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Cork House team wins RIBA research award

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The team behind Cork House has received yet another gong from the RIBA with its cork construction kit one of four projects winning a 2019 RIBA Award for Research

Cork House was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize and won a RIBA South Award, a RIBA South Special Award and the RIBA Stephen Lawerence Prize.

It also won the 2019 Manser Medal – AJ House of the Year at a ceremony last month.

Now Bartlett lecturer Oliver Wilton and Matthew Barnett Howland of CSK Architects have been decorated with the RIBA’s research award in the design and technical category for their work on the cork construction kit they used on the low-carbon scheme.

The duo designed a system of prefabricated bricks, made from waste cork granules, which can be joined without glue and used with engineered timber to make single-storey buildings.

But Wilton and Barnett Howland failed to take home the institute’s top prize for academic investigative endeavour, the RIBA President’s Medal for Research, which was given to Tania Sengupta, also from the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Sengupta’s project was titled Papered Spaces: Clerical Practices, Materialities and Spatial Cultures of Provincial Governance in Bengal, Colonial India, 1820s-1860s and covered themes of localisation of global culture and architecture in South Asia.

Branka Dimitrijevic, chair of the research medal jury, said of Papered Spaces: ‘This in-depth study expands the scope of research on British colonial architecture in India by focusing on the typology of administrative buildings which housed thousands of paper files containing information related to the revenue collection.

‘The analysis of layouts of several administrative offices and various secondary sources are successfully used to depict the everyday life of the workers and their interactions with the population and suppliers,’ she added.

‘Dr Sengupta’s research findings significantly contribute to a better understanding of how the paper-based revenue collection system influenced the architecture that served it.’

Winners of the RIBA President’s Award for Research

The winners for each of the four categories are:

  • History and Theory: and overall winner of RIBA President’s Medal for Research
    Tania Sengupta, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL 
    Papered Spaces: Clerical Practices, Materialities and Spatial Cultures of Provincial Governance in Bengal, Colonial India, 1820s-1860s
  • Building in QualityRosica Pachilova and Kerstin Sailer, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
    Providing Care Quality by Design: A New Measure to Assess Hospital Ward Layouts
  • Cities and CommunityMirna Pedalo, Goldsmiths, University of London
    The Gulf in Bosnia and Herzegovina: An (Un)Intentional Consequence of Peace
  • Design and Technical: Oliver Wilton Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and Matthew Barnett Howland, CSK Architects
    Cork Construction Kit
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