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Bartlett undergrad wins RIBA President’s Medal for world’s best student project

  • 1 Comment

Bartlett undergraduate Annabelle Tan has won the RIBA Bronze Medal for her Part 1 project, Wetland Frontier

Her proposal to regenerate the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans and the neighbouring Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle also picked up the RIBA Award for Sustainable Design.

The RIBA Silver Medal, for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 2 or equivalent, was awarded to post-graduate Victoria King from the University of Melbourne for Surface Tension: Blueprints for Observing Contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary.

King and Tan, who was also nominated for this year’s AJ Student Prize, were among a handful of students to pick up an awards at a ceremony last night (3 December) after more than 410 institutions across 80 countries were invited to submit work.

Norman Foster presented the RIBA Silver Medal to King for her project on Sydney Harbour Estuary, 60 years after he won the same student medal himself.

Ruth Pearn and Naomi Rubbra, students from the University of Westminster and the Bartlett respectively, were each handed RIBA Dissertation Medals.

The Part 2 student to win a RIBA Award for Sustainable Design was Findlay McFarlane, who studies at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Commenting on her awards, Bronze medalist Tan said: ‘While it is always comforting to be acknowledged for hard work, I accept this prize more as a call to continue to do better.’

RIBA President Alan Jones said: ‘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.’

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RIBA Silver Medal (for the best design project produced at RIBA Part 2 or equivalent) Winner: Victoria King (University of Melbourne, Australia) for Surface Tension: Blueprints for Observing Contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary

Silver Medal (Part 2 or equivalent) – Winner 

  • Victoria King (University of Melbourne, AUS) for Surface Tension: Blueprints for Observing Contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary

Commendations

  • 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

Bronze Medal (Part 1 or equivalent) – Winner 

  • Annabelle Tan (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Wetland Frontier

Commendations

  • 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

Dissertation Medal – Winners 

  • Ruth Pearn (University of Westminster) for Ages Through the Terrace: The Evolving Impact of Age on Social and Spatial Relations in the Home
  • Naomi Rubbra (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for Towards Effective Architectural Practice: Lessons from the Elthorne Housing Estate

Commendations

  • 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

The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing

  • Thomas Faulkner (RIBA Part 1, Architectural Association) for Common Fields: An Architecture in Response to the Digital Interface
  • Rachel Wakelin (RIBA Part 2, University of Westminster) for Avian Air – A Tropospheric Bird Sanctuary

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The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing - Part 2 winner Rachel Wakelin (RIBA Part 2, University of Westminster) for Avian Air – A Tropospheric Bird Sanctuary

The Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing - Part 2 winner Rachel Wakelin (RIBA Part 2, University of Westminster) for Avian Air – A Tropospheric Bird Sanctuary

Judging panels

Silver Medal

David Gloster, RIBA director of education (chair); Nicky Watson, elected RIBA Council member & RIBA vice-president education; Jennifer Bonner, founder of MALL and associate professor of architecture and director of the Master’s in Architecture II programme at Harvard University; Pereen D’Avoine; founder and director of Russian for Fish Architects and tutor at London Metropolitan University; Don Gray, emeritus professor of architecture, founder and head of the Kent School of Architecture (2005-2019) and chair of the Standing Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture (SCHOSA); Jonathan Hale, professor of architectural theory at the University of Nottingham.

Bronze Medal

David Gloster, RIBA director of education (chair); Nicky Watson, elected RIBA Council member & RIBA vice-president education; Liliana Giraldo Arias, dean of the School of Architecture of the University of La Salle, Colombia (2006-2018) and currently director of Urban Planning at Colombia’s National Planning Department; Sheila O’Donnell, founder and director of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects; Liam Ross, architect and senior lecturer in architectural design at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Narinder Sagoo, senior partner and art director at Foster + Partners

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Clare Richards

    Congratulations to all the winners. I was really impressed by their projects and especially by the fact that all 4 medal winners this year (and 9 out 14 winners including commendations) were women.

    I’m really pleased that Dissertation Prize winner, Naomi Rubbra, is helping ft’work to set up a pilot of My Place, a practical initiative to involve children and young people in all stages of estate regeneration. Her dissertation is based on her own research into community engagement and well-being on the estate where she lives, and the lessons for architecture practice. So many of the medal winners’ projects this year have a clear social and environmental purpose, showing that talented architects of the future see the profession as a force for good.

    I’m delighted too that ft’work Trust has sponsored the RIBA to create a President’s Medals Archive. Remarkably, prize-winning projects accumulated in the RIBA collection since the first prize was awarded in 1836, have never been collated! From early next year all will be publicly accessible and also available online. Who knows, for instance, that Thomas Hardy won an essay prize?

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