RIBA Prizes and Waste House Award 2020.

The RIBA Sussex Student Awards 2020 the Waste House Award were announced on the opening night of our (online) End of Year Show, which opened on 3rd July and now is available to general public to view – so check out some of the worthy winners.

This year the judges were:

Paul Zara – Paul Zara Architects (RIBA Sussex Branch Chair)

David MacDonald – ECE Architecture

Paul Nicholson – Chalk Architecture

Prize Winners

Thomas Roberts (M.Arch):

What the judges said – A very well presented project with a strong narrative, Thomas’ work really stood out.  With strong visual representations, the work is well considered both in the wider scale of the site context and the precise detailing.  Not entirely convinced that the tower would ‘blend in with its surroundings’ as he suggests, but perhaps it’s all the better for that.   The judges agreed it is a really impressive design that deserves the RIBA prize.

Josh Wiseman B.Arch

Judges Statement

This is a stunning body of work in a very impressive field.  The level of thought through the entire presentation is outstanding and the judges struggled to choose one particular image.  The level of thought combined with the sheer breadth of the work makes Josh’s work stand out not just from this year’s students but probably the best we have seen for many years.  Well done Josh, a very well deserved winner.


The mission of the Waste House prize is to raise awareness amongst students and staff of the importance and to add value to the understanding and challenges presented to design industries by the ambitions of a truly ‘circular economy’. Nominations are only for work that considers The Circular Economy as all or part of the project and for inclusion pieces of work must be nominated by tutors from across the school.

1st Prize

Ming Hung Davis Mak (MArch).

Judges Statement: Davis Mak has studied principles that inform natural closed-loop metabolisms that learn from ideas developed by systems ecologist Tom Snow. His project (‘The Nest’) is based in a nature reserve in Ashdown Forest; a “Cohabitation between culture and nature”. Davis Mak’s approach of observing and learning from natural systems (including the seasons) surrounding his chosen site, combined with an attitude around giving back to nature, i.e. “sharing and giving to nature” particularly impressed the judges. This project proffers ideas for mixing three main ‘constructed’ elements to create what English Nature might call a massive vertical tower of ‘Environmental Net Gain’; living infrastructure creating a far greater level of biodiversity than was previously on the siteTo summarise, the judges were hugely impressed with Davis Mak’s enthusiasm, energy, and rigorous research-lead, approach to considering ways in which near-future architectures can be sensitive to, help regenerate and support, natural closed-loop circular systems whilst also supporting human-made settlements. His film, in particular, was a mesmerising sensory experience.

2nd Prize: Beth Richardson (BA Hons Interior Architecture).

Judges comments: Beth’s ‘Exhort Pavilion’ is a polemic tapping into the energy, ambition and rhetoric of ‘Extinction Rebellion’ to present what she calls “Protest Architecture”. Ideas are supported with beautiful drawings, with on-message zeitgeist building typologies such as ‘Plastic Rehab Centre’. Inventive, positive, with a clear message encouraging humans to turn linear systems into circular ones.

Joint 3rd Prize 

Alexis Southey (BA Hons Interior Architecture)

Judges Statement: For her delightful ‘A Change of State’ project studying closed-loop methods for ‘repairing’ costal erosion.

Alastair Manley (BA Hons Architecture)

Judges Statement:For proposing to re-introduce a market to Market Street by re-establishing a link to the beach in Brighton and reminding us of a local Sussex word ‘Smeuse’ meaning “a hole in a hedgerow created by small animals” whilst proposing, among other things, a Clothing Repair Pavilion.