The Bartlett School of Architecture


Jack Spence Wins Max Fordham Environmental Design Prize 2021

3 August 2021

Jack’s fifth-year project, ‘The 4th Epoch: Reinhabiting Desolate Landscapes’, was awarded the prestigious annual prize as well as achieving a Distinction.

‘The 4th Epoch: Reinhabiting Desolate Landscapes’ by Jack Spence, Architecture MArch, PG11, Y5

The prize is awarded by building services engineering practice Max Fordham each year to a fifth-year project that demonstrates the highest level of ambition, originality, technical innovation and philosophical rigour in the field of environmental design and sustainability. The prize was established in 2013 by the company, with various team members having tutored at the school over the years. The winning student receives £1000 and has the opportunity to consult with engineers at Max Fordham to develop the environmental premise of the project.

Jack’s project is exhibited at The Bartlett Summer Show 2021, and his award was announced at the show’s online launch event on Friday 23 July. His project spotlights the damaging impact of climate change on the UK’s coastlines. He created a building proposal around Hurst Castle in Hampshire, a former ‘device’ fort that has been neglected and allowed to fall into disrepair and ruin. 

The proposal reinhabits the existing castle by surrounding it with a new research outpost and public amenity, and fortifying it against ongoing climate threats, while the associated gamified landscape around it allows ‘virtual’ researchers to digitally and immersively explore the vulnerable coastline around it from anywhere in the world.

Jack Spence has just completed his Master’s Architecture MArch in unit PG11, taught by Laura Allen and Mark Smout. The design unit focuses on the relationship between architecture, dynamic landscapes and a rapidly changing climate.

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Images: ‘The 4th Epoch: Reinhabiting Desolate Landscapes’ by Jack Spence, Architecture MArch, PG11, Y5