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RIBA reveals shortlist for 2016 President’s Awards for Research

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The RIBA has unveiled its 12-strong shortlist – spanning four categories – for the President’s Awards for Research

The annual awards champion the best research in the fields of architecture and the built environment.

Kevin Flanagan and Ron Bakker, both partners at PLP Architecture, are among the finalists vying for the design and technical category, alongside Richard Coutts and Robert Barker for their work with Baca Architects on the ‘UK’s first amphibious house’, and Caroline Rye and Cameron Scott of ArchiMetrics.

Some 75 submissions from 14 countries were submitted for the awards – a record-breaking number – including 22 entries from architecture practices.

Kat Martindale, RIBA head of research and innovation, said: ‘We were thrilled to receive so many research projects this year, and from all over the world.

‘The work submitted provides a glimpse of the global workings and interactions of architects, students and academics but it has been the number of collaborations that have stood out this year.’

Earlier this year the RIBA announced the relaunch of the awards with four new categories.

Award winners will be selected from each category, with the Research Medal awarded to the overall winner at a ceremony in early December.

The judging panel, to be chaired by Peter Clegg, senior partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, includes the AJ’s sustainability editor Hattie Hartman and Assemble director Amica Dall.

Clegg said: ‘Research is embedded in architectural best practice; innovation depends on it, conceptual thought demands it and the profession needs to recognise it more than it does at present.

‘We were gratified therefore that the redefinition of the RIBA President’s Awards for Research has resulted in an unprecedented increase in responses from practice, as well as a record number of submissions from the UK and around the world.’

Hartman added: ’Innovative research underpins architectural practice but often goes unrecognised. This year’s restructuring of the President’s Awards for Research attracted a wide range of submissions from both practice and academia and puts the spotlight on this research.

’It is heartening to see both practitioners and academics engaging with some of today’s most challenging issues: the refugee crisis and climate change. The shortlisted entries tackle subjects ranging from the destruction of Chinese vernacular village architecture to the design of super-tall timber towers and retrofit of heritage buildings.’

Previous winners include Walter Menteth of Walter Menteth Architects, Bill Dunster of ZEDfactory, and Stephen George & Partners. 

Shortlist for the 2016 President’s Awards for Research:

 Cities and Community

  • The Common Camp: Temporary Settlements as a Spatio-political Instrument in Israel-Palestine, Dr Irit Katz, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Palestine Regeneration Team (PART), Dr Yara Sharif, Golzari NG Architects and PART, UK; Dr Nasser Golzari, Golzari-NG Architects, PART and University of Westminster, UK; Prof Murray Fraser, Bartlett School of Architecture and PART, UK
  • Living Well with Dementia at Home: Understanding the Role of the Home Environment, Dia Soilemezi, University of Portsmouth, UK

Design and Technical

  • UK’s First Amphibious House. Can-float Amphibious Building, Richard Coutts, Baca Architects, UK, Robert Barker, Forrest Mews (formerly Baca Architects), UK
  • The SPAB Building Performance Survey 2015 Report, Caroline Rye and Cameron Scott, ArchiMetrics Ltd, UK
  • Supertall Timber: Design Research for the Next Generation of Natural Structure, Dr Michael Ramage and Dr Rob Foster, University of Cambridge, UK, Simon Smith, Smith and Wallwork, UK, Kevin Flanagan & Ron Bakker, PLP / Architecture, UK (pictured below)

    Treet (c) rob foster

History and Theory

  • ‘Spotless Lilies and Foul Smelling Weeds’: Architecture and Moral Cleanliness in Victorian Magdelen Convents, Kate Jordan, Bartlett School of Architecture, UK
  • The Texture of Politics: London’s Anarchists Clubs 1882-1914, Jonathan Moses, Royal Holloway University London, UK
  • Asmara – Africa’s Modernist City: UNESCO World Heritage Nomination, Edward Denison, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UK, Medhanie Teklemariam and Dawit Abraha, Asmara Heritage Project, Eritrea (pictured below)

    Ministry of health split, edward denison

    Ministry of health split, edward denison

Annual theme: Learning from Projects

  • Make Public: Performing Public Housing in Ernö Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower, David Roberts, Bartlett School of Architecture, UK
  • Hybrid Building and Hybrid Practitioner: An Unbuilt Clan-Community Hall in a Chinese Natural Village, Xiang Ren, Sheffield School of Architecture, UK
  • Low-energy, In-situ Refurbishment and Building Performance Evaluation of a Historic Town Council Building, Professor Rajat Gupta and Dr Adorkor Bruce-Konuah, Oxford Brookes University, UK, Adrian Kite, Ridge & Partners LLP, UK, Alex Towler and Nicole Lazarus, Bioregional, UK, Susan Mackrell, Bicester Town Council, UK


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