag the research support prize.

The bursary was judged by panel which included vPPR’s Tatiana von Preussen, Teresa Borsuk of Pollard Thomas Edwards, Hoare Lea partners Jo Edwards and Ashley Bateson alongside AR editor Christine Murray and the AJ’s Laura Mark.

The AJ/Hoare Lea Bursary was launched earlier this year to provide £2,000 of research funding and the help from Hoare Lea’s engineers to a Part 2 student of architecture on a particular project or design idea.

Comment on the bursary: Jo Edwards, partner, Hoare Lea

Jo Edwards

As engineers, we apply our knowledge to make things work better. Our day-to-day work involves constant collaboration with architects and other industry professionals.

But there’s a tendency for engineers to be in the background of the creative process. At Hoare Lea we are keen to show that engineers can engage with and provide really valuable input to the creative aspects of design, and the AJ/Hoare Lea Bursary gives us a great opportunity to do this.

An architecture student who has developed his or her own ideas is not restricted by industry conventions or client demands, but may be limited by financial backing, technical knowledge or facilities. Our bursary provides support to the student financially and, with the help of our engineering expertise, we can work together to move their design ideas forward to the next stage. 

The collaborative process will also give our engineers the opportunity to experience that unrestricted design activity, gaining a better understanding of the architectural thought process.  The more we interact with architects, the better we can perform as a business.

From our employees’ point of view, this is a chance to get involved in something completely different from their usual activities.

It will get them thinking about how they can apply their technical skills in a more creative and collaborative way, which can only be of benefit to the firm and to our projects.

Showing our employees that we are actively involved with unusual and interesting activities like this bursary scheme enhances staff engagement and builds on our culture of innovation and collaboration.

The reason the winning project by Joanne Preston resonated with us was because we could see that she had taken her idea as far as she could without understanding the mechanics of the system in detail.

We can now provide the technical back-up she needs to make the design technically viable. Our Building Physics team has also agreed to help Joanne take the project forward. This will include workshops, emails and phone calls plus time for us to run calculations and assessments to provide data which will inform the design development.

We will also invite the winner to spend some time in our office so we can get to know each other better. Hopefully we will form a strong relationship which will continue as her career develops.

We are very much looking forward to getting started with the project and are confident that the collaboration will be a positive experience all round.

Winner: Joanne Preston, The Bartlett

Hoare Lea - Joanne Preston

Intended for Kerala, in southern India, the proposal makes use of the region’s abundant natural resource of China clay to form extruded tiles that behave as a solar chimney.

The tiles, which contribute also to rainwater collection and electricity generation, form part of a wider strategy for a social housing typology that intelligently uses low-tech solutions to create a comfortable internal environment while taking advantage of extreme climatic conditions. A simple mould will be designed to allow for repetitive production of the tiles by unskilled labourers. A thermochromatic coating, which changes colour according to the temperature of the tiles, will ensure that the building is legible to those who live there and that cooler areas can be sought out. 

With technical support from Hoare Lea, the funding will be used to develop the tiles’ construction, form and material composition through a series of models designed to test their performance. It is envisaged that the engineer will collaborate on testing the prototype, helping to evaluate the product and providing recommendations for improvements. The final output will be a full-scale prototype of the mould, tile and roof build-up.

Hoare Lea - Joanne Preston

The mentoring I receive through the bursary will be a great source of encouragement and critique, greatly benefiting the output of this project and my wider professional development as I continue my research into innovative housing typologies for low-income workers.

Judges’ comments
This is a really practical and original idea. It is helping developing countries but, with further development, could go on to have an application elsewhere. The input of an engineer will give this project a real step up.

Finalist: Lillian Ingleby, University of Sheffield

Hoare Lea - Lilly Ingleby

Continuing my fifth-year research into land economies for my ‘The Building Society’ project, I would like to work with Hoare Lea on case studies looking at conservation of resources, carbon mapping and preservation of environmental diversity and the role they play in the development of projects both with a traditional and alternative relationship to the UK market land economy.

As community land trusts and other modes of land ownership and management become more widespread, this is an area of growing relevance in forming sustainability strategies.

Finalist: Oliver Andrew, University of Westminster

Hoare Lea - Oliver Andrew

My project, A-Z, envisions an ecological bus shelter for London, which reduces harmful pollution within the capital’s air.

A-Z uses new green-roof technology to harvest rainwater, reduce pollution and create green routes throughout the city, helping to further biodiversity.

A-Z reimagines the bus shelter as a community hub with free WiFi and NFC wayfinding technology. The proposal incorporates OLED efficient lighting, sustainable or recycled construction materials and solar-voltaic cells for sustainable energy consumption.

Hoare Lea’s expertise could enable a 1:1 prototype to be constructed on a London street.

Finalist: Anneli Kiviniemi, Robert Gordon University

Hoare Lea - Anneli Kiviniemi

Our Masters unit has been challenged to create a sustainable island development in Norway. Our masterplan, based on fixed platform structures, faces certain issues that may arise once North Sea oil resources have run out.

As architecture students we have been challenged by the level of structural knowledge required. Guidance from Hoare Lea engineers would, therefore, be much needed. With the help of the engineers we could test and develop different possibilities for building on water, while learning important collaboration skills within the profession.

Finalist: Torsten Sherwood, London Metropolitan University

Hoare Lea - Torsten Sherwood

Keen to experience the construction of a building at first hand, I have arranged a live project to design and build a bird hide located on Rutland Water, a project that will embrace craft and making in architecture.

I hope that by collaborating with Hoare Lea this small public building will receive the expert consultancy that would be so useful and necessary to have on a live project.

Having had some experience making furniture, I have seen how useful it can be to have practical experience, and I hope to take this methodology to the next level in this building project.

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