IHBC Gus Astley Student Award winner announced

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), the key professional body for historic environment conservation specialists, has announced the winner of its 2008 IHBC Gus Astley Annual Student Award. This is the major award for those developing careers in built and historic environment conservation. Malcolm Cooper, Chief Inspector at Historic Scotland, judged the 2008 award.

The prize for 2008 consists of £300 and a free place at the IHBC’s Day School, worth more than £200. It has been awarded to Bridget Pereira, of Edinburgh College of Art, for her work entitled ‘People Versus Buildings:  Has the safeguarding of architectural unity in Brasilia encouraged residential stratification by income between the Pilot Plan and the periphery?’. Mr Cooper noted that ‘It’s an exceptionally well written and mature piece of work, interesting and innovative in its approach, with a well thought out and clearly argued thesis.’ Four other submissions received special commendation, from Crispin Edwards, University of Leicester, Eva Mendez, Oxford Brookes University, Tapasa Samal, University of Bath, and Emma Jones, Ironbridge Institute (University of Birmingham).

Dr Seán O’Reilly, IHBC Director, said: ‘There were 28 entrants for the 2008 award, from universities and colleges across the United Kingdom. Topics this year were especially diverse, ranging from architects Carlo Scarpa and G.F. Bodley, to funding strategies for conservation and the use of scientific tools such as tree-ring dating. The breadth, quality and depth of the work submitted for the award confirms that conservation courses and allied research and education is extremely healthy across the UK, despite pressures from a faltering economy and, too often, threats to the future of individual courses themselves.’

Bob Kindred on behalf of the Gus Astley Trustees praised the standard of entries for the Awards, now in their second year, saying: ‘It is heartening, at a challenging time for conservation education, that there are many committed up-and-coming graduates who have demonstrated their abilities in the submissions. This would have given Gus great delight and satisfaction’.

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Notes for editors:
1. The IHBC’s Annual Student Award award is inspired by the memory of Gus Astley, former Membership Secretary of the IHBC. To enter, students on relevant taught courses simply submit course work relevant to historic environment conservation. The last submission date for the 2009 Awards is 31 July 2009. Details are available at http://www.ihbc.org.uk/awards.htm

2. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers. See: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/

Queries: Seán O’Reilly: (0131) 5583671; director@ihbc.org.uk

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