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AJ Student Prize 2018: University of Westminster

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

About the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch, Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture
  • Location London
  • Head of School Harry Charrington
  • Full-time tutors 66
  • Part-time tutors 70
  • Students Part 1: 378; Part 2: 204
  • Staff to student ratio 1:17
  • Fees £9,250


Signe Pelne, BA (Hons) Architecture

London view

London view

Project title A Tale of Two Cities

Project description This is a tale of two cities – Beijing and London – where the shared issue of lost communities and neglected public spaces within low-income residential enclaves is addressed in a pair of housing proposals. In the Fuguoli estate in Beijing, the ghost of the Hutongs streets and Siheyuan courtyards from the site’s past are evoked by a series of single-storey dwellings; courtyards and passages carved out of the ground, forming a network of public, shared, and private spaces. The lessons from Beijing are applied to the transformation of the neglected public space within a post-war council estate in Holborn. Cloistered gardens are formed by stitching together rows of private living modules and towers of shared social programmes. The proposal blurs the boundary between the private, the communal, and the public, bringing together existing residents, new arrivals, and the public.

Beijing view

Beijing view

Tutor citation ‘It takes an enormous amount of talent, sensitivity, and control for an undergraduate to produce two comprehensive designs in two radically different global cities. Signe succeeds in doing so through a determined vision, a coherent design approach, and a design sensibility which truly responds to the comparative urban morphologies that she finds herself in.’ John Zhang


Ruth Pearn, MArch 

Isometric: The New Public Convenience – Period Shop

Isometric: The New Public Convenience – Period Shop

Project title The New Public Convenience: Hull’s Bath House and Lady Garden

Project description The New Public Convenience aims to alleviate hygiene poverty by providing public baths, showers, clothes hire and a launderette. An organic tampon scheme provides and recycles organic tampons which are composted and used to preheat water and fertilise the ‘Lady Garden’. The plants grown are cultivated to produce essential oils for soap-making which is then sold to create profits to reinvest back into the building. The project aims to stop tampons being something to be flushed away and forgotten and reestablishes menstruation as a resource cycle. To normalise menstruation, the building is open to all genders and sits confidently on a prominent site within Hull’s city centre. The architecture draws from the arcade typology and connects both sides of the site, promoting movement through the building and establishing a public garden. Central to the design is the celebration of plumbing, with spaces organised around the reuse of water.

Internal perspective: The New Public Convenience Arcade

Internal perspective: The New Public Convenience Arcade

Tutor citation ‘The struggle for equal societal rights has regularly played out in the unexpected sphere of public toilets. Just as the suffragettes fought for women’s toilets in the early 20th century, today the issue of transgender and non-binary rights are again bringing public toilets to the forefront of social debate.’ Clare Carter and Gill Lambert

Student subscription offer 

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