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AJ Student Prize 2019: Robert Gordon University

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by Robert Gordon University 

About the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment 

  • Courses BSc Architecture, MArch, PgDip/MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies 
  • Location Aberdeen
  • Head of school David McClean 
  • Full-time tutors 9 
  • Part-time tutors 12 
  • Number of students 228 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:18 
  • Fees Scotland and EU nil; rest of UK £6,750; international £13,670 


Matthew Clubb, BSc Architecture, Stage 3

Undergraduate matthew clubb

Undergraduate matthew clubb

Project title Denburn Health Centre

Project description The project considers the re-use and redevelopment of a Brutalist 1970s block in the centre of Aberdeen to create a community health centre. Set over two levels, the upper part is a single-storey, semi-derelict health centre which sits in on a concrete island created by the lower-level car park. The brief called for a number of uses, including a GP practice, a dental practice and other related uses. The project responds to the isolation of the site by creating new connections, breaking the walls of the island in two directions to unite areas of the city which feel disjointed. The scheme creates a dynamic form which allows the different functions of the building to become unified under one roof. The plan reveals distinct enclosed areas for each use, which make use of the existing walls, while the spaces between are used for circulation and waiting. The vertical nature of the ‘spire’ over the central atrium provides a point of orientation within the scheme and acts as a contrast to the mass of both the car park building and the tower block immediately behind the site.

Tutor citation ‘Matt took a very methodical approach to his design and was pragmatic about the extent of the existing building which could be re-used. Matt looked carefully at what worked and did not work currently. His approach recognises that there is a clear programme within the various wings of the building and that this could be retained.’ David Wilson



Stuart Campbell, MArch, Unit 2: HOME

Postgraduate stuart campbell

Postgraduate stuart campbell

Project title Thinking Outside the Bloc(k)

Project description

Looking at socialist housing precedents in Moscow and the concept of social condensers and communal living, the project aims to implement this for the younger generations of today’s society, as well as alter their perception of communal living. The importance of the community over the individual is fundamental to this project. For every two residential floors, there is a shared floor for communal use that results in a reduction on typical private living space and kitchen areas but a larger and better-quality shared equivalent. The attraction of having shared use of a large lounge, kitchen, reading and games room will hopefully become more desirable to the residents and alter the perception of the high-rise concrete or prefabricated communal blocks that blighted our post-Second World War inner cities. The structure replaces steel with glulam and concrete with cross-laminated timber. A concrete core could be used to help deal with the extra loads imposed on the building, allowing less timber bracing to be required on the exterior. 

Tutor citation ‘Stuart excelled and produced an extraordinary design and urban proposition for a timber tower and new civic space in the heart of Edinburgh in parallel with in-depth research into timber construction throughout history and including a detailed scale model of a Japanese temple and investigation of construction techniques.’ Alan Dunlop