Ben Hayes

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards 2013 all go to one London school

News: students from the Bartlett School of Architecture have cleaned up at the RIBA President's Medals Student Awards this evening, with winning projects including a floating community centre for the Helsinki archipelago and a proposal to rebuild 250 Russian churches.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes
Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes

The medals, which are awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to three architecture graduates, have for the first time in the programme's history been given to individuals who all studied at the same university - the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes
Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes restoration sequence

Ben Hayes received the Bronze Silver Medal for his project Kizhi Island, which proposes the reconstruction of 250 wooden Orthodox churches on a six-kilometre-wide isle in northern Russia.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes
Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes curation timeline - click for larger image

The Part II graduate analysed the influence of romanticism on the ecclesiastical architecture of the former Soviet Union, before designing a museum and restoration centre to facilitate the dismantling and restoration of different kinds of churches.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes
Kizhi Island by Ben Hayes restoration facility - click for larger image

The Silver Bronze Medal was awarded to Part I graduate Ness Lafoy for her design for a community hub serving the 50,000 residents of the archipelago surrounding Helsinki.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall by Ness Lafoy
Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall by Ness Lafoy

The conceptual Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall comprises a floating clubhouse and hotel to accommodate islanders travelling to the mainland. It would incorporate a postal service for remote islands, as well as a council meeting place for addressing transport issues.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall by Ness Lafoy
Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall interior by Ness Lafoy

The Dissertation Medal, which is awarded in recognition of a research project, was given to Tamsin Hanke for Magnitogorsk: Utopian vision of spatial socialism. This theoretical research explores how a socialist political ideology was developed in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk between 1930 and 1953.

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall by Ness Lafoy
Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall daily routine by Ness Lafoy

Speaking about the winners, RIBA President Stephen Hodder said: "They overcame intense competition from the best students of architecture around the world and truly shined with their innovative, challenging and thought-provoking projects."

RIBA President's Medals Student Awards - Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall by Ness Lafoy
Helsinki Archipelago Town Hall night view by Ness Lafoy

"This is an unprecedented achievement," said Bartlett director Marcos Cruz. "It's due to the extraordinary talent and dedication of our students and staff. It is also a reflection of the school's commitment to keeping our staff and students at the forefront of innovation, ideas, and excellence in architecture."

The medal recipients were announced in a ceremony this evening at the RIBA headquarters in London.