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AJ Student Prize 2018: University of Edinburgh

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The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by the University of Edinburgh

About the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

  • Courses Undergraduate: BA/MA in Architecture, MA in Landscape Architecture, MA in Architectural History and Heritage Postgraduate: MArch, MSc Architecture and Urban Design, MSc Advanced Sustainable Design, MSc Architectural Conservation, MSc Urban Strategies and Design, MSc Architectural History and Theory, MLA Landscape Architecture, MSc Architectural Project Management, PhD/MPhil, MSc Architecture by Research, PhD Architecture by Design 
  • Location Edinburgh 
  • Head of School Suzanne Ewing 
  • Full-time tutors 35 
  • Part-time tutors 60 
  • Number of students Part 1 / MA (Hons) years 1,2,3 +4 approximately 480 total; Part 2 / MArch years 1,2 approximately 100 total 
  • Staff to student ratio Undergraduate 1:15, postgraduate 1:12
  • Fees Part 1: Scotland/EU £1,820; rest of UK £9,250; overseas £24,600. Part 2: Scotland/EU £1,820; rest of UK £9,250; overseas £23,150


Rishabh Shah, Callum Rowland, Chris McCallum, BA/MA Architecture

Aj entry 7

Aj entry 7

Project title Architecture Against Conflagration

Project description The Horyuji Pagoda is one of the oldest timber structures in the world, exhibiting a range of design features that have allowed it to survive earthquake and fire for over 1,400 years. Its ornate joinery structurally separates each floor from the next, so that they can vibrate independently; its pantile roof is a form of fire-protection and mass-damping; its central suspended ‘column’ acts as a pendulum and movement restrictor. During earthquakes, this building performs a ‘snake dance’, moving in a syncopated rhythm that absorbs and dissipates seismic energy. This project begins with a detailed study of the Horyuji Pagoda, which it takes as a precedent for contemporary pyro-seismic design. It goes on to apply lessons from that building to develop a prototype for urban fire walls, housing projects intended to limit the spread of catastrophic, post-earthquake fires. The design involves a lightweight steel structure which emulates the tectonic and seismic character of the pagoda, within which sit modular housing units. A detailed analysis of traditional Japanese architecture informs a culturally and technically sophisticated response to a pressing urban concern.

Aj entry 3

Aj entry 3

Tutor citation ‘By taking on the challenge of working collaboratively, these three students developed a high degree of professionalism. Specific elements – the fire-screen, servicing, apartment types and structure – were designed to a high degree of resolution, alongside the exploration of a range of potential urban applications.’ Liam Ross


Rachel Braude, Henri Lacoste, Ellie Sillett, MArch

Constructing aqua terra

Constructing aqua terra

Project title Aqua // Terra

Project description Aqua // Terra is concerned with operating within a moment of prolonged anticipation, uncertainty, transition and flux; the present condition of the Republic of Cuba. Havana has always had an extreme relationship with the bay, from its foundation as a city to times of military advancement or economic strength. Aqua // Terra proposes three projects that triangulate around the bay of Havana, addressing these concerns of economy, insularity and flux, together with the historic relationship between land and sea. The Island of Reciprocity deals directly with an opportunistic and reciprocal relationship between the city and visiting cruise liners; the Coral Muelle addresses the state-owned businesses, which must adjust as a consequence of the influx of tourism; and The Archipelago of Reconstruction engages the economy of tourism as it begins to feed into the reconstruction of the city of Havana.

Aqua terra the studio as a testing ground

Aqua terra the studio as a testing ground

Tutor citation ‘Aqua // Terra is an outstanding example of what Alejo Carpentier termed the Marvelous Real: it is a project steeped in the telluric cultural pulse of Havana with absolute commitment to the social, political and economic realities of this capital.’ Adrian Hawker

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