School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

Architect's Journal Student Prize 2020

Jonathan Barker, Oliver Kearney and George Spendlove have been nominated for awards

Part 1 Submission - Jonathan Barker

The Ordinary Resilience studio is engaged in ideas concerning context, historical narrative and materials that create enduring architecture in search of a wider intelligibility. Working through a process of research, rather than invention, the studio looks to create architecture that is rooted in place and explores the experiential potential of materials, carefully pieced together in a celebration of craft and construction.

Working on a large, urban site Jonathan’s project has investigated how to create a new piece of city to become home to a school of architecture. Using a range of artist references, but in particular focussing on the work of Marcel Duchamp, this project is inspired by careful observations of the city in search of delight in everyday life. Through a process of photography, printmaking and sculptural investigations this project borrows atmospheres and spatial qualities that are then implemented and collaged to form an enriching and varied range of educational spaces.

Intrigued by the communicative qualities of facades Jonathan’s project combines careful observations of the surrounding city with large scale material investigations to develop a proposal with a clear tectonic language and enduring sense of permanence.

Jonathan Barker AJ Student Prize   Jonathan Barker AJ Student Prize

Part 2 Submission - Oliver Kearney

The project ‘Myth Comes To Market’, reverses the decision to demolish Sheffield’s Castle Market, preserving and re-appropriating the existing structure towards a new use. 

The decision to demolish the 1960’s era Castle Market building in favour of exposing the forgotten medieval castle, presents a clear hierarchy of heritage.  It also prompts the question, who is Sheffield for? Its people or the tourists the city is hungry for.

Oliver chose to imagine a scenario whereby Sheffield Castle Markets (demolished in 2015) were saved and refurbished as a place of exchange.  A system of material passporting is applied to existing and former landmarks in Sheffield and the resultant fragments are processed, refurbished and displayed in the new marketplace.  The project weighs up a component’s embodied energy against its embodied memory and raises interesting questions about the importance of our built heritage. 

Oliver has made a bold new connection between the existing building and Sheffield’s waterways and has reorganised the building plan carefully to retain its character and relationship to the surrounding streets.  The components are uncovered and displayed during the phased redevelopment of the site. 

Oliver Kearney AJ Student Prize     Oliver Kearney AJ Student Prize

Sustainability Award - George Spendlove

George's project is amongest eight that have been shortlisted for this year's award.

The studio focus was the site of a 1960s tower block on the fringes between city and suburb: 160 single aspect apartments, densely stacked but under occupied. George’s proposal sought to retrofit the tower and imagine the development anew. By building-in flexibility and choice at the scale of the individual unit, it imagines how the existing infrastructure could support a diversity of households and support a strong community and sustainable future for the site. 

The existing low-rise podium is partially removed to improve connections to the wider neighbourhood, making transparent the complexity of residential, working and educational spaces, around the new urban square. Addressing the residential spaces, the project proposes a careful reconfiguration of the tower’s interior. This reconfiguration increases the variety of housing types, and offers residents spacious, comfortable and adaptable homes that counter the rigid and inflexible layouts of much new housing.  The new apartments are all dual-aspect, with newly added balconies and sun rooms. These lightweight, modular elements re-instate the proportions of the towerblock.  The inhabitation of each sunroom contributes to an animated and lively façade that speaks of the life of the building. 

George’s work situates itself centrally to two crises of our time – that of the housing crisis and the climate crisis. On defining his strategy to work with the buildings on site rather than demolish, he rigorously interrogates the complexity of working with an existing structure- from the difficulties of thermal bridging to the creation of waste materials during the retrofit process. His strong use of both historic and contemporary architectural references helps ground the project.

George Spendlove AJ Sustainability Award     George Spendlove AJ Sustainability Award

published on: 3 August 2020