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AJ Student Prize 2019: Manchester School of Architecture

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by Manchester School of Architecture, University of Manchester/Manchester Metropolitan University 

About the school

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch 
  • Location Manchester
  • Head of School Tom Jefferies 
  • Full-time tutors 40 
  • Part-time tutors 100 
  • Number of students 1,000 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:10 
  • Fees UK/EU £9,250, international £23,000 


Tsun Hei Xavier Lee, BA (Hons) Architecture, Infrastructure Space

Undergraduate tsun hei xavier lee

Undergraduate tsun hei xavier lee

Project title Infraspatial Infrasocial

Project description The project’s site is Collyhurst. Within its boundaries are a telephone exchange and a partially redundant railway viaduct. Other infrastructures leave apparently fixed and unusable space, such was their physical scale when operational – the railway viaduct is one example of this. The viaduct is physically divisive to the district and the project intensifies its use through altering the landform. The telephone exchange is redefined as a cultural space, drawing on its excess heat as a communal energy source. The rest of the scheme consists of a series of raised housing blocks with amenity space both below and within. The flexible architecture anticipates change. Both the modular housing units and circulatory elements are conceived as removable and adjustable. 

Tutor citation ‘Xavier devised the programme as a response to a broad range of problems relevant to inner-urban settlements in Britain: poor-quality housing stock, low income, low employment, lack of amenity space, difficult to access services and inadequate public transport. His scheme, of astonishing scale and straddling a complex site, reflects his aim to reconcile blight, severance and societal collapse, itself testament to the power of architecture and urbanism.’ Richard Brook


Courtnay Ives, Yiting Zhou, MArch, Continuity in Architecture

Postgraduate courtnay ives, yiting zhou

Postgraduate courtnay ives, yiting zhou

Project title Rochdale Bath House

Project description This project works with Rochdale Council, the birthplace of the co‑operative movement. 

The partnership arose from the council’s desire to raise the profile of its ‘Heritage Action Zone’ regeneration programme for Drake Street, and specifically to generate creative solutions for this edge-of-town centre quarter. The outcome is a vision of a renewed Rochdale that takes the best of what is local and loved, and a concept that is, appositely, co-operative. This proposal is for the Rochdale Bathhouse, an intervention in between and above two existing buildings – Waterside House, and Castle Works – which reconnects them with both the town centre and the river. 

The programme is intended to have a positive influence on the health and wellbeing of the town’s particularly diverse community. The bathhouse is a journey across a horizontal landscape. It is a roofscape designed to be seen on approach from the town centre, thus adding another layer to the silhouette of the town.

Tutor citation ‘Courtnay and Yiting have used their complementary skills and abilities to explore and explain every architectural solution in rich, rigorous detail. Their work epitomised the sensitive, creative application of architectural intervention within a historic setting.’ Sally Stone

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