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Students win architectural accolades

Ben Ross prize winning civic centre proposal

Ben Ross’s proposal for a new Christchurch civic centre secured two RIBA prizes

Three architecture students at the University of Portsmouth have won prizes for their work from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Ben Ross was a double winner. His design for a new kind of civic centre for Christchurch, in Dorset, secured him the RIBA South Student Prize.

Ben Ross

Ben Ross

On a site dominated by two enormous Victorian gasholders, Ben envisaged a building in which civic facilities would be suspended on huge timber frames, making them easily replaceable and adaptable. Ben also received a prize for the best detailing on show at the School of Architecture’s End of Year Show for students’ work.

An assignment to design retirement housing in Winchester was the inspiration for two other winning projects.

Oliver Martin

Oliver Martin

Oliver Martin won the Degree Prize for his almshouse-inspired design, with pairs of traditional individual dwellings around a garden courtyard imagined as an overgrown forest. In Oliver’s proposal, workshop spaces on the ground floor of the buildings would incorporate the development into the street life of central Winchester.

Lewis Burrell was awarded the prize for best integrated design – understanding of how a building is put together. He envisaged a mixed-use building with older people’s homes, workplaces and communal spaces all on the same floors to encourage integration and interaction. A central atrium would connect the different areas to maximise the building’s natural light and ventilation.

Lewis Burrell

Lewis Burrell

Prize judge, Andy Ramus, chair of RIBA Hampshire Branch, which represents nearly 900 architects based in the county, had high praise for all three winners. Ben Ross’s work had particularly showed ‘a pleasing aesthetic’, Oliver Martin’s drawings were ‘beautiful’, and Lewis Burrell’s design was ‘an elegant sculptural solution’.

Professor Catherine Harper, Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said that she was excited by the students’ success. “Ben, Oliver and Lewis have excelled in applying what they have learned with their visionary projects. It is very pleasing that RIBA have, once again, recognised the quality of work coming out of the University’s School of Architecture.”

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