IHBC Annual Gus Astley Student Awards 2011 announced

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), the professional body for built and historic environment conservation specialists, has announced the winners of the 2011 Annual Gus Astley Student Award, selected by the guest judge Rory Cullen, Head of Buildings at the National Trust and member of IHBC and CIOB.

There were 51 entries to the 2011 Award, with contestants ranging from undergraduates learning about historic places to later-career architects honing skills in understanding places.

The winner is Emma Anderson, who submitted her work on the rebuilding of listed buildings after catastrophic destruction on the conservation course at Oxford Brookes. She will receive a £300 cash prize and a free place at the IHBC’s Annual School, which takes place in Winchester in June. Three other submissions have been selected for commendation. The authors, from institutions in Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh, will receive smaller cash prizes as well as offers of places at the Annual School.

Rory Cullen said of Emma’s winning submission: ‘This is a very well researched exercise, extremely readable, with good and wide-ranging case studies that might inform practitioners’ advice.’

Jo Evans, IHBC Chair, said: ‘Our Student Award is crucially important for the IHBC, and for the heritage conservation industry as a whole. It highlights the best of the diverse professions and career routes that underpin successful conservation – from engineering to history and from young students to established professionals modernising their skills.’

I would like to thank everyone who took the trouble to make a submission, as well as their tutors for the guidance the have provided, often with very little recognition beyond the personal gratitude of the student. And of course I would also like to thank Rory for his energetic and dedicated review of the submissions for 2011, our busiest award to date!’

Bob Kindred MBE, IHBC Government Liaison Secretary, said on behalf of the Gus Astley Trustees: ‘It is heartening, at a challenging time for conservation education, that there are so many committed and talented graduates. This would have given Gus, in whose honour we make the award, great delight and satisfaction.’

Award winners

IHBC Gus Astley Award Winner
Emma Anderson, ‘Rising from the Rubble: An examination of the rebuilding of listed buildings after catastrophic destruction; Principles, Process and Practice’, Oxford Brookes, 2010

Of this Rory Cullen said: ‘This is a very well researched exercise, extremely readable, with good and wide-ranging case studies, all especially well presented. It is also a very practical project that explores lessons from which practitioners can learn, while also interrogating wider principles that might inform professional advice.’

‘Understanding of what is a complex and challenging topic is helped by a clear and logical structure, as it progresses from examining the nature of catastrophic events that may strike any building, through the philosophies and legislative and statutory frameworks, to the conclusions that can be drawn from what are highly relevant case studies.’

Commended (Joint award)
Tristan Dewhurst, ‘Project – enhancing a public place: The Setting of St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol’, University of the West of England, 2011

Rory Cullen said: ‘This could have been a modest student project but diligence and a wide-ranging professional approach to the topic ensured that it stands well above the ordinary. It is well written and set out, exploring how issues such as urban grain and access can shape how we plan the future of heritage, while the topic itself provides a good example of the kind of challenges many planners will face throughout their career.’

Commended (Joint award)
Grant Prescott, ‘The Future of Constructivist Architecture in Moscow’, Manchester School of Architecture, 2011

Rory Cullen said: ‘It is a fascinating exploration of the subject with lots of interesting details, all well illustrated by often and original striking images. It is both well written and well researched, and covers a subject that many may be aware of from books, but which is here presented with a substantial body of first-hand experience. That the work was supported by an award from the Manchester Society of Architects is a clear demonstration of just how well professional bodies can support historical and conservation studies’.

Special Mention
Michael MacDonagh, ‘Finding New Uses for Irish Demesnes: authenticity and integrity issues’, Edinburgh College of Art, 2010

Rory Cullen said: ‘This is another well-researched and well written study of an important topic, all well laid out and structured. This subject matter left you delving into the potential for re-use – an important and very interesting study of an increasing rare legacy’.

For details of the IHBC Annual Gus Astley Student Award see: gasa.ihbc.org.uk

The 2012 award is open for entry online at: LINK

For past winners and linked publications see: LINK

This entry was posted in Sector NewsBlog. Bookmark the permalink.