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AJ Student Prize 2019: Northumbria University

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by Northumbria University 

About the Department of Architecture and Built Environment 

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture, MArch
  • Location Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Programme leader Paul Ring 
  • Full-time tutors 26 
  • Part-time tutors 12 
  • Number of students 400 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:16 
  • Fees £9,250 


Nathan Johnson, BA (Hons) Architecture, Parks and Re-creation

Undergraduate nathan johnson

Undergraduate nathan johnson

Project title Building Stories

Project description In 2018, Northumbria University entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Parks Department of Newcastle upon Tyne to consider ways of ensuring the long-term survival of the city’s public parks, with ideas to increase visitor numbers and generate revenue sought in order to maintain and improve these precious urban places. Working in the unique and varied setting of Jesmond Dene, a park landscape to the east of Newcastle’s city centre, the project suggests proposals to connect the edge of the Dene to its centre through the design of a ‘gatehouse’. The project suggests a family of structures that enjoy a shared language, through their material qualities and the architectural devices of tower and enclosed garden. The design offers an investigation as to how these strategies might respond in ways that are specific to the particular conditions presented, while also adding further layers of meaning.

Tutor citation ‘Nathan’s project addresses the rich variety of conditions present within the delicate setting of Jesmond Dene in Newcastle. From the heavily wooded slopes, to the burnt-out ruins of the Fisherman’s Lodge, he proposes a family of structures that enjoy a shared language, through their material qualities and the architectural devices of tower and enclosed garden.’ Tim Ingleby 


Oliver Sturdy, MArch, Enduring Landscapes

Postgraduate oliver sturdy

Postgraduate oliver sturdy

Project title Farne-scape Commemory

Project description The unit brief concerns itself with the meanings of landscape and effects of the Anthropocene on the environment and human culture. As a method of commemoration, the architectural proposal acts as a gateway to the Farne Islands, denoting the last point to be inundated by rising sea levels. Infrastructurally, it places the user within the landscape at tactical points, while performing across two scales of time. The act of painting concerns itself not with knowledge of the world as an entity ‘over there’, but with knowledge of one self-immersed within the environment as a method of curation. This ideology rests with the theme of ambiguity, and in the future, draws curiosity through obscurity.

Tutor citation ‘From the outset, Oliver embodied the spirit of the studio and embedded this with thoughtful, narrative-rich paintings, which underpinned a programme and guided the design process. This project is steeped in narrative developed from a reading of place, landscape and history. Relevant precedents have been analysed, cross-disciplinary theories critiqued and applied.’ Stephen Roberts and Lesley McIntyre