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AJ Student Prize 2019: University of Westminster

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

About the Department of Architecture and Interiors

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch, Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture
  • Location London
  • Head of School Harry Charrington
  • Full-time tutors 63
  • Part-time tutors 74
  • Number of students 598
  • Staff to student ratio 1:17
  • Fees £9,250

Undergraduate

Adrian-Calin Paul, BA (Hons) Architecture, Unit DS(3)1: Resistance

Undergraduate adrian calin paul

Undergraduate adrian calin paul

Project title The Wrath of the 3 Mighty Babas: London’s Romanian Citizenship Application Centre

Project description Set in 2023, the project assumes that not only is post-Brexit UK no longer a desirable place for Romanians to live and work, but that Romania is the desired destination for UK citizens. The project, which has reinvented traditional Romanian Architectural design and decoration to create a new Modernist architecture for the country’s flourishing future, is a place where UK citizens may undertake the comprehensive cultural assimilation process necessary for Romanian Citizenship. Candidates will live and work in this thriving, busy centre where Romanian food, culture, architecture, (and goats) are celebrated and valued. At the end of the process, rather than dealing with a faceless bureaucrat, it is the ‘mighty Babas’, the grandmothers and matriarchs, who make the final decision as to who is awarded a visa. 

Tutor citation ‘The project is an innovative and highly original response to Adrian-Calin’s personal experience as a first-generation Romanian from a migrant family. This is a brave and unflinching project that has manifested in an optimistic and celebratory architecture for the future. His work is both polemical and dedicated to real-world construction and detailing issues critical to contemporary building.’ Jane Tankard

Postgraduate

Sun Yen Yee, MArch, Unit DS22

Postgraduate sun yen lee

Postgraduate sun yen lee

Project title The SEED of Havana: Dissolving Condenser 

Project description The project aims to revive Cuba’s spirit of revolution through collective act by taking inspirations from the earlier Soviet Constructivists’ social condenser concept and reappropriating it into a new context. Questioning the tension between capitalist future and the socialist ideology of Cuba, the project proposes an alternative typology: a production condenser to rebuild Havana socially and physically, based on the resilient Cuban spirit of ‘creating something out of nothing’ throughout years of embargo. The production of food and repurposed salvaged material are intensified and condensed, whereas through the deployment of SEED (Socio-Economic Empowerment Device), new life and possibilities are injected within Havana’s crumbling voids. This cultivates an urban charm that celebrates life behind the wall and challenges the façade-centric conservation approach. 

Tutor citation ‘Looking beyond the virtuosity of Sun’s drawings, each image and narrative introduces us to the realm of his project. Sun took Havana as his site of exploration, inspired by the Social Condensers and the social Constructivism movement that has shaped the city during its Socialist era.’ Yara Sharif 

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