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AJ Student Prize 2018: Birmingham City University

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The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by Birmingham City University

About the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch, Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice
  • Location Birmingham 
  • Head of School Kevin W Singh 
  • Full-time tutors 17 
  • Part-time tutors 26 
  • Number of students 800 (architecture 350) 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:14 
  • Fees £9,250 undergraduate, £9,100 MArch 


Rihards Saknitis, BA (Hons) Architecture

9. pages from rihards saknitis 1613353 assignsubmission file rihards saknitis 6013 page 5

9. pages from rihards saknitis 1613353 assignsubmission file rihards saknitis 6013 page 5

Project title Bewdley Film School

Project description The historic town of Bewdley, on the banks of the River Severn, exists in a picturesque mix of old and new realities, with a fair amount of life and attraction, but little new development to define the town in the future. The project, a film school and cinema space, enhances the picturesque qualities of the context. Its functions include studio spaces, teaching, producing and exhibiting film and media. 

Key views of Bewdley are carved out from the central cinema space, cast in tinted concrete, sculpted as if from the stone by the river. This solid visual entity is surrounded by a complex glulam timber structure enveloped by a slatted façade. Visitors walk through a sequence of dramatic spatial experiences defined by the building’s tone and control of light. The quality of these experiences are represented in full three-dimensional virtual reality models to accurately map the feelings these volumes create.

7. pages from rihards saknitis 1613353 assignsubmission file rihards saknitis 6013 page 1

7. pages from rihards saknitis 1613353 assignsubmission file rihards saknitis 6013 page 1

Tutor citation ‘Rihards’ project describes a rich and dominating historical context in Bewdley without any compromises to an ambitiously exciting and contemporary architectural scheme.’ Alessandro Columbano and Rebecca Walker


David Baldock, MArch

David baldock birmingham 3

David baldock birmingham 3

Project title Experiencing the Sociospatial Diatectic as a Generative Tool

Project description A number of reports suggest that urban environments are having a negative impact on wellbeing. Cities are becoming increasingly sterilised by developments driven by profit and devoid of social richness. This project asserts that this is not sustainable for healthy life. Our investigations of progressive and sustainable infrastructures in Copenhagen uncovered a universal consideration for ‘liveability’. City-scale top-down urban development was found to take user experience into account by rigorous qualitative and quantitative data collection, which was fed back to the ‘responsible’ developers. This project translates spaces into architectural interventions, or space generators. Each intervention becomes an intensified version of itself, capturing the event and social experiences within.

David baldock birmingham 1

David baldock birmingham 1

Tutor citation ‘David’s work over his time on the course has consistently offered a critical reflection on the unit’s theme that explored the fundamental concerns of migration (political/climate/economic), scarcity (resources/culture/identity), and political and power structures, towards ideas of social emancipation. The outcome, while somewhat intangible, offers a thought-provoking set of ideas about architecture as process and tool of social engagement.’ Mike Dring

Student subscription offer 

Did you know students get 30% off AJ subscriptions? Find out more!


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