RIBA Student Award winners announced

The winners of the RIBA President’s Medals Student Awards 2008 in association with Atkins were announced in a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) last night. These prestigious awards promote excellence in the study of architecture, rewarding talent and encouraging architectural debate world-wide.

James Tait from the University of Strathclyde won the Silver Medal for his project “Time and Tide for Seaweed” and Wynne Leung and Francesco Matteo Belfiore from the University of Greenwich won the Bronze Medal for their joint project “Invisible University Library”. Dominic Severs from the University of Westminster won the Dissertation Medal for his work “Rookeries and No-go Estates: St. Giles and Broadwater Farm”.

The main President’s Medals are: the Bronze Medal (awarded to a Part 1 design project), the Silver Medal (Part 2 design project) and the Dissertation Medal, which is awarded for the best exploration of different subjects, methodologies and presentations. 111 Schools of architecture offering RIBA validated courses around the world were asked to nominate two of their best student design projects at Part 1 (first degree), two at Part 2 (second degree) and one dissertation. 116 additional schools from all over the world were also invited to submit work to the competition.

A number of other awards were also presented at the ceremony:

Commendations For Part 1 were awarded to the projects “Newton’s Third” by Vladimir Berezovskiy of the University of Greenwich, and “Towards Better Livelihoods through Equality” by Valerie Saavedra Lux of the London Metropolitan University. Rebecca Roberts from the University of Cambridge was awarded a Commendation for the Project “2012 Olympic Dining/ 2020 Education Campus: Phase Change”.

Commendations in the Dissertation category were awarded to Joseph Mackey (University of Sheffield) for “Context Thinking: A Reflection on the Work of Alison and Peter Smithson”, Ross Tredget (University of Bath) for “Expressing the Transpersonal: The Work of Peter Zumthor”, and to Stefanos Gkougkoustamos (University of Greenwich) for “Voices from Shatila: Dissecting the Urban Apparatus of Beirut’s Southern Suburbs.”

Aleksandrina Rizova, from Kingston University, also won the Komfort Award, for the best use of interior space, for Part 1, with the project “Factory”. Naofumi Takaoka, from the University of East London, was awarded the Komfort Award for Part 2 with the project “Wrapping Urban Memory”.

Valerie Saavedra Lux, from London Metropolitan University, received the Paul Davis + Partners award for landscape and urbanism at Part 1 for the project “Towards Better Livelihoods Through Equality”, and James Tait, from the University of Strathclyde, was awarded for his project “Time and Tide for Seaweed” at Part 2.

The iGuzzini Travelling Award, for projects that show outstanding and innovative use of lighting in architecture, went to Michael Fedak, from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, for the project “Eyemouth Wreck Conservation Hall” for Part 1, and to Mark King, from the University of Lincoln, for “Crash - House for J. Ballard” for Part 2. The travelling awards consist of a visit to the iGuzzini headquarters in Recanati, Italy, for the students and tutors involved in their architectural education.

The Skidmore Owings and Merrill Foundation awarded two travelling fellowships of £1,250 each, to Moeko Yamagata from the University of East London for Part 1, with the project “Monastero de Torcello”, and to Erlend Bakke-Eidsaa, from the Architectural Association for Part 2, with the project “Siberian Photo (Re) Synthesis”.

The Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing was awarded to Shaun Young, from Northumbria University, for the project “'A thin place' Mesolithic Archaeology Museum, Northumberland” at Part 1, and to Mark Rist, from the University of Westminster, for “Street Life - Communes for Urbanites” at Part 2.

The public exhibition of winning work is on display at the RIBA, London W1 until the end of January 2009. A President’s Medals exhibition of winning work from 2008 will tour the UK and abroad in 2009. For more information and dates, please visit the awards website at

Atkins is the principal sponsor of the President’s Medals which are also sponsored by iGuzzini, Paul Davis + Partners, the SOM Foundation and Komfort Workspace, while the Architects’ Journal is media partner.

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