Nominations for Architect’s Journal Prize and Head of School Excellence in Architectural Design Prizes.

In a year like no other we were pleased to award a new prize at the End of Year Show, THE HEAD OF SCHOOL PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AT RIBA PART 1 and RIBA Part 2. The winners were Nuria Garcia Vazquez (Part 2), Lillie Coxon, and Josh Wiseman were joint Part 1 winners.

Nominations were also revealed for The Architects Journal Student Prize which will be featured in Dezeen this week. Now in its third year, the prestigious prize is for UK-based architecture schools, and open to all students on ARB and RIBA-accredited architecture courses.
Schools are invited to submit a final year project from just two students – one at undergraduate level and one at postgraduate level. Entries received from each school will be published in the forth-coming AJ’s annual student issue.
A panel of distinguished judges will then decide on the winners and announcements will be made in September.

The nominated students were Jordan Whitewood Neal (M’Arch) and Manal Omar (BA Architecture).

Here, the very deserving winners tell us about both the winning and nominated projects.

Nuria Garcia Vazquez: (M’Arch RIBA Part 2)

My work this year was inspired by a hypothetical and anarchistic approach to building, exploring an architectural language developed via a satire of current (restrictive) planning laws.  A series of new rooftop extensions take over the town of Rye in East Sussex. These extensions mimic the shape of natural objects such as clouds, trees and distant hills, a cultivated picturesque language which softens the extensions and replaces lost views with artificial and exaggerated versions. The construction of these elements is proposed as a speculative, collective move by local residents undertaken without government intervention or official sanction. The developments begin with small-scale residential additions but – following consequent increases in the population – move on to provide public and civic spaces including a community centre, an office block and a park.


Lillie Coxon (BA Architecture – RIBA Part 1)

My final year project is a series of sensitive spaces inspired by Nick Cave’s ‘Conversations With’ Tour, a combination of music performance with frank and unscreened audience questions. The intent is to provide a location for these events to become more intimate and personal, scaling down the spaces and audience capacity to create an immersive experience. The project focuses on the ability of these events to aid healing from trauma, for both the audience and Cave himself. The design is embedded within the city context and at places woven into the surroundings, with the spaces leading users up from the streetscape, through a series of frames to an ultimate sky view.

 Winner: Josh Wiseman (BA Hons Architecture RIBA Part 1)

The focus of this project is the reintroduction of industry into the city in a manner that is sustainable socially, economically and environmentally. It proposes the creation of pockets of self-sustaining industry established by and for local communities. These micro-communities are sustained by four ideals: production of  produce for the community; development of new metropolitan industry; the creation of community spaces; and the production of community resources that in turn will create new industrial communes. The overarching vision of this project is a future in which architectural proposals take a multi-faceted and holistic approach to design. That is, one in which programmes influence and reinforce one another, acknowledge the fundamental relationship with community and place sustainability and environmentalism at the forefront.


Nominated Student: Jordan Whitewood-Neal

“The Cascade Experiment explores the growth, augmentation and inhabitation of an autoethnographic woodland in the Ashdown forest, using embedded ecological conditions to form a new accessible infrastructure. The project narrative is set in 2040, where the custodian of this infrastructure, a semi-autobiographical character, has been left abandoned and isolated in this woodland. The ongoing desire to keep expanding the woodland via a unique timber structure, which facilitates various silvicultural processes, is supported by the creation of a cyborgian extension of the self, Totemi, whose very embodiment curates and reflects the custodians own ontological boundaries within this vast landscape.”


Nominated Student: Manal Omar

I was looking at how elderly people can be integrated into society and not feel lonely. I decided to get information as to where they would go to socialise, a place where they do not feel “shunned” from society. The main aspect I envisioned was for my proposal to work hand in hand with areas where the elderly can help create ‘Fun Town’, such as with the production of farm plant growing. At the same time creating a space where heavy goods will be taken care of with gantry cranes and other sources of movement by mechanical structures.