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AJ Student Prize 2019: University of Kent

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

About the Kent School of Architecture and Planning

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch, BA (Hons) Architecture with a Year in Computing
  • Location Canterbury 
  • Head of school Gerald Adler 
  • Full-time tutors 20 
  • Part-time tutors 3 
  • Number of students 537 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:18 
  • Fees UK/EU £9,250, international £19,000 


Ben Child, BA (Hons) Architecture

Undergraduate ben child

Undergraduate ben child

Project title National Centre for Circus Arts

Project description The brief asked for a new National Centre of Circus Arts in Margate, prompting reflection on the profession (circus artistry), and its role in society. The proposal is generated by two grids and axes; the physical context grid (oriented along the coastline) and the social (oriented along the road accessing the site). This ‘social axis’ extends out into the sea along a pontoon that reaches a floating garden. It passes through a series of public open spaces and ramps which descend to the sea in a highly scenic walk. Perpendicular to the social axis is the main circulation route through the building along which rooms are deployed, with corridors between them offering views to the sea. The physical grid generates the system of glulam ribs superimposed on to the structural beams, offering a system of louvres. Passers-by can cross the building to reach the shore, glimpse through the passageways and view the sea, or walk to the allotments that form the green open space at the east side of the building. 

Tutor citation ‘Ben’s design shows a depth and confidence that is rare for a Part 1 architect. It also shows an admirable control on space and sensitivity to the site. Ben was able to draw from a range of architectural theories and precedents that, if not managed carefully, could easily lead to disastrous results.’ Silvio Caputo


Kathryn Rackett, MArch, Unit 1: Swanscombe Peninsula

Postgraduate kathryn rackett

Postgraduate kathryn rackett

Project title Alchemists’ Foundry 

Project description The Alchemists’ Foundry is within the campus of a lead refinery on the eastern edge of Swanscombe peninsula. The proposition is incorporated within the new film-themed amusement resort, as a public attraction, securing the wider industry’s future. Its unique form and material palette are derived from a series of critical investigations. The photographic darkroom develops a set of analogue photography techniques focusing primarily on double exposure. The narrative analysis is generated through physical models that illustrate the movement of the project’s main characters referenced in film. These became the genesis of the foundry’s form. The investigation of a series of 3D temporal narrative topologies lead to a 3D-printed model; the algorithm of the printer generating a scaffolding pattern, under gravity, which, in turn, implies the potential for a structural system for the building itself.  

Tutor citation ‘This project adopts an exemplar attitude to industrial heritage, and to the process of chemical change that happens in the photochemical darkroom, and in the mythical pursuit of refining gold from lead – alchemy. This building would be at home in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 film Red Desert, to which it makes reference.’ Michael Richards