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AJ Student Prize 2019: Sheffield Hallam University

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by Sheffield Hallam University 

About the Department of the Natural and Built Environment

  • Courses BSc (Hons) Architecture, MArch
  • Location Sheffield
  • Course Leader Andrew Wilson 
  • Full-time tutors 10 
  • Part-time tutors 12
  • Number of students 317
  • Staff to student ratio 1:14 
  • Fees £9,250 


Sam Walton, BSc (Hons) Architecture, Studio 3B

Undergraduate sam walton

Undergraduate sam walton

Project title Brasilia of the North: A School for Future Construction Methods

Project description This project develops an interesting programme for a school of future construction. Inspired by the roman archaeology and the technology of the surrounding context, the proposed programme reinvestigates ‘old’ technology through new means (an environmental approach) by proposing the school develops alternative brick technologies, beginning with mycelium, and alternative construction methods, such as drones. This is expressed in different ways with parts of vaulted brick construction being non-loadbearing and capable of disassembly. The activity of the school characterises the public spaces created, which connect the city to the river. In response to the context, the programme is split into two parts, the lower part by the busy river thoroughfare showcases the work of the school and also includes revenue-generating facilities, including a café, rentable exhibition space, etc.Broad public steps lead to the upper building, which houses adaptable workshops, classrooms and exhibition spaces. The scale of the two parts and the resulting spaces seamlessly fit with the context. 

Tutor citation ‘The project skilfully integrates the complex conditions (steep topography, an adjacent railway viaduct and roman archaeological remains) of a forgotten site in the city centre into an intelligent and convincing piece of urban design and place-making, which brings together and expresses the activity of both the learning spaces and public spaces.’ Oli Cunningham  


Steph Asher, MArch, Atelier 1

Postgraduate steph asher

Postgraduate steph asher

Project title A Date with Space

Project description

Situated in Newcastle, the project questions how processes of cross-pollination in an urban context can reveal the capabilities of existing local professions, resources, and community groups. It proposes an experimental approach to occupying space, through the main phases of ‘scouting’, ‘inviting’ and ‘dating’, starting with initial ‘dates’, whereby a selection of scouted activities temporarily inhabit significant spaces across the city in order to test what works.Throughout the ‘dating’ process of spaces and activities, emphasis is made to harness local resources and expertise, and reviews how contributions can be cross-pollinated to create different options and outcomes. This sees the architect take on the role of ‘dating agent’. 

Tutor citation ‘Steph’s project convincingly puts forward a unique scenario for creative processes of urban development and proposes sophisticated designs in the form of an expanded practice of architecture, incorporating community engagement, strategic design, and negotiation with a range of actors. The depth of research in developing this scenario and the architectural proposition within it is exemplary.’ Sam Vardy