Skip to main content

BA Architecture Graduate Kate Buurman awarded Commendation in the 2020 RIBA President’s Bronze Medal awards

BA Architecture Graduate Kate Buurman awarded Commendation in the 2020 RIBA President’s Bronze Medal awards

2 December 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the 2020 President’s Medals, the annual awards for the world’s best student architecture projects.

The RIBA Bronze Medal is awarded to the best design project produced at RIBA Part 1, or equivalent. Kate’s submission was her final year project The Mothers of Gingerbread which focused on the question: Do you think our cities are designed with women and children in mind?

Kate explains; Our current urban environment remains fundamentally ‘MAN’-made, reflecting gender-based discrimination, present across wider society. In response, The Mothers of Gingerbread provides six affordable homes for women and children, a day-care and a communal kitchen, creating a community which celebrates the mundane and manifests female empowerment.

The Mothers of Gingerbread is located on the periphery of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, which is undergoing a process of regeneration, prioritising the construction of new high-rise, standardised and so-called luxury apartment blocks over existing communities. The Mothers of Gingerbread aims to provide an example of an alternative future for former industrial sites which are undergoing gentrification, demonstrating how to reconnect and strengthen communities.

Kate said, “I am truly delighted to be receiving a Commendation for my project ‘The Mothers of Gingerbread’. I believe that we need to see change in who the urban environment is designed for, not just the able-bodied male, but for all people; my project manifests this need for social equality, by envisioning a more feminist society.”

 

Kate’s commendation acknowledges a year of rigorous exploration, hard work and considered engagement. Congratulations Kate!

Kieran Connolly, Stage 3 Studio Leader

Carefully crafted response

Kieran Connolly, one of Kate's studio leaders alongside Luke Rigg, commented: “We are delighted Kate's project has been recognised in this year’s RIBA Bronze Medal award. The Mothers of Gingerbread is a highly original architectural response to a difficult site on the periphery of Liverpool city centre and in area undergoing significant urban, social, and economic change. 

Kate developed a carefully crafted response to this context, utilising a range of techniques to explore her ideas, whilst developing a coherent narrative that placed social and ethical agendas at the forefront of the design process. The exploration of feminist design practice through techniques of collage, storytelling, and diligently produced hand drawings illustrates the diversity of approaches we support on the undergraduate degree at the School and demonstrates the rich, critically engaged work that emerges across all of our Stage 3 studios.  

Kate’s commendation acknowledges a year of rigorous exploration, hard work and considered engagement. Congratulations Kate!” 

Inspring range of exceptional proposals

Discussing this years’ awards and the high calibre of entries, RIBA President Alan Jones said: “I am inspired by the range of exceptional proposals with climate emergency, ethics, equity and social purpose at the heart of their investigation and problem solving. The RIBA President’s Medals continue to acknowledge work of the highest calibre, and technical and social relevance, essential to future architects wishing to tackle our global challenges. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and thank you to the schools of architecture and the tutors, who have educated and nurtured their talent.”