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AJ Student Prize 2019: University of Dundee

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

About the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning 

  • Courses BA Architecture, MArch, MArch with Urban Planning, Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture
  • Location Dundee 
  • Head of school Cameron Wilson 
  • Full-time tutors 15 
  • Part-time tutors 14
  • Number of students 330 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:12 
  • Fees Scottish/EU £1,825, rest of UK £9,250, international £17,275 


Matthew Wilde, BA Architecture, Craft and Re-reading

Undergraduate matthew wilde

Undergraduate matthew wilde

Project title Constructed Narratives: A Space for Stories

Project description This project proposes a storytelling and cultural centre housing exhibition and spoken-word performance exploring Scottish culture and identity.The project is centred around ideas of context – not just the immediate physical environment but positioning itself within an historical timeline and responding to a broader cultural narrative.The site is positioned at the base of castle rock in Edinburgh, among the tight medieval grain which surrounds the Grassmarket, and creates a new internal public space which links an existing courtyard with Lady Wynd and offers a captured glimpse of the castle above. The project developed from investigations into Scotland’s architectural identity, the connections between built form and landscape inherent in the earliest Scottish buildings. It responds to both the wider formal geometry of the axis of the royal mile and the George IV bridge. Beginning by ‘filling’ the constrained site to its maximum height, the form was generated by carving away at the resulting mass, first to create three distinct volumes which would contain the performance spaces, and then to capture sunlight as it moved around the building over the course of the day, and to frame views to the city beyond. 

Tutor citation ‘Throughout every stage of developing the project Matthew’s personal architectural agenda underpins his highly self-reflective design process. Matthew challenged the traditional “performance” brief and developed this, through critical research, into a story-telling complex that brings together Scottish vernacular heritages of both spoken word and built form. This drawn and modelled research examines the nature and qualities of materials at an early stage and ultimately informed the carved and crafted character of internal space.’ Neil Cruickshank 


Dinos Tsarmaklis, MArch with Urban Planning

Postgraduate dinos tsarmaklis

Postgraduate dinos tsarmaklis

Project title  Re-framing Democratic Public Space

Project description The project’s site is on the boundary within Dundee’s established university campus. Standalone institutional buildings are separated by managed green spaces and an area of often-vacant mills and workshops. It supports an embryonic culture of small creative businesses and studios. The project bridges the current physical, social and economic divide by making proposals for a different kind of academic institution, a university business school embedded in, and open to, the city. The proposals frame public space and create a stage for public activity in addition to accommodating the functions of a university building – teaching and research. The proposal creates a gateway public space to the area of Blackness, activated by a permeable, adaptable building, which supports formal teaching but also creates opportunities for emerging businesses to occupy spaces, mixing students, graduates and the city. The project works with the existing, often problematic, context: a north-facing slope that is separated from the campus by a major road (which the wider strategy proposes reducing in scale to minimise speed) and bounded by developer-owned student housing schemes which disrupt the historic urban grain and give nothing back to the street.

Tutor citation ‘Dinos’s work is equally informed by both architecture and urban planning. This project grew from a strategy aimed at the sustainable development of an area currently in decline, but which has huge potential to support a growing community of artists and designers. Dinos’s proposals are grounded in an economic and social reality but are ambitious in proposing alternative priorities for the future development of the campus and the city.’ Helen O’Connorutor citation INSERT [Tutor name]