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AJ Student Prize 2018: The Bartlett

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The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by the Bartlett, University College London

About the school

  • Courses BSc Architecture, MArch, Examination in Professional Practice in Architecture, Part 3 (ARB/RIBA) or (ARB)
  • Location London
  • Head of School Bob Sheil 
  • Full-time tutors 70 
  • Part-time tutors 232 
  • Number of students 1,030 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:11 
  • Fees UK £9,000, EU £12,000, Overseas £22,000 (approximate, as depends on programme)


Grey Grierson, BA (Hons) Architecture

Bartlett bsc unit9 2018 greygrierson 09

Bartlett bsc unit9 2018 greygrierson 09

Project title Negotiation of States: A Crematorium and Columbarium in Hong Kong 

Project description Sited on Tsing Yi island in Hong Kong, the proposal is a crematorium and columbarium that reframes analogue death and digital life. Through a new funerary system, existing rituals are critiqued. Facing Tsuen Wan (literally ‘shallow bay’), an architectural dialogue is made between the existing overcrowded cemetery and the new. The proposal contributes to the on-going evolution between island and mainland. The sea floor is excavated through conventional reclamation methods. However, instead of infilling, key buildings are strategically placed across the void. The ritual burning of the offerings is scanned to create a unique record of the flame. Combining the ashes from both processes with earth and concrete, a ‘brick’ is formed, the mould for which is generated by the scan. The ‘brick’ becomes the tectonic for which the landscape is in-filled. Each death contributes to the land and, over time, the buildings are buried, allowing the crematorium landscape to rise and meet the horizon. Once the decades-long cycle is complete, the only trace of the crematorium is two large circular concrete structures of the chimneys, forming the only permanent memorial.

Bartlett bsc unit9 2018 greygrierson 07

Bartlett bsc unit9 2018 greygrierson 07

Tutor citation ‘The architectural gesture is polemic yet subtle, re-questioning the future of land use, value and relationships between future generations and their ancestors. Celebrating the overlap between digital and analogue life, the design process reveals a sophisticated combination of traditional and digital methodology.’ Chee Kit Lai 


Samuel G Coulton, MArch

Sgc 3

Sgc 3

Project title London Physic Gardens: A New Necropolis 

Project description Inspired by Derek Jarman and Yves Klein’s blue monochromes, the project introduces a resomation facility, necropolis and physic garden, in which our relationship with death is readdressed through the implementation of a botanical garden on the site, fed by the nutrient-rich effluent water generated through the process. Championing resomation as an alternative to cremation, this environmentally beneficial process, in which bodies are converted into water, allows us to see death and body disposal as something civic and potentially beautiful. Cyanotyping is employed throughout the site to colour the built fabric blue and to pattern the shrouds worn by the deceased with axonometric projections of the necropolis. This dye, removed from shrouds during resomation, colours the water, building and River Thames blue. This ‘Blue Revolution’ (Yves Klein, 1958) dyes the river, smog and rain, colouring the entirety of London; forcing the city of the living to engage with the city of the dead, in the present, for the benefit of the future and of the past.

Sgc 4

Sgc 4

Tutor citation ‘Resomation is far more environmentally friendly than cremation, consuming less energy and turning a body into water not ashes, so that death stimulates life, nourishing the garden and the city. The project is a provocative and impressive hybrid of architecture, landscape and atmosphere.’ Jonathan Hill

Student subscription offer 

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


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