The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett students win top honours at 2015 RIBA President's Medals 

3 December 2015


Image:Space as the Third Teacher: An alternative classroom typology promoting creative learning and play by Boon Yik Chung

Bartlett School of Architecture students Boon Yik Chung, Benjamin Ferns, Douglas Miller and Christopher Purpura picked up top prizes at last night’s (Wednesday 2 December) RIBA President's Medals awards ceremony held at the the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Boon Yik Chung was handed the RIBA Bronze Medal for best Part 1 design project for ‘Space as the Third Teacher: An alternative classroom typology promoting creative learning and play’. Boon’s work (pictured above) explores the notion of flexibility in classroom design by researching schools in Amsterdam and Rotterdam designed by Herman Hertzberger and drawing on his own personal experiences of school spaces in Malaysia. The project, directed by BSc UG8 design tutors Rhys Cannon and Colin Herperger, concludes that ambiguous, open-ended spaces rather than wholly flexible rooms provide the best learning environments. In the same category BSc UG7 student Douglas Miller was awarded a High Commendation for his 'The San Francisco Columbarium' project.

Image: The San Francisco Columbarium by Douglas Miller

Part 2 student Benjamin Ferns was presented the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing for his 'Pontifical Academy of Sciences' project (pictured below). Benjamin studied on MArch Unit 12 directed by Matthew Butcher, Jonathan Hill and Elizabeth Dow. In addition the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding Master’s Degree Thesis went to MA Architectural History student Christopher Purpura for his thesis titled, 'Holding Hands, Touching Alterity: Dance as Spatial Practice at Monte Verità, 1914'. Supervised by Professor Jane Rendell and Professor Barbara Penner, the piece is an account of the self-sustaining, anarchist community at Monte Verità set up by the architect-movement theorist Rudolph Laban in 1913. Described by the judging panel as 'fascinating, compelling and elegant', it tackles the fundamentals of architecture – body, space and movement.

Image: Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Benjamin Ferns

First awarded in 1836, the RIBA Presidents Medals are the RIBA’s oldest prizes and reward talent, promote innovation, and encourage excellence in the study of architecture worldwide.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said of this year's award winners: "Congratulations to our deserving medal winners who have fought-off tough competition from around the world and truly excelled with their innovative, challenging and thought-provoking projects. It’s an honour to present these awards to the future trailblazers and current innovators of the architecture profession."

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