Every year, RIBA shines the spotlight on top-quality architectural research from academics and practitioners in the President's Awards for Research. The awards also promote outstanding research to encourage further strategic and original thought.
Out of the shortlisted projects announced this past July, this year's results had a few top-winning projects and a good number of commendations. The four categories of the awards program are: Master's, PhD, university, and practice-located research.
Find out which projects won below.
OUTSTANDING UNIVERSITY-LED RESEARCH
Winner: Barbara Penner, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London for Bathroom
Summary: "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."
Commendation: Adam Sharr, University of Newcastle and Stephen Thornton, University of Cardiff for ‘Demolishing Whitehall: Leslie Martin, Harold Wilson and the Architecture of White Heat’
Summary: "A book on an interesting topic, rigorously researched, that made for a fascinating read. The judges felt that the authors had generally done an excellent job in writing a very readable book on architectural politics and that it was worthy of a commendation."
Commendation: Ben Campkin, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London for ‘Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture’
Summary: "The clear structure and accessible writing made this fascinating piece of work deserving of a commendation. The judges applauded the effort required to tackle such an expansive subject, breaking into areas about which not enough has been written previously."
OUTSTANDING PH.D. THESIS
While no Award was given in this category, two PhD’s were worthy of commendation:
Commendation: Emma Cheatle, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London for ‘Part-architecture: the Maison de Verre through the Large Glass’
Summary: "A sophisticated PhD with significant attention to detail and reflection. The judges found the historical aspect interesting and the descriptions of buildings enlightening and original. The judges were happy to commend the work as the author’s analytical approach was strong and rational."
Commendation: Tom Bridgen, University of Newcastle for The Protected Vista: An Intellectual and Cultural History, As Seen from Richmond Hill
Summary: "Original research drawing on both historical and contemporary sources, the thesis was well-research and presented, and explored important ideas in an area lacking in precedent. The judges thought that this ambitious PhD was deserving of a commendation."
OUTSTANDING PRACTICE-LED RESEARCH
No winner was given in this category, one project was worthy of commendation
Commendation: Robert Barker, Baca Architects for ‘The Climate Adaptive Neighbourhoods (CAN) Project’
Summary: "This detailed analysis of the East Norwich housing that was a case study in the practice’s Lifeproject research resulted in findings that are pertinent and applicable to future housing developments on flood-prone sites. The judges felt this excellent research worthy of a commendation."
OUTSTANDING MASTER'S DEGREE THESIS:
Winner: Stephen Gage, University of Cambridge for ‘Repurposed Pasts? Architecture and Identity in the Gothic Revival University’
Summary: "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."
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