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AJ Student Prize 2019: University of Cambridge

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by the University of Cambridge

About the Department of Architecture 

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MPhil Architecture and Urban Design, Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Architecture
  • Location Cambridge 
  • Head of department François Penz 
  • Full-time tutors 16 
  • Part-time tutors 22
  • Number of students 158 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:8 
  • Fees £9,250  


Malcolm Ebose, BA (Hons) Architecture, Studio 2

Undergraduate malcolm ebose

Undergraduate malcolm ebose

Project title Still Waters, a building for wellbeing

Project description Students are struggling. A combin-ation of fees, instrumentalised training, and pressure from social media is jeopardising what Professor Gert Biesta calls ‘the beautiful risk of education’. On a complex and contested site, sandwiched between a leftover Georgian terrace and an anodyne school of social sciences in Manchester, the project proposes a therapeutic arena for an individual with a Miesian spatiality and Frank Lloyd Wright’s joy in the domestic. Confounding expectations of a soft space, a new institutional building both represents and embodies the energy, commitment and investment of the university in helping their students remain well.

Tutor citation ‘Malcolm’s project is three things. Firstly, a strategic response to a particular situation in the context of Manchester University. Secondly, an epistle to Marie, a Cambridge student with mental health problems who acted as Malcolm’s “client”. Thirdly, an embodiment of his own confident, experimental and optimistic approach to the discipline. Our teaching staked out general interests in complexity, the university in ethnographic terms, and the qualities of institutional architecture.’ Rod Heyes 


Tom Grillo, MPhil Architecture and Urban Design

Postgraduate tom grillo

Postgraduate tom grillo

Project title Parco Agricolo Sud

Project description The project is situated in a preserved agricultural landscape to the South of Milan, the Parco Agricolo Sud. The current neglect of the area belies the historic and contemporary qualities of this agricultural landscape. The project confronts issues associated with this urban region: the expansive periphery beyond traditional city limits. Urban sprawl has transformed the city’s hinterland, resulting in new types of physical, economic and socio-political conditions. Qualities existing in this region are captured by the project and brought within reach of the city’s inhabitants, with the aim of finding new types of architectural and urban spaces for the 21st-century city. Building upon existing urban policy to inform the development of an outline urban strategy, presents an expanded public realm in the Parco Agricolo Sud. Activities existing at the Park edge are relocated to the hinterland to form public corridors occupied by a new, ludic type of mixed land use. Preservation is a key theme: the strategy aims to promote new land uses in order to retain existing landscape and structures which are currently in a state of neglect. 

Tutor citation ‘Tom’s work wrestles with a challenging urban context, a shifting political climate, and a rich architectural history. It does so with confidence while maintaining the scale and dispersed nature of the site, imbuing it with a mysterious atmosphere that bridges between landscape intervention, traces of agricultural form, and the monumentality of a new and unusual civic realm.’ Ingrid Schröder