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AJ/Hoare Lea student bursary winner announced

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Leeds-based Samuel Kapasa of Group Ginger Architects wins £2,000 plus four full days with leading engineer Hoare Lea to develop his winning idea

A visionary proposal to harness the wind force generated by motorway traffic for the use of a new generation of electric vehicles has won the 2017 AJ/Hoare Lea student bursary.

The design idea, developed by Samuel Kapasa of Group Ginger Architects in Leeds, triumphed among a strong and eclectic shortlist of concepts which also included a floating capsule prototype on the River Clyde; the application of thermochromic elements in architecture; symbiotic growing systems in a futuristic Hull of 2050; and reservoir towns on the lower Thames.

The bursary is intended to support a design or idea by a Part 2 or Part 3 student, which will then be developed alongside an engineer from Hoare Lea over four working days spread over a four-month period, and will be published in the AJ.

The judges this year were Sarah Wigglesworth of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Hoare Lea partner Jo Edwards, Linda Thiel, managing director of White Arkitekter’s London studio and managing editor of the AJ, Will Hurst.

Kapasa first considered the wind power generated by passing vehicles on major roads while standing on a motorway hard shoulder.

He began his presentation with an ancient Chinese proverb: ’When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.’

Speaking about Kapasa’s win, one judge said: ’He had a very focused view on what he wanted to achieve with his idea. It was easy to understand what his aim was from his very personal experience.

’He wanted to explore his idea through parametric design and wind tunnel testing and also understood very well his limitations when it came to engineering and how to address that.

’This is what architects need to do in order to collaborate and drive their designs forward.’

Reacting to the win, Kapasa said: ’I’m truly excited and thankful for this dynamic collaboration between architects and engineers, initiating our new roles as advocates and much needed activists within our built environment’

The result was announced at an evening event at Hoare Lea’s London offices last Thursday (23 February) – where previous winner Joanne Preston discussed her project and how the bursary helped her. The Bartlett student scooped the bursary with her concept for an extruded clay tile that behaves as a solar chimney. 

Commenting on the bursary, a spokesperson from Hoare Lea said: ’We are pleased to be able to offer the student bursary. It gives us a great opportunity to work with young architects, using our engineering experience to help them to deliver their innovative projects.’

The four runners-up

Bruce Buckland, Buckland Architecture

Reservoir Towns: constructing floating settlements on a number of off-stream reservoirs to the west of London

Andreas Koerner, UberRaum Architects / Oxford Brookes University

Exploring the application of thermochromic elements in architecture in Istanbul

Ka Hong Kevin Lo, University of Sheffield

Farmpark: researching the possibilities of re-appropriating underused existing buildings and empty roof tops into elevated food growing spaces in Hull

Yee Pei Lye, BDP

PAC-POD: envisioning a floating capsule prototype on the River Clyde

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