The Scott Tallon Walker Student Excellence Award in Architecture 2016 were announced on day two of the RIAI Annual Conference. The RIAI is delighted be associated with Scott Tallon Walker Architects in re-invigorating the former RIAI Travelling Scholarship student award. The award aims to promote the study of contemporary architecture, encourage and foster architectural excellence among the student body, encourage and facilitate communications between the schools and provide a basis for growing awareness of the architecture in society through exhibitions and publications supported by RIAI. This is the first year of the newly designated award which seeks to recognise and reward excellence in final year architectural studies and create a platform to showcase the work emerging from Irish schools of architecture. Forty-one entries were received this year from six of the seven schools of architecture on the island of Ireland and are representative of the depth of talent emerging from our schools. The brief invited final year architectural students to submit a single A1 board illustrating the work they had completed in that year. The adjudicators sought to select the boards which best-demonstrated ability to research, analyse and explore architectural ideas and develop that learning process to produce appropriate and thoughtful architectural design solutions. The forty-one entries demonstrated a broad range of investigation and after much discussion, the adjudicators selected twenty-one boards which they felt most satisfied the criteria set out in the brief. These twenty-one boards were exhibited at the RIAI Annual Conference 2016.
Winner: Seán McMahon – prize €3000
Second: Matthew Webb – prize €1000
Joint highly commended: Kate Rushe and Orla O’Donnell – prize €500 each.
WINNER – Sean Mahon
Pravda Vitezi (Truth Prevails)
From the outset, this idea and presentation impressed all three of us. The ambition, imagination and atmospheric presentation stood out from a very strong crowd and the creation of a new building type that revolved around play, movement, fantasy and the prioritising of children was an exciting concept. Equally, the symbolism of the proposed locations within the wider historical city context was very strong. While many of the other entries presented finely crafted and well thought out schemes, this project dared to dream and presented us with an evocative vision.
Technically interesting and with graphic presentation of an exemplary level this project took us to a different place and realised a vision of what a student project could be.
With reference to the celebrated American author on human and child development Joseph Chilton Pearce, who died this year – ‘Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold’.
2nd PRIZE – Matthew Webb
Between Earth and Sky, Ground and Roof: A Crematorium on the Lagan Canal
This presentation combines hand sketches, technical details, finely drawn plans and three-dimensional sections. The presentation demonstrates a strong ability to communicate to the viewer while at the same time evoking the sombre atmosphere of the site and its use. An investigation into the dialectic relationship between ground and roof, earth and sky leads to the design of a crematorium on the edge of the Lagan Canal. The investigation of the layers above and below extends to a wholly appropriate treatment of the site, and plays a key role in the success of the design. Processional routes, planned vistas and exploitation of natural amenities give substance to the placement of the very well executed crematorium building. The building’s materials and finishes reflect the context and evoke an atmosphere which is contemplative and respectful of the emotional condition of the building users
HIGHLY COMMENDED – Kate Rushe
The Articulated Lining
This submission presents a thorough investigation of the spatial qualities of linings and how those linings impact interior space, enclosure and circulation. Five different types of linings are analysed and subsequently translated into the design of the building, a youth hostel. The presentation includes a combination of finely drawn plans, axonometric and section, and there is excellent and comprehensive use of hand-made and computer generated models. The images convey the spatial qualities of various amalgamations of the lining typologies, demonstrating a continuous thought process from early exploration stage through to detail design.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – Orla O’Donnell
Man and Landscape
A project which investigates an architecture that registers temporality, the changing seasons and weekly fluctuations of use through the siting of the project at the point where land meet the sea. A well selected brief, the seaweed farm, restaurant and bathing facilities, gives the opportunity to insert strong man-made forms that remain immutable against this changing land and sea scape. Finely detailed hand drawings record carefully observed conditions; the view of Dublin from the walk, concrete meeting rock; all informing the final project