Architecture students compete in Richard III-inspired design challenge

Architecture students competed against the clock when they were set a challenge to design a travelling exhibition space to tell the Richard III story.

And they got a bit of expert help beforehand from two people in very different disciplines – Professor Sarah Hainsworth from the University of Leicester and Jonathan Park who designed stage sets for the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.


JOINT WINNERS: Stephen Osho, Bradley Lowe, Kieren Blanch and Martynas Seskas with their open canopy design

Postgraduate and undergraduate students at De Montfort University's Leicester School of Architecture were given 24 hours to come up with an idea and used various aspects of Richard III’s life, including the armour worn at the time to medieval tents, his heraldic white rose and even his famously crooked spine to inspire their creations.

The challenge was set by Leicestershire and Rutland Society of Architects, whose president Malcolm Goodall judged the entries.

He awarded prizes of £100 each to two undergraduate teams – Josh Geach and Przemyslaw Pastor, and Stephen Osho, Bradley Lowe, Kieren Blanch and Martynas Seskas.

Rob Sheen, manager of the Architect Hub in the School of Architecture, said: “The brief was to design a travelling exhibition space for the Richard III exhibition. Every design had something different and it’s interesting they approached it from different angles. Leicestershire and Rutland Society of Architects work very closely with us and this is a very popular competition.”


Josh and Przemyslaw used the armour worn by Richard III as the inspiration for their enclosed design, pictured above.

Josh said: “It was all very secretive until we got the brief but then we were able to sit down and have a discussion, and focusing on his armour we came up with this armadillo-style design for our pavilion.

“It was a great experience even though it was flat out work but it was fun and we’ll definitely enter again next year.”

Przemyslaw added: “We got quite worried when we saw the other groups’ work going up because it was really good and there were about 15 other groups so it’s nice to be recognised out of that many but overall we were just really pleased.”

The second team chose an open design which was based on different elements of the Richard III story from the spine to the white rose.

Bradley said: “The idea is very conceptual, it was kind of a mix of different symbols of the Richard III. There are five layers to represent the five petals of the rose and we set it in the context of the visitors’ centre at Bosworth.
 I think the reason we did so well, is that we each have our own strong points and we played to them.”

This is the second time that Bradley and Kieren have been on the winning team, having scooped the prize last year to redesign a spire at St Mary de Castro church.

The School of Architecture prizes were awarded to two postgraduate teams – Romylous Irodotou and Ariadni Tzagkaraki, and Nick Pocock and James Capell – for their work.

Mr Goodall said: “This is a bit of a practice run for real life, when architects compete for work. I was impressed with the designs that the students came up with and this competition is a great way of those of us in practice making links with students.”

Posted on Friday 6 March 2015

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