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The President’s Medals Student Awards WINNERS [Part 1]

December 3, 2009

We have talked here [and there] about some projects presented at the competition The President’s Medals Student Awards. Yesterday the winners was announced and here, we present a review of some of the winners here [and more in forthcoming posts]:

Medal Winner 2009SOM Winner -

A Defensive Architecture by Nicholas Szczepaniak from the University of Westminster London UK. This thesis is intended to expose unexpected readings of the built environment in the future if we don’t take more drastic steps to deal with climate change. Set in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, the project envisages a set of militarised coastal defence towers that perform multiple functions

1. The principle role of the towers is to act as an environmental warning device. The architecture is alive, dramatizing shifts in environmental conditions; breathing, creaking, groaning, sweating and crying when stressed.

2. Across the estuary, a bed of salt marshes provides a natural form of flood defence and habitats for wildlife. Due to rising water levels and adverse weather conditions, the salt marshes are quickly deteriorating. The proposal suggests how megastructures can be integrated and used to encourage the growth of natural defence mechanisms against flooding in order to protect the erosion of fragile coastline areas and our most important cities.

3. Internally, the towers serve as a vast repository for mankinds most valuable asset; knowledge. The architecture is a knowledge ark, which protects books from culminative and catastrophic deterioration.

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Medal Winner 2009

An Augmented Ecology of Wildlife and Industry by Wen Ying Teh from the Architectural Association London UK. An existing salt mine sits as a scar on the Galapagos Landscape. Once the natural habitat of Flamingos, this salt lake has long been a desolate space ravaged by the nearby restaurant industry. The Galapagos is caught between its massive contribution to the Ecuadorian economy and its value as a historic wilderness.

This project is conceived of as a provocation and speculation on how these two demands may be hybridized as an alternative to the typical conservationist practices applied across the islands. The two traditionally mutually exclusive programs of salt farming and Flamingo habitat are re imagined as a new form of symbiotic designed ecology; a pink wonderland, built from colored bacteria and salt crystallization, dissolving and reshaping itself with seasonal and evaporative cycles. The building becomes an ecosystem in itself, completely embedded in the context that surrounds it.

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Commendation

Mediacity-verticaldiscovery (mc-vd) by Selvei Al-Assadi from the London South Bank University London UK. MC-VD
Less of a new building type than a kind of architectural fungus spreading across the roofs and walls of the city…a tower of cross communication…

Media City-Vertical Discovery is a critique of media obsession with London’s West End, and the political influence this has on news and broadcasting. Previously, news was delivered once a day on a black and white box. Inundated now with many distinct methods, visuals are the most undemanding means of communication. Nevertheless, the more easily we take in information, the greater media success and profit has developed from covering celebrities in an over-exposed/glamorised celebrity culture. MediaCity-VerticalDiscovery sets to change our obsession with this culture.

More projects to be released in forthcoming post. Keep tunned for updates!

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