A student and a graduate were commended for their work at the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals award ceremony in London on 4 December 2018. The international award aims to showcase the work of talented Architecture students studying at institutions around the world.

Rosie Milne, who was studying on the Architecture – MA (Hons) programme at the time and is now on the Architecture – MArch programme, was the Dissertation Medal Winner for ‘Species of Nooks and Other Niches’, a project that “explores, simultaneously, the architecture of nooks and nooks in architecture, examining nooks as spaces which conceal against nakes as spaces which reveal.” The award goes to the best dissertation written during a professional qualification in architecture. Rosie’s supervisor for this work was Dr Dorian Wiszniewski, Senior Lecturer, Architectural Design and Theory.

Ruth McNickle, who studied on both the MA (Hons) and the MArch programmes at Edinburgh College of Art received a commendation in the RIBA Silver Medal category, which goes to the best design project produced during RIBA Part 2 or a equivalent qualification. The project – ‘Tilling the Prado: A Furrow of Reconstruction’ – was situated in the city of Havana, and aimed to care for and rebuild the city following the destruction by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Ruth’s design tutors were Adrian Hawker (Lecturer, Architectural Design (Contemporary Practice)) and Victoria Bernie (Senior Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design). Ruth now works at Adjaye Associates in London.

The Prado
Image: Ruth McNickle
The Prado

"It is so important to consider the project's context, its people, its cultures and traditions and to place these at the forefront of the design. I intend to continue with this consciousness throughout my career.”

Ruth McNickle, Architecture - MA (Hons) and MArch graduate

“Hurricane Irma hit Havana during the course of my two-year project, which fed into and developed the key aims of the design. This hurricane penetrated the city leaving Old Havana in a very fragile state, and thus the project proposed an area known as The Cut to act as a bilge tank and point of refuge for residents from unstable buildings,” said Ruth.

After a two-week trip to Havana and extensive research, Ruth’s project aimed to rebuild the city in a variety of ways, “The first related to the reinstatement of Guevara and Castro’s National Art Schools into the city centre, providing a landscape in which schools of music, art and dance are embedded, opening the art institution to all. The next took the form of a series of workshops that would craft the relevant building materials required to reconstruct Havana’s eroding architecture.”

“It was a great honour to have received the commendation, considering how many entries there were from all over the world,” said Ruth, “Since graduating from Edinburgh I have been working at Adjaye Associates and working on some really interesting projects. The inherent link between architecture and culture that I focused on throughout my two-year Masters project lends itself to the types of sensitive projects that I am now working on.It is so important to consider the project's context, its people, its cultures and traditions and to place these at the forefront of the design. I intend to continue with this consciousness throughout my career.



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