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AJ Student Prize 2019: London Metropolitan University

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design

About the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, Professional Diploma in Architecture, MArch, Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Architecture
  • Location London
  • Head of Architecture Christian Frost 
  • Full-time tutors 8 
  • Part-time tutors 15 
  • Number of students 700 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:21
  • Fees UK/EU £9,250, international £12,515 

Undergraduate

Katrina Austin, BA (Hons) Architecture, Studio 03: Crossing Cultures, Industrious Edgelands

Undergraduate katrina austin

Undergraduate katrina austin

Project title Industrious Edgelands

Project description Challenges facing agriculture, production and commerce have been exposed in Belmonte, Italy, as well as hardships faced by local Italian people and refugees joining the area, focusing on a lack of integration and acceptance. Having taken an interest in local traditions as well as those from further afield, the project looks to propose gateways for acceptance connecting with production. A new workshop adjoining the old palace will provide resources and space to facilitate carpentry and fabric creations, piecing together to form a larger platform for expression.

The ‘Workshop at the Helm’ will act as the physical and metaphorical foundation for the proposal. The permanent structure, built by the community, will encourage skills and trades to be shared. This will house the construction of smaller structures to enable the construction of a festival site around the historic castle ruins. The festival stage allows all the architectural and societal components to join together as a learning platform. Here, traditions can be shared, taught and swapped between the existing Italian community, new refugees joining the region and visiting tourists at the ‘Belmonte International Tradition Swap (BITS) Festival’.

Tutor citation ‘While acknowledging the politics and local tensions of drawing different cultures together, Katrina’s solution provided a platform to realise both industry and debate through the practice of making and theatre. We feel this proposal had the potential to be realised as a socially, materially and timely contribution to the complex situation impacting this and many similar villages in southern Italy.’ Jane McAllister 

Postgraduate

Monika Marinova, DipArch, Unit 8: Both-And Midland cities III

Postgraduate monika marinova

Postgraduate monika marinova

Project title The Civic Shed

Project description In the context of built fabric that no longer embodies pride in the civic life that it was built to represent, this project challenges the language of monumentality in order to democratise the image of public institutions. In mounting this challenge, the project firstly proposes adding new doors to the existing town hall. Secondly, facing the adjusted façade, a proposed new building defines a civic centre, acknowledging the importance of an urban destin-ation and expanding the town hall’s functions. A city room at the heart of the building will provide a venue for celebration and protest located opposite the seat of power.

Not a landmark, the building is rather an object that defines the space around it, its position shaping an urban room framed by façades looking onto it. The theatrical façades of the Civic Shed negotiate between the town hall as seat of power and the church as symbol of community. Its architecture recalls Stoke’s potteries by adopting the typology of an industrial shed, bringing civic qualities through generosity of space. The building becomes a gesture democratising the town, introducing a new role for the public institution. 

Tutor citation ‘Monika’s project challenges the role of public buildings in the context of economic, social and political decline in Stoke-on-Trent. Her proposal re-establishes civic focus to combat urban disorientation and reclaim the public realm. Two new public squares are activated through the introduction of a civic shed, a dynamic, intelligently sited building. Monika’s project puts its faith in the role of a single building reinforcing its relevance to problems faced by architects and urbanists today.’ Takero Shimazaki and Summer Islam

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