Student awards and prizes


Student Awards and Prizes

Students from Oxford Brookes School of Architecture have an excellent track record for winning prestigious student architecture prizes from the liks of RIBA, the Doric Club and Riach Architects. A selection of recent winners can be found below.

Recent Highlight

RIBA Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing

Andrew Chard

An Oxford Brookes graduate received a prestigious award at the Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) 2015 President’s Medals Student Awards.

Andrew Chard, who studied on the BA Honours in Architecture in the School of Architecture at the University, was awarded the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing for his work ‘The Lost Dockyard’.

More information.


RIBA Leslie Jones Memorial Prize

Andrew Chard

Andrew Chard, who has just completed his third year studying at Oxford Brookes’ School of Architecture, was one of the winners of the Leslie Jones Memorial Prize which is awarded to BA students for the most progress in built construction.

This is the second RIBA Prize Andrew has won: in 2013 he was awarded the RIBA Oxfordshire Prize – won this year by Fraser Ingram.

More information.

RIBA Oxfordshire Branch Prize

Fraser Ingram

Fraser, who has now completed his first year of the BA Architecture course, was awarded the RIBA Oxfordshire Branch Prize. The Branch represents over 600 architects across Oxfordshire and awarded the prize to first year undergraduate students for the best portfolio.

Fraser impressed the judges with his project to design a public library and educational space for young carers, integrated with emergency housing. Judges were particularly captivated with a collection of hand-drawn technical section cuts.

More information.


Bermann Guedes Stretton

For creative originality in undergraduate design in year 2

Braydon Barrett and Alastair Johnson

Dan Kemp Memorial Pavilion Competition

Chris Waters

Leslie Jones Architects – undergraduate prizes

For best overall performance in year 2

Andrew Chard

For the greatest ability in construction in the design project in year 3

Barnaby Row

Montgomery Architects

The Fielding Dodd Prize for outstanding work

Megan Passey

Original Field of Architecture

For most original postgraduate design work

Sally Collinson

Ramboll UK

For excellence in integrating structural design within undergraduate architecture

Henry Gibbon

Riach Architects – undergraduate prizes

For the best dissertation

Fred Howarth

For best progress in Sustainability in year 2

Edward Yeo

RIBA South

The Leslie Jones Memorial Prize for most progress in building construction in BA Architecture

James Palmer and Tamem Khuram

The RIBA Oxfordshire Branch Prize awarded to an undergraduate year 1 student for best portfolio showing ability and progress

William Field

Postgraduate prize for the highest standard of all-round excellence

Lucy Reader

Scott Brownrigg

Undergraduate Prize for the best hand-drawn 3D visualisation

Isobel Taylor

Postgraduate prize for the best perspective view explaining a project

Anna Zezula

Spratley Studios Prize

For the best postgraduate digital drawing

Lucy Reader

West Waddy ADP

For a postgraduate student specialising in Urban Design, for combining Architecture and Town Planning

James Spittle

David and Josie Williamson

SBPD prize for top design student in MARCHD

Alex McDow

Interior Architecture prizes

Paolo Placidi Memorial Prize awarded to a year 2 student for best progress

Jessica Illacuci

For the best overall portfolio in year 3

Amy Frost

Doric Club Oxford

Undergraduate prize for the best portfolio showing progress throughout year 2

Rebecca Olley

Undergraduate prize for the best portfolio showing progress throughout year 3

Cameron Shackley

Hunter Johnston Doric Prize for a student(s) who contributed most to the life and spirit of the School

Rachel Hallam

School prizes

First year undergraduate prize for best overall performance

Rebecca Byren

Second year undergraduate prize awarded for the greatest ability in environmental science and technology in the comprehensive design project

Joe Hazelwood-Horner

The Sustainable Building: Performance and Design Postgraduate Prize for the best application of low carbon concepts in design

Jonathan Evans

The Reginald W Cave Prize for the best research led design

Geoffrey Lan

The Graphics Prize for the best hand drawing or model

Charlotte Pollock


RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarships

Megan Passey

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the architects’ professional indemnity insurance mutual The Wren Insurance Association Limited announced Oxford Brookes student Megan Passey as one of the five winners of the 2013 RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarships.

Megan was one of five talented Architecture students to receive a £5,000 prize plus invaluable mentoring from some of the UK’s leading architectural practices. The scholarship aims to support outstanding Part 2 students who have the potential to make a significant contribution in the field of architecture.

For more information visit the RIBA website.

ARCHMEDIUM San Fransisco Fire Department Headquarters Competition - Third prize

Helena Howard, David Jones, Martino Gasparrini, Matthew Rosier

A team of students from Oxford Brookes University won third prize in an international competition which challenged architecture students to design a suitable building to house a headquarters for the San Fransisco Fire Department.

More information

RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis

Yara Sharif

Associate lecturer Yara Sharif has been shortlisted for a RIBA award for her PhD thesis, 'Searching for Spaces of Possibilities and Spaces of Imagination within the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict'. Yara has been researching for seven years at the University of Westminster, with the aim to identify a potential architecture of resistance in Palestine. Her PhD rethinks the Palestinian/Israeli situation through an investigation of everyday spaces that exist between people, maps, documents and boundary lines.

The RIBA’s President’s Awards for Research praise high quality research and those engaged in it, encouraging its incorporation into the wider Architecture profession.

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Assael Bursary

Lucy Ottewell and Katie Shute

The Assael Bursary was established by John Assael with the intended purpose of promoting research which could benefit the practice of architecture, while providing financial support to students whilst studying here at Oxford Brookes.

The committee awards one or two bursaries of up to £1,500 for sustainability projects, and has been granted this year to Lucy Ottewell and Katie Shute. With the bursary - applied for together due to a belief that collaboration is a better reflection of architectural practice - they plan to research the integration of private and affordable housing, using Bromley-by-Bow as a case study. Here they will research whether a mixed tenure approach could have positive social and economic impacts on residents and tenures, to establish whether mixed tenure can result in a ‘Sustainable Mixed Community’.

Lucy is studying Architecture and Sustainable Buildings Performance Design, and Katie is studying Architecture with Development and Emergency Practice.

More Information

Doric Club Oxford Prize (2nd Year)

Best portfolio progress during Year 2

Vita Rossi

Doric Club Oxford Prize (3rd Year)

Best portfolio progress during Year 3

Zeina Al-Derry

Riach Architects Prize

Best dissertation

Will Fisher

Leslie Jones Memorial Prize

Greatest ability in construction in the comprehensive design project - BA (Hons) Architecture.

Awarded by RIBA South.

Wandrille Madelain and Chris Yah Chuen Shen

Sustainable Building: Performance and Design Prize

Best application of Low Carbon Concepts in Design.

Jonathan Plant

Fielding Dodd Prize

Outstanding work.

James Fewtrell

Graphics Prize

Best hand drawing or model.

Dmitrij Burakevic

Ramboll UK Prize

Excellence in integrating structural design within architecture.

Tom Reeves

Scott Brownrigg Undergraduate Prize

Best hand-drawn 3D visualisation.

Isobel Taylor

Scott Brownrigg Postgraduate Prize

Best Perspective (CAD or hand-drawn) view explaining a project.

Thomas A Smith

Hunter Johnston Doric Prize

BA or MArchD students who have contributed most to the life and spirit of the School.

Mark Attmore and Carlota Berguese (MArchD), Simon Sandford (BA)

Berman Guedes Stretton Architects Prize

Creative originality in Design.

Jacob Spradley and Dougal Sadler

Riach Architects Prize

Best progress in Sustainability during Year 2.

Tom Yudin

Leslie Jones Memorial Prize

Best progress in building construction - BA (Hons) in Architecture.

Wellesley Sjafei

RIBA Oxford Prize

Best overall portfolio of a first year BA student, awarded by the Oxford branch of RIBA.

Andrew Chard

School Fund Prize - Year 1

Best overall performance in Year 1 - BA (Hons) Architecture.

Nimrod Wong

School Fund Prize - Year 2

Greatest ability in environmental science and technology in the comprehensive design project.

Peter Sienkowski

Paolo Placidi Memorial Prize for Interior Architecture

Best progress in Year 2 - BA (Hons) Interior Architecture.

Stephanie Phelan

RIBA South Student Award

Highest standard of all-round excellence in the region.

Thomas A Smith

West Waddy ADP Prize

For a student specialising in Urban Design, combining Architecture and Town Planning.

Christelle Tippett

Reginald W Cave Prize

Best research-led Design dissertation.

Konstantinos Papaoikonomou

Sponsored prize for Interior Architecture

Best overall portfolio of a Year 3 student.

Andrea Roe

Spratley Studios Prize

Best digital drawing.

Nigel Dakin

Original Field of Architecture Prize

Most original design work.

Kartik Poria


IHBC Gus Astley Student Award

Outstanding item of taught coursework on Historic Environment Conservation.

Aimee Felton

Aimee submitted her winning essay - on listed building maintenance in non-heritage bodies and titled ‘Securing a Future: Non-Heritage Organisations’ approach to listed building maintenance’ - to the Masters course on International Architectural Regeneration and Development. As a result Aimee, who is currently working at Julian Harrap’s leading architectural conservation practice, will receive a £300 cash prize and a free place at the IHBC’s 2013 Annual School.

More information

RIBA Oxford Prize

Best overall portfolio of a first year BA student, awarded by the Oxford branch of RIBA.

Feng Yang

Feng’s project which attracted the judges’ attention was an oratory for the people of Oxford. She chose an autistic boy as her orator and designed the building to speak for him. Her oratory is a corridor of boxes suspended in the air – each box provides a different sensory experience and communicates on the orator’s behalf with other people and the landscape. A thin strip of copper on the side of each box creates a glittering amber line when the sun shines.

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RIBA South Student Prize

Highest standard of all-round excellence in the region.

Yuting Cheng

Yuting designed a pier on Canvey Island, Essex. Part of the pier would be offices for Canvey Island Town Council – small timber pavilions that resemble carnival floats – and each department occupies a different, unique pavilion. She says that her design ‘seeks to subvert the traditional notion of “civic” architecture into a more democratic and carnivalesque proposal that is more befitting for the day-to-day undertakings of the Council. The carnival aspect is derived from the annual parade in which the local community celebrates the idiosyncrasies of the island’s unique culture’.

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Leslie Jones Memorial Prize

Best progress in building construction - BA (Hons) in Architecture.

Matt Sawyer

Matt’s winning project created devices and buildings to help people to explore London. The ‘Ariadne Device’ is worn on the arm and is powered by a pendulum. As the wearer walks, the pendulum’s swing moves cogs and chains that force string through the device onto the streets – allowing them to retrace their steps if they get lost. Matt also designed buildings to house large maps, made by the explorers who had used the Ariadne Device. They would replicate their journeys onto sheets of parchment and visitors would travel around the maps on suspended walkways. In the buildings plants would be grown to create ink for use on the maps.

More information


RIBA Oxford Prize

Best overall portfolio of progress from a first year BA student, awarded by the Oxford branch of RIBA.

Molly de Courcy Wheeler

Molly's project investigates the concept of 'Flaneur' - a french word that translates into 'stroller'. 'She designed a series of four spaces, loosely inspired by the seasons, that would draw walkers up Oxford’s Headington Hill from the city into the park.

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RIBA South Student Prize

Highest standard of all-round excellence in the region.

Richard Phillips

Richard received the annual RIBA South Prize for his study on how Britain’s economic fortunes have affected the housing market, and how new measures can be introduced to increase production and consumption in city centres. He looked at whether investment and philanthropy by large organisations could lead to a long-term profitable business in affordable housing, and proposes a nationwide business model which would allow architects to locate potential development sites in their local area and approach large organisations to fund design and construction.

More information

Leslie Jones Memorial Prize

Progress in Building Construction at the School of Architecture.

Paul Avery

Paul received the annual Leslie Jones Memorial Prize for his proposal based upon the process of making wine, combined with the deformation of land by the erosive forces of water.

His idea revolved around the design of a building combining a winery with gym and spa facilities for rowers, next to the Thames at Oxford. The proposed building would produce wine, with the must (a byproduct of the winemaking process) used in spa treatments for the rowers, then passed into an anaerobic digester to produce fertiliser for next year’s grapes in the local vineyard.

More information


RIBA President's Medal

Part 2 Dissertation Commendation
Mourning the People's Princess: Public Grief and the Consecration of Space

George Wilson

A probing study of the way in which the British public mourned the death of Diana, The Princess of Wales. By focusing in a non-judgemental way on this iconic public figure, the study reveals how groups, which are not architect led, collaborate to overcome their sadness of loss.

Mixing personal accounts, testimonials and scholarly scrutiny of research in the field, the study plots and critically analyses a range of spontaneous memorials created to pay tribute to Diana. It argues that these memorials are a crucial way in which people grieve and that their value is important for architects to understand.

George's thesis was fashioned for the Major Study Module, an independent research dissertation or design project, where students have the opportunity to explore in detail a topic of their choice as part of the Diploma in Architecture. The thesis was supervised by Dr Igea Troiani.

Read more about this award in the School press release.


RIBA President's Medal

Part 2 Dissertation Commendation
[Here be monsters]

Jamie Williamson

"The study delves into the ethical and moral obligations of boundaries, ponders our desire to trespass beyond the psychological fence of set parameters, addresses humanity's fear and curiosity of the unknown and culminates with the everyday, yet devalued ritual of moving through a door..." Jamie Williamson

"Through this study, the author challenges conventional means of representation, and questions how the borderlines on maps and the section lines on architectural drawings can anticipate and accommodate the complexities of inhabitation. Ultimately the dissertation invites us to consider architecture as a process of rites, in which the 'line' takes on multi-dimensional meanings transforming the way we comprehend architectural space..." John Stevenson & Helena Webster


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Project SOM Winner
Transology: A Vehicle Manufacturing Plant for Southwark, London

Claudia White

Three students from Oxford Brookes University featured in the RIBA President’s Medals 2007 ceremony held at the RIBA on 28 November 2007. Claudia White was the winner of the SOM Prize for her 3rd year undergraduate project, tutored by Matt Gaskin and Toby Shew (Unit G). The project was judged by a panel that included Nigel Coates and Martha Schwartz, and was described as ‘memorable and compelling’.

Another Oxford Brookes undergraduate, Paul Nicholls, was shortlisted for the Bronze Medal. His project for a natural history museum in Hyde Park, tutored by Amanda Marshall and Andrew Holmes (Unit F), was one of the six shortlisted schemes at Part 1.

Finally Julia Bouvy, a postgraduate student at Oxford Brookes, was one of two students to win a RIBA/ICE McAslan Bursary. Julia, currently taking the Development and Emergency Practice special route in the Diploma in Architecture, was awarded £1000 for her project to regenerate embankment life on the Senegal river in West Africa.


RIBA President's Medal

President's Research Award
Carbon Reduction Model for UK dwellings

Rajat Gupta

PhD of the Year

DECoRuM® is a next generation GIS-based bottom-up model for counting, costing and reducing energy-related CO2 emissions from existing UK dwellings.

The DECoRuM® model is able to clearly point out and identify sources of domestic emissions, so that pollution hotspots can be targeted. It performs calculations of carbon emissions based on more readily available secondary data such as SAP ratings analyses of domestic properties.


RIBA President's Medal

Part 2 Dissertation
Who Do They Think We Are? Perceptions of Architects in twenty first century Britain

Angela Hatherell

"Architects? Aloof and elitist? Well superficially their (our) professional body shows clear signs of being just this, so what about the members? And what does everyone else think about architects? Do non-architects care about architects? Do they know about architects? And what is this knowledge based on and informed by? Personal experience? The media? Fiction?" Angela Hatherell

Architects rarely recognise the picture others paint of them. Why is this? Angela's dissertation set out to describe and understand the 'image of the architect'. The research was underpinned by theories of identity, self-image and image-perception (Goffman, Giddens, etc). The methodology consisted of a number of discrete investigations into scenarios where the public experience architects including film, television, novels, inherited memory and personal encounter...


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Project
Subterranean Specimen Rig

Daniel Rowland

"'Subterranean Specimen Rig' is a mechanism that reads it's surrounding environment. Facilities assume their position on site subject to tidal fluctuations, delivering a sequence of speculative conditions. The section is not an idealised moment in time, rather a generator of potential configurations. Patination and water are encouraged to invade the laboratories. Nighttime illumination under ground level evokes the architectures of a living organism..." Daniel Rowland

The year was structured as a continuous programme of research, sub divided into series of interconnecting episodes. As architect explorers, students were asked to consider drawings as sites of speculative construction, objects of manufacture, test sites, filters, employing facts and half-truths. Individual architectural positions developed, relationships and scenarios seen as structuring devices for new programmes, were sited in the Lea Valley.


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Project Commendation
Digital Farm

Guy Scott

"The digital farm mediates between two ideal landscapes: a tactile one in the physical realm and an abstract one in the digital realm. But there are problems...

How does the farm respond to changes in demand? What effects might this have on the spaces we occupy? How can I conceive of infinite space? My project uses the analogy of physical growth to conceive of problems posed by digital space. Architectural issues of scale and site need to be reconsidered as they are no longer fixed, but endlessly malleable..." Guy Scott

This unit focused on researching the future of workspace in both the digital and physical environments. Guy's response was to position architecture between these two environments investigating dynamics of scale, growth, artifice, and permanence in the form of digital farm - a new typology of workspace.


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Project Medal Winner - Serjeant Award
Vehicular Access

Andrew Yek

"This project accellerates in line with the current explosion of information to the speed of a drive-in institution. The library is seen as both vehicle and road. Illuminated billboards delineate moments of intimate space along the darkening road. There is a vague sense of doom in the animations, as if architecture were to disappear in the vast expanse of information along which it glides, a mechanical Icarus illuminating the path to information meltdown." Andrew Yek

The student develops Victor Hugo's prediction that books would destroy architecture, and that architecture's powerful symbolic content would disappear to be replaced by the narrative and more easily accessible content of a collection of books...

RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Dissertation Medal Winner
Twelve part narrative

Gwyn Lloyd Jones

"Whether travelling to the ultimate destination of California, or to some intermediate point, the direction of migration in the USA is always west. I undertook a personal odyssey across America to investigate the themes of migration, place, identity and architecture..." Gwyn Lloyd Jones

Not only is the resulting essay superbly written, combining biography and literature with historical and political analysis, but many of Gwyn's specific insights are quite startling. The one-block-deep Gay/Artists Quarter in Columbus, Ohio, is revealed as a 'Potemkin Village' of political correctness. The egocentric, unsettled delusions of Frank Lloyd Wright are traced forwards to other Mid-Western cultural fantasists like Bob Dylan and Eminem...


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Dissertation Commendation
The Fall and Rise of the British Mall

Nick Jewel

"Implicit within the current manifestation of the shopping mall is the potential to realise a more complex social organism. Sadly, this potential is suppressed at the moment by a bludgeoning regime of programmatic violence that seeks to maintain the controlled values seen as key to the success of the mall. This study, by recourse to an analysis of British precedents such as the Trafford Centre and Bluewater, questions the validity of these values and the mechanisms of consumption which underlie them." Nick Jewel

Nick Jewell's substantial essay is the most rounded piece that I have yet read about shopping malls. It is not a subject that is usually handled well by architectural writers...


RIBA President's Medal

Part 2 Project Commendation
Billboard Apartments, Paddington

Mimis Koumantanos

Creating an urban horizontal advertising unit with the aim of developing a global product; Capitalising on the profitability of the unit's double-function as pavement slab and billboard; Stating that architectural design is increasingly becoming linked with cash-flow figures and feasibility charts; Declaring that buildings can be designed to meet the financial needs of the city without being forced to do so..." Mimis Koumantanos

The scheme devised by Mimis Koumantanos offers a realistic but visionary response to the notion of high-density urban life. He began with a fascination for images of Japanese cities, especially the way in which every available surface seems to be used for advertising or signage. As Mimis studied the photographs of Tokyo, he came to the conclusion that the only surface which was left to claim was the horizontal: the pavement...

Part 1 Project Commendation
Immigration Terminal, Dover

Peter Williams

"The design of the building is intentionally monumental and brutal in its honesty, as well as providing a clear-cut threshold between country, zones of time, and states of mind. From the sea, the tectonics of the building appear to take on the qualities of an open door. What exactly lies through that brightly-lit opening ? Does it mark a process of tough offical interrogation, or the gateway to a new life ? As the building proceeds to call into question its own context and purpose, so too the viewer is encouraged to examine their own sense of boundaries, whether these be physical or mental..." Peter Williams

Peter Williams' multi-layered work is built on the foundations of an unusually broad understanding of architecture and its cultural context. More importantly, it is driven by a finely-tuned social conscience.

RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 Dissertation Medal Winner
An Essay in Unsymbolisation

Huw Williams

"This study aims to look beyond the material objects of architecture and built form to seek out an alternative model of housing design. Derived from a wide range of cultural, sociological and psychological phenomena, the discourse proposes a house type which investigates the power of the image in both real and virtual realms to present what can be termed as 'existentialist architecture' - that is, an architecture that realises the ephemeral and isolated nature of human inhabitation..." Huw Williams

Huw argues convincingly for higher density urban living with a clearer division between public and private space, and for a more complex integration of modern media into the domestic environment. It is altogether a highly original achievement, and could easily be published to much acclaim...


RIBA President's Medal

Part 1 DissertationProject Commendation
The museum of the museum

Paul Gardner

"This study hopes to construct a tale to better identify and illustrate the contemporary condition of the museum. It exists in two parallel texts: one describing an imaginary museum and its collection, and the second (which is rather more didactic) appending and annotating parts of the former. The Museum of the Museum is principally a collection of observations regarding architecture and the contemporary museum, related in the various parts of this paper, its contents and organisation..." Paul Gardner its design, structure and content [this study] is a complex and original piece of work. The author muses on a range of problematic issues related to the nature and function of museums, including topics such as the process of collecting, systems of classification, and the uneasy relationship between configured space and categories of intellectual thought...