IHBC’s Christmas gift No.1 – A clean sweep for IHBC-recognised courses at the 2016 student awards: Winner + 2 commended + 2 trustee selections

portreath_image_gasa2016The rebuilt ‘Forward Observation Hut’ at Portreath (Grade II) during Storm Abigail. Repairs led by Capt Andy Brigden, Maritime Manager, Cornwall Council.  From Hilary Wyatt’s IHBC Student Award winning dissertation on historic marine infrastructure.

Photo: Colin Higgs (http://www.portreathstudio.com)

The winner of the IHBC Gus Astley Student Award for 2016 has been announced as Hilary Wyatt, then on the IHBC-recognised conservation course at Cardiff University, for her work on historic marine infrastructure, selected by judge David Trench CBE FCIOB, for its ‘valuable contribution to this specialist subject… overlooked as a conservation priority.’ 

Hilary will receive a free place at the IHBC’s Annual School in Manchester in June – fittingly, themed on Historic Infrastructure – at which her £500 cash award and certificate will be presented.

Also selected for commendation by David Trench were:

  • Marc Pique i Gascon, from the IHBC-recognised conservation course at the University of Bath, for ‘quoting the scripts and the life and times of the author’s hero’, Gustavo Giovannoni, ‘and matching those with before and after photographs of good and not-so-good examples of restoration and conservation’.
  • Silvia Rossi, from the IHBC-recognised conservation course at the University of Central Lancashire, for her ‘comprehensive grasp of the UK planning process’, reaching ‘the inevitable conclusion that austerity budgets have reduced resources dedicated to conservation, and this has placed strains on the system’

Gus Astley Fund – Trustee Selection:

Bob Kindred MBE, independent conservation consultant, IHBC research consultant and trustee of the Gus Astley Fund – which has underpinned the development of the IHBC’s annual Gus Astley Student Award – added to the awards for 2016 with two submissions deserving particular commendation as ‘Trustee Selections’:

  • Andy Atkinson, for work carried out on the IHBC-recognised conservation course at the Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Tom Nancoll, for his dissertation submitted on the IHBC-recognised conservation course at Kingston University.

Commended and Selected submissions secure their authors the offer of £150 cash and a place at the 2017 Annual School in Manchester, where they can collect their certificates and prizes.

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘The IHBC can be especially proud of the selection of winners for 2016 as we have had a ‘clean sweep’ of all the awards by students working on our IHBC accredited, ‘Recognised’, conservation courses.’

‘This is especially relevant when the primary selection has been made by the hugely respected and emphatically development-focussed practitioner David Trench, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building!’

‘When graduates from conservation courses recognised by the IHBC are consistently delivering heritage research that gains the admiration and respect of such independent figures as David, then we know we are doing things right!’

David Trench said: ‘It has been an honour and a pleasure to judge the 2016 IHBC Gus Astley Student Award.’

‘The Award is a tremendous way of promoting best practice, improving standards, and raising the profile of conservation studies. The standard of submissions was exceptional, and I have learned an enormous amount about developments across the historic environment.’

‘Hilary’s winning entry in particular is a fabulous contribution to specialist knowledge about a vital but little understood subject.’ 

Hilary Wyatt: ‘An Introduction to Historic Marine Infrastructure in Exposed Tidal Harbours…’

Hilary’s tutor, Oriel Prizemen, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, said: ‘The MSc Sustainable Building Conservation team at the Welsh School of Architecture are immensely proud of Hilary’s achievement, the quality of her dissertation reflects her deep understanding of the subject from a range of perspectives. We are also very grateful that she is now commencing an EPSRC PhD studentship which will enable her to contribute knowledge further to this valuable area.’

Hilary Wyatt, PhD Researcher at Cardiff, said: ‘I am delighted to be awarded the Gus Astley Prize for 2016, and delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Annual School in 2017. My thanks to the IHBC for their generous award.’

‘My course at the Welsh School of Architecture offered a unique opportunity to study conservation AND (italics) sustainability within a practical design context, and I am indebted to Dr Oriel Prizeman for her continued support and encouragement. In my last year at Cardiff I was fortunate to be offered a fully funded EPSRC PhD research post – a rare opportunity to extend my studies in the conservation of coastal heritage.’

‘As the effects of climate change accelerate, this issue poses an almost unique challenge to conservators and coastal managers who continue to maintain our coastal heritage, sometimes in extraordinary conditions.  I’d like to thank all the engineers, harbour managers, trusts, and voluntary associations who generously shared their experiences of repair and recovery following the storms of 2014.’

‘I hope that my being awarded this prize contributes in some way to raising awareness of the specific issues we face in approaching the conservation of coastal structures’

For more on Hilary see Linkedin

Marc Piqué i Gascón: ‘Gustavo Giovannoni: historic building conservation and modern planning development in ancient towns’

Dr Michael Forsyth, Director of Studies on Marc’s IHBC-Recognised MSc in the Conservation of Historic Buildings at the university of Bath, as well as Marc’s tutor, said: ‘I am delighted that the prestigious Gus Astley Award recognises Bath’s students yet again this year.

‘Marc has consistently produced first class material, so is deserving. It is very gratifying that our Bath course continues to produce graduates of the highest calibre.’

Marc, architect at Philip Hughes Associates, said: ‘I had a wonderful time researching and writing this piece of work, and I am delighted to receive this commendation. My work aimed to analyse the conservation theories on historic buildings and ancient towns developed by the Italian architect Gustavo Giovannoni. His ideas thoroughly influenced professionals and legislation during the first half of the 20th century and have been illustrated with past and contemporary examples.’

‘I would like to thank the University of Bath for the excellent MSc course, the IHBC for promoting the work of students and professionals in building conservation, and to Philip Hughes Associates for the ongoing support and learning.’

For more on Marc see Linkedin

Sylvia Rossi: ‘The decision-making process for new housing developments in histroic areas: issues and solutions’ 

Chris O’Flaherty, tutor to Sylvia and course leader on her IHBC-recognised course, the Building Conservation & Adaptation MSc at the University of Central Lancashire. said: ‘This is great news and I’m delighted with this thoroughly deserved commendation for Silvia.  Her research into the topic area was exceptional and the findings of her study, although in many ways disappointing –as they confirmed the damage to conservation services wrought by years of cuts – provide valuable insight into how new housing proposals in conservation areas are currently being assessed at planning stage.’

‘I’d also like to thank the many respondents to Silvia’s survey and her interviewees. Without their willingness to engage primary research of this nature proves impossible.’

Sylvia, an architect at Blackett-Ord Conservation in Cumbria, said: ‘I feel very honoured to be awarded a Commendation for my work, and excited by the opportunity to attend the IHBC Annual School.  I am very grateful to my tutors for their invaluable guidance, to my family for continuing support and to the IHBC for recognizing the value of my work.’

‘My study investigated the planning dilemma of balancing the needs of heritage with those of housing development in practice, through the work and experience of Conservation Officers in the context of public financial constraints. It was a complex and challenging topic in many ways and one that expanded my understanding of the varied and interlinked issues surrounding the management of change in an historic environment increasingly under threat. More research is needed and I hope that more students will consider exploring further aspects of this topic.’

For more on Sylvia see Linkedin

Andy Atkinson: ‘Understanding precedence and how historical buildings inform development interventions in England’

Dr. Alan Coday, Principal Lecturer and Course Leader on the IHBC-recognised course on the ‘Conservation of Buildings’ at Anglia Ruskin University, said: ‘We at Anglia Ruskin University are so utterly delighted that Andy Atkinson has achieved this recognition in the IHBC Gus Astley Award – he scored one of our highest ever dissertation marks for his MSc dissertation and we had rather hoped that the work might achieve recognition beyond academia.’

‘Andy ‘hoovered-up’ the MSc Conservation of Buildings course and attended every site visit, and every overseas study-visit, and very cleverly massaged each of his astute observations into the dissertation – for example he uses the Venetian Olivetti Store off Piazza San Marco as an exemplar of modernist craftsmanship challenging the concept of the ‘deficient storefront’ in an otherwise traditionally embellished arcade.  In another example Andy traced the reductive classicism of the ‘Looshaus’ in Vienna back to an of-the-time satirical illustration ‘Brooding about Art’ in which a cartoon character is shown to trip over a grid-like void in the street. Absolute genius!’

‘Bringing research to life – Andy has recently achieved Grade II listing for a 1935 department store ‘Havens’ in Westcliff-on-Sea and continues to lobby for the strategic management of Conservation Areas as a way to engage with local stakeholders. If everyone used observation, research, and such discreet enthusiasm like Andy – the world would be an even better place!’

Andy Atkinson, an historic building consultant based in Essex, said: ‘I’m thrilled and delighted to hear this news and sincerely hope that this helps the work to reach a wider readership and then participation in the important dialogue of intervention at historical buildings.’

‘Unlike many of the specialised areas of our professions’ work, intervention touches everyone’s lives in some way and describes a future, in many cases a necessary future, for historical buildings. That the subject remains unresolved and open to on-going question is, perhaps, indicative of its importance.’

‘The prize is very much appreciated and will go towards my building conservation work.’

For more on Andy see Linkedin (under development)

Tom Nancollas: ‘A machine for living in: appraising the rock lighthouse interior, 1800-1905’

Judith Farren Bradley, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape at Kingston University, and course leader on the IHBC recognised course there, where Tom undertook his work, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Tom will be offered such prestigious recognition.  He was an exemplary student and made a significant contribution to the programme, bringing an infectious enthusiasm and consummate erudition to everything he did.’

‘I was fortunate to be part of the conversation as his dissertation developed and he gave a memorable presentation of it to staff and students as part of our internal postgraduate conference.’

Tom Nancollas, author and Planning Officer (Historic Environment) at the City of London Corporation, said: ‘I’m delighted to receive recognition of my work on rock lighthouses from the IHBC.  Past winners and commendees have been extremely thought-provoking and I’m really pleased that my work will stand among them. It’s gratifying that the IHBC can recognise papers on more unusual subjects such as mine, and I look forward to future involvement with the Institute.’

Tom is working on various conservation schemes and policy projects and his first book, about rock lighthouses in Britain and Ireland, will be published by Particular Books in 2018.

For more on Tom see Linkedin

See more on the IHBC’s 2017 Annual School in Manchester

For more on the IHBC Gus Astley annual Student Award see the GASA website

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