UCA architecture team wins UK competition

Image from the project

A team of students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Canterbury has recently won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) UK Student Charrette 2011.

The one day design competition, attended by many leading schools of architecture in the UK, was contended by ten teams in Bedford Square, London.

Oliver Froome-Lewis, BA (Hons) Architecture course leader at UCA Canterbury, said: "This is a significant win showcasing the contemporary qualities of our students' approaches, their commitment and their highly productive and collaborative working methods."

The competition required students to work collaboratively in teams of six to eight, representing their school or institution. Each team was mentored by a seasoned practicing architect or interior architect. The winning team from UCA consisted of Harry Varnavas (Lead Architect), Frazer Day, Sam Edwards, Andrew Woolford, Sarah Hussain, Yvonne Jackson, Pharsisi Kanchanamai and Lucy Smith.

This year's theme challenged students to 'explore how architectural form can create both expressive and rich interior spaces which heighten one's understanding of an overall concept or idea.'

Harry Varnavas said: "We came up with a dynamic design which at the same time gave the idea of a 'living building.' This provided the viewer with the
experience of living within a movable space. Ramps were positioned and the
shapes of the new exhibition spaces were created. The sliding ceilings and
the changes in height added to the concept of experiencing the walkthrough."

At the end of the afternoon, UCA's design was awarded first place, after each team's submissions were discussed publicly in front of a panel of judges.

Oliver said: "The chair of the Jury Paul Finch OBE, who is Deputy Chair of the Design Council and Chair of the Design Council at Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), is an important figure on the Architectural competition circuit. The AIA UK Student Charrette always has highly respected judges, with teams of the best students from many of the leading schools of Architecture in the UK competing every year."

He added: "Our students have gained enormous confidence and satisfaction from the opportunity to demonstrate and compare their imagination and skills on a national level."

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