MSD Student awarded RIBA Silver Medal 2019

MSD student Victoria King has won the RIBA President’s Silver Medal 2019 for her Independent Thesis project ‘Surface Tension: Blueprints for Observing Contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary’.

Victoria King and Alan Pert
Image: Silver Medalist Victoria King with her thesis tutor, MSD Director Alan Pert. 

The President's Medals are the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) oldest awards and are widely regarded as the most prestigious prizes in architectural education globally. The Silver Medal is given to the best design work for students undertaking RIBA Part 2 (or equivalent) qualifications and has been awarded since 1836.

The awards took place on Tuesday December 3, with the Medal being presented to Victoria by Lord Norman Foster, himself a previous Silver Medal winner.

Four hundred and eight schools of architecture located in eighty countries around the world were invited by the RIBA to nominate up to two entries for the Bronze Medal, two entries for the Silver Medal and one entry for the Dissertation Medal. A total of 318 submissions were made.

Victoria’s project explores how the delicate ecosystem of the Sydney Harbour Estuary could be renewed amidst an extant landscape of post-industrial degradation.

Surface Tension project extractImage: Blueprint for Renewal - Existing and Proposed Conditions on Goat Island. This set of drawings explores the extant site conditions at two selected sites, Snapper and Goat Island. 

Using drawing as a critical method for historical and material exploration, ‘Surface Tension’ presents a survey of three sites of post-industrial instability. The maritime artefact is reconceived as productive infrastructure to form a network of monitoring and observation sites across the Estuary. The inherent qualities of these artefacts (The Cardinal Mark, The Slipway and The Vessel) afford performative functions for observation. A set of blueprints emerge from this survey, exploring instances where contamination may open opportunity for renewal within the Estuary.

Victoria's tutors for her thesis were Professor Alan Pert and Professor Gini Lee. Victoria completed her  Master of Architecture in 2019.

Read more and view Victoria’s project here

The full list of 2019 winners are displayed on the RIBA website.

The RIBA Journal has published an online article exploring the background to Victoria’s project on their website. Read the full article here.

Victoria and ABP Dean Julie Willis
Image: Silver Medalist Victoria King (centre) with ABP Dean Professor Julie Willis (right) at the awards ceremony.