The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Presidents Medals date back to 1836 and reward talent and excellence in the study of architecture. The winners of the 2012 awards were announced at a ceremony in central London earlier this month. Here’s a look at the winners:
Silver Medal—Awarded to the best post-graduate design work, went to ‘Sunbloc’, a collaborative project by a team of students from London Metropolitan University.
Sunbloc is a lightweight and heavily-insulated prototype house constructed using a pioneering system of foam blocks and steel cables. The inexpensive structure is designed to produce more electricity than it consumes over an annual cycle. The judges rewarded the detailed study and solid body of research involved in the project and were highly impressed with the team’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to complete a real building. The students were tutored by Eva Diu, Nathaniel Kolbe, Jonas Lundberg, Toby Burgess and Iain Maxwell.
Bronze Medal— Awarded to the best undergraduate design project, went to Vidhya Pushpanathan from the Architectural Association for ‘The Depository of Forgotten Monuments’.
‘The Depository of Forgotten Monuments’ addresses Moscow’s paradox of deconstruction and reconstruction. The project suggests a flexible architectural framework. As both a curatorial strategy and an urban prototype, it suggests an opportunity for a hybrid between the city’s cultural and commercial art sites and an allowance for the co-existence of past and future. The project was deemed by the judges to reveal a fresh and sophisticated quality of thinking. Pushpanathan was tutored by Maria Fedorchenko and Tatiana von Preussen.
Dissertation Medal—Awarded to Matthew Leung from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, for his work ‘Oriental Orientalism in Japan – the case of Yokohama Chinatown’.
The judges considered this a highly accomplished dissertation on the development of a pocket of Chinese style within a major Japanese city. Drawing from an impressive breadth of sources, Leung meticulously composes a picture that brings a careful reading of history to bear upon the complex contemporary reality. Critically astute, beautifully written and illustrated, this piece never loses sight of the architectural dimension of its topic, offering a thoroughly convincing and sophisticated discussion of an unexpected and topical subject. The dissertation was supervised by Professor Murray Fraser.
Bronze Medal Commendation—Awarded to Paddi Alice Benson from the University of Cambridge for ‘Remember Berlin - kunsthochschule archipelago’.
Bronze Medal Commendation—Awarded to Richard Breen from the University of Newcastle for ‘Afterimage - Projected Morphology: a cyclotel created from perspectives’.
Dissertation Medal High Commendation—Awarded to Kirti Durelle from the University of Sheffield for ‘Poetic Creation: the magical metaphor of architectural design - an investigation into the relationship of exoteric and esoteric dimensions in the practice of architecture and alchemy’.
Dissertation Medal Commendation—Awarded to Stephen Marshall from the Architectural Association for ‘Here isn't now—Ballard, Silvertown and the forces of time’.
Dissertation Medal Commendation—Awarded to Tom Sykes from Cardiff University for ‘The Site as Muse: Georges Perec and Walking into Topophilia’.
SOM Traveling Fellowships—Part 1: Benson from the University of Cambridge; Part 2: Rebecca Roberts from London Metropolitan University.
Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing—Part 1: Pushpanathan from the Architectural Association for ‘The Depository of Forgotten Monuments’; Part 2: Martin Tang from Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, for ‘Manual for Eternal Autumnal Micro-climates: re-imagining Kyoto as the city of a thousand autumns’.
RIBA Donaldson Medal—Awarded to Brook Lin. The winner of this medal is selected by the Bartlett School of Architecture to the student who graduates top of the class at Part I.
“Congratulations to our deserving President’s Medal winners who have fought-off tough competition from the best students of architecture from around the world and truly excelled with their innovative, challenging and thought-provoking projects,” said Angela Brady, RIBA President. “2012 has been a record-breaking year for the RIBA President’s Medals with the highest number of entries ever in the 176 year history of the awards. It is an honor to present these awards to the future trailblazers of the architecture profession.”