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AJ Student Prize 2019: Ravensbourne University London

The student selected for the AJ Student Prize by Ravensbourne University London

About the Department of Architecture 

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, BA (Hons) Interior Design Environment Architectures 
  • Location London 
  • Dean of Design School Lawrence Zeegen 
  • Full-time tutors 6 
  • Part-time tutors 14 
  • Number of students 240 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:22 
  • Fees £9,250 


Joshua Welch, BA (Hons) Interior Design Environment Architectures

Undergraduate joshua welch

Undergraduate joshua welch

Project title The China Exchange

Project description This project tackles the re-use, rehabilitation and extension of an existing building within London. The proposal is personal, beginning with the receiving of a black-and-white photograph of the author’s mother perched next to an older Chinese woman, the great-grandmother. The project thus discusses ignorance of a family’s own Chinese culture, using the built proposal as a vessel to indulge in Chinese culture and heritage as a remedy to an overriding sense of guilt with an analysis of key features prominent within China, such as the tea house, cavernous landscapes and social splendour. The project seeks to inject true Chinese culture into an otherwise shallow Chinatown, existing currently as restaurants and betting shops. The China Exchange extends the theatrical splendour of Chinatown into 32 Gerrard Street, at the heart of Soho, and multiplies it tenfold to exemplify the true cultural values of China while using tea as a means to unite eastern and western ideals.

Tutor citation ‘Joshua’s major project tackles a personal agenda that explores his family roots and their migration journey to the UK. The project re-thinks the notion of Chinese identity and the role of China Town in a foreign context. The proposal uses architecture to tackle the current issues relating to personal identity in a globalised and trans-cultural world, whilst the activities inside the building reintroduce the relationship between old and new, family and individual, commercial and social, local and global.’ Idrees Rasouli