Bold ambitions and strong community engagement – 2017 Student Award winners announced

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A bold proposal with an ambitious idea about democracy and a detailed plan with strong community engagement scoop Scotland’s student awards.

Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos, University of Strathclyde, and Naomi Rubbra, ESALA, are winners at annual A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2017

A bold, vigorous and dynamic proposal for a Scottish Youth Parliament and Ministry for Education scooped the RIAS Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for best Fifth Year Student for Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos, University of Strathclyde, and a project to produce dialogues for better cities, by Naomi Rubbra, a third year student at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), won the A&DS Award for Best Third Year Student.

Their projects were just some of the high quality student projects that received awards and commendations the annual Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Scottish Student Awards for Architecture. Fifteen student projects were presented at a special event held in Edinburgh on Thursday 13 July.

The winners were announced following Chiff-Chaff – a quick fire presentation style where the students shared their projects, process and inspiration with other students, the jury and members of the public. The event was held in Café Camino in Edinburgh, and was followed by the annual Andy MacMillan memorial lecture, this year given by renowned architect Sunand Prasad (PPRIBA Hon FRIAS).

The awards – now in their 15th year – recognise the talent of student architects and are awarded in a number of categories. Projects submitted included proposals ranging from an archive and gallery for a Edinburgh based collector through to a proposal for a development in Aberdeen harbour inspired by traditional smokehouses, a project to support veterans providing links to the rest of the community and ways to re-use the Athens Olympics infrastructure.

An exhibition featuring the winning and shortlisted projects will tour to the schools of architecture throughout 2017/18, and start at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, on Friday 14th July.

The student awards offer a rare opportunity for the public and profession to see the best work of students from all of Scotland’s Schools of Architecture together in one space.

Speaking about the Awards, A&DS Chair Karen Anderson said “We are continuously looking to develop how we highlight Scotland’s emerging talent, and these awards – promoted jointly with the RIAS – are an excellent opportunity to showcase the high standard emerging from our schools of architecture. I am particularly pleased that we were able to hear directly from the students in our new presentation-based event – Chiff-Chaff. The students presented confidently and were able to clearly demonstrate their thinking and their ideas and I want to congratulate everyone who took part.”

RIAS President, Stewart Henderson, commented, “Our annual student awards mark the extraordinarily high quality of architectural education in Scotland. Students from throughout the world come here because of the excellent training that is on offer. Scotland’s five schools of architecture are major contributors to the evolution of architecture across the planet.”

The 2017 Winners are:

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for best 5th year student

Winning Project:

Asylum: Scottish Youth Parliament And Ministry of Education, Glasgow Green and Calton

By: Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos, University of Strathclyde.

Judges’ Citation: 

He presented a bold, vigorous, dynamic, detuned, energetic proposal, with an ambitious idea about democracy. He shows architectural form without fear, through a very clear journey.


Architecture and Design Scotland Award for Best 3rd Year Student

Winning Project: 

Material Explorations and Material Tectonics Chile’s Atacama Dessert and Edinburgh City 

By: Naomi Rubbra, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Judges’ Citation: 

In her project she clearly engaged community and thought about diversity of community. She addresses an impressive breadth of concern, including a lot of detail and created a solution with an intelligent design.


Architecture and Design Scotland Urban Design Award

Winning Project:

By: Hannah Cattanach, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Judges’ Citation: 

Close reading of the place, texture and fabric and a good understanding of how people relate to their place.


Architecture and Design Scotland Sustainable Design Award

Winning Project: As per 3rd Year Winner/Naomi Rubbra

Judges’ Citation: Great adaptation, creative and socially engaged with a sustainable palette, reusing existing fabric.


The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Andy MacMillan Drawing Award


Winning Project:

By: Robert Wightman, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Judges’ Citation: 

He communicates the scheme very strongly, with clarity, tremendous artistic integrity and the quality, beautiful images in their own right.



This year’s judges were:

Karen Anderson FRIAS, Chair, Architecture and Design Scotland.

Stewart Henderson, PRIAS, President, RIAS.

Sunand Prasad, PPRIBA Hon FRIAS, Penoyre & Prasad.

Susie Stirling, Scottish Government.


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