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Steelworks-inspired design earns DMU graduate top award


Reimagining Sheffield’s steelworks has led to recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Architecture graduate.


Simon (right) receiving recognition at DMU's Degree Show

Simon Green, who graduated with a distinction from the Leicester School of Architecture earlier this year, was named overall winner in the East Midlands Student Awards (Part 2).

His project wowed judges for its bold and imaginative design - a housing scheme inspired by the once-thriving steelworks industry of Kelham Island in Sheffield, which pays tribute to the area’s heritage.

“An unfortunate decline caused by cheaper imports during the late 20th century left behind a vast amount of derelict industrial buildings. These have since been targeted for profit driven developments in the form of high density living, with no consideration to the historic significance of the area or the potential to expand on inner city green spaces,” said Simon.

This is the third award Simon has won for his design project, which unites two generations of steelworkers to tackle the isolation of pensioners and low wages of apprentices, alongside rising living costs.

The other two were awarded at DMU’s Degree Show this summer, an annual showcase of final-year students’ work.


Retired and Apprentice Steelworker Housing

Simon, who received the news while he was at work, said that the win came as a complete shock: "I feel honoured to have received this prestigious award, but I am still coming to terms with it.” 

Since graduating from DMU with an Architecture BA (Hons) in 2013, Simon has been working full time as an architectural technician. He completed his Architecture MArch part-time and now plans to work towards his Part 3 which will allow him to register as a fully qualified architect.

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He said: “I look forward to working on some exciting real-world projects, seeing them through from conceptual design ideas to fully constructed buildings.”

The judging panel said of Simon’s submission: “An excellent range of media, views and models have been used to illustrate a bold and imaginative design solution responding strongly to both the design brief and site context.

“Both material and structure combine to reflect the industrial heritage of the local area. A contemporary tectonic response." 

Simon’s time at DMU was ‘a rewarding experience’, allowing him to explore his ideas. 

He said: “Producing drawings and hand-crafted models are passions of mine and having a tutor like Tim Barwell who shared the same interests was encouraging and helped along with the development process.”

Simon will receive a certificate and £100 prize for his project - Retired and Apprentice Steelworker Housing - at the RIBA East Midlands Awards event next year.

It was a double win for the university as Christopher Walker from the Leicester School of Architecture secured the runner-up prize (Part 2).

Posted on Friday 21st December 2018

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