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Will Alsop wins top prize at Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

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A model of a proposed Cor-ten clad tower by Will Alsop has won the £10,000 first prize in the architecture room at this year’s Royal Academy summer exhibition

The maquette of the 15-storey building on stilts, earmarked for a site next to Battersea heliport and due to start on site this summer, was handed the Turkishceramics-backed Grand Award for Architecture.

Alsop, who heads up Hackney-based practice aLL Design, said he planned to spend the prize money on ’a feast for the guys in the studio’.

Meanwhile the Arup Prize for Emerging Talent in Architecture was won by up-and-coming outfit Mobile Studio Architects for its Planning Permission Granted (2010-15), a ’playful survey of private residential projects’ by the practice over the past five years.

Curated by Royal Academicians Louisa Hutton and Ian Ritchie, the theme of this year’s Architecture Gallery in the Summer Exhibition at the Piccadilly landmark is Unbuilt.

According to the curators the theme provided an ’experimental forum for a younger generation of architects to reveal their thinking and aspirations alongside more experienced practices’.

Among those invited to exhibit were AY Architects, Arquitecturia Camps Felip, Barkow Leibinger, Brisac Gonzalez, Estudio Carme Pinos, Grafton Architects, Klein Dytham Architecture, MAP Studio, Mediomundo Arquitectos, Sevilla, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and vPPR Architects.

A number of other works by Royal Academicians also feature in the gallery, including a painting of the unrealised Cardiff Opera House by the late Zaha Hadid.

Hutton of Berlin-based Sauerbruch Hutton said: ‘Unlike all the other work exhibited in the Summer Exhibition, architects’ drawings and models are generally created not as works of art but in order to probe and explore our medium, which is space.

’While models, maintaining the three dimensions of architectural space, have the capacity to catch the spatial intention of a project, the essence of an architectural idea is often to be discovered in the collapsed space of a drawing, painting or collage.’

The Royal Academy of Arts’ 248th Summer Exhibition is co-ordinated by the leading British sculptor Richard Wilson.

Sitting alongside the Architecture Gallery is an exhibition of 70 drawings submitted to the Summer Exhibition over the last half century by Royal Academician Peter Cook who celebrates his 80th birthday in October.

Full list of winners

Turkishceramics Grand Award for Architecture
£10,000 awarded to the most outstanding work of architecture. Judges: Ece Ceylan Baba; Kate Goodwin; Vicky Richardson; Ian Ritchie

  • Will Alsop RA, Heliport Heights (Cat No. 394, Large Weston Room) 

The Arup Prize for Emerging Talent in Architecture
£5,000 for emerging talent in architecture. Judges: Nigel Tonks; Kate Goodwin; Vicky Richardson; Ian Ritchie

  • Mobile Studio Architects, Planning Permission Granted (2010-15) (Cat No. 382, Large Weston Room) 

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award
£25,000 for the most distinguished work in the exhibition

  • David Nash RA, Big Black (Cat No. 503, Gallery IV) 

The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture
£10,000 for a sculpture

  • Neil Jeffries RA (Lecture Room): Geography Lesson (Cat No. 1085); From Beaune? (Cat No. 1087); Orange Thought (Cat No. 1088); Peter and Bob (Cat No. 1090); Ralph (Cat no. 1091); Night Thought (Cat No. 1092) 

The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize
£5,000 for an original work on paper in any medium, where the emphasis is clearly on drawing.

  • John Hewitt, Ancestral Figures: Mid-Victorian Couple (Cat No. 670, Gallery VI) 

The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist
£4,000 for a painting or sculpture

  • Olwyn Bowey RA, Stag’s Head with Stag’s Head Fern (Cat No. 56, Gallery III) 

The London Original Print Fair Prize, sponsored by Towry
£2,500 for a print in any medium

  • Andrzej Jackowski, At the Lining – Forest (Cat No. 550, Gallery V) 

The British Institution Awards
Four prizes of £1,000 each awarded to student exhibitors for paintings, works on paper, sculpture and architecture

  • Austin Cole, Beijing Hutong 6 (Cat No. 721, Gallery VII)
  • Daisy Dixon, Untitled (War Club) (Cat No. 1089, Lecture Room)
  • Melissa Mahon, The Blue Pin Board (Cat No. 1161, Gallery X)
  • Rosa Prichard, Treasure Island Monument Folleys (Cat No. 388, Large Weston Room) 

The Rose Award for Photography

£1,000 for a photograph or series of photographs

  • Tom Hunter, Winterville (Cat No. 449, Gallery IV)
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