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RIBA reveals winners of 2014 President’s Awards for Research

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Baca Architects as well as students from the University of Cambridge and The Bartlett, and have been recognised in this year’s RIBA President’s Awards for Research

Amphibious architecture specialists Baca picked up a commendation in the practice-based research award for its work on climate adaptive neighbourhoods.

This year saw the second highest number of entrants to the awards but the judges said they were ‘disappointed’ by the lack of entrants outside of the capital.

The annual accolades recognise ‘high-quality research and encourage its distribution and incorporation into the wider profession.’

Commenting on the awards, RIBA president Stephen Hodder, said: The RIBA’s commitment to the advancement of architecture is inextricably linked to the acquirement of knowledge through new research.’

Chair of the judging panel professor Ruth Morrow of Queen’s University Belfast, added: ‘Reaching a decision about winners for the RIBA President’s Awards for Research is always an exciting and challenging process. We were pleased to have such a diverse range of work to choose from – leading to some passionate and lengthy discussions at the final judging meeting.

‘While the range of research was stimulating, we were disappointed that there were not more entries and shortlisted pieces from outside London, and hope that next year, in the 10th anniversary year of the awards, that more universities and practices from across the nations and regions will submit entries.’

The winners

RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding Master’s Degree Thesis

Stephen Gage of the University of Cambridge: Re-purposed pasts? Architecture and identity in the Gothic revival university

Judges’ comments: A difficult subject, tackled very well, with an interesting approach and findings.  The judges thought the thesis extremely rigorous – noting in particular the author’s particular ability in investigating parameters – and significant.  They also noted the very fine drawings that supported the author’s analysis.

RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis

No award was handed out in this category but a commendation was given to Emma Cheatle of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and University of Newcastle’s Tom Bridgen

RIBA President’s Awards for Outstanding University-located Research

Barbara Penner of University College London: Bathroom

Judges comments: The judges applauded this outstanding work for tackling an often overlooked area. In covering various points of view, including design and politics, the judges considered the research to be a good polemic with just the right amount of provocation for readers. The author’s passion for the subject made the work all the more interesting.

Commendations also went to Adam Sharr from the University of Newcastle. Stephen Thornton of the University of Cardiff, and the Bartlett’s Ben Campkin.

RIBA President’s Awards for Outstanding Practice-located Research

No winner was awarded in this category but a commendation was given to Robert Barker, Baca Architects for ‘The Climate Adaptive Neighbourhoods (CAN) Project’

Last year the awards were picked up by eco-architect Bill Dunster, and students from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Sheffield University.

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