Student architecture award shortlisted

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Three great projects shortlisted for the SPAB's 'reuse of old buildings' design award 

Our Philip Webb Award is a unique opportunity for budding architects who are interested in sustainability and breathing new life into neglected old buildings. Schemes need to incorporate both careful repair of existing fabric and a significant element of new work in a contemporary design. 


The number and quality of the entries this year meant the judges had a challenging task before them in selecting a shortlist from among the wealth of thoughtful, imaginative and ambitious work.  


The shortlisted projects are: 

Michał Saniewski (University of Cambridge) ‘Transformative Reconstruction’ 

George Williams and Joseph Richard Cox (Manchester School of Architecture) ‘Rethinking Familiar Things’ 

Harry Sale (University of Sheffield) ‘The Brick Exchange’ 


Michał Saniewski’s project sets out a plan for Falerone, a medieval Italian town damaged by a series of tragic seismic shakes in 2016. Adapting abandoned buildings, including a monastery, into a craft school is an opportunity to revive traditional local skills, and for sharing knowledge of earthquake-resistant construction. He developed his strategy for resilient conservation and its gradual re-inhabitation in close dialogue with the local community, authorities, architects and engineers. 

Credit: Michal Saniewski


George Williams and Joseph Richard Cox’s project celebrates the farmstead as symbol of rural continuity. Within the site of a disused farm in Harpham in Yorkshire, their scheme investigates the contemporary role of Northern England’s traditional farmsteads, bringing new life through alternative agricultural methodologies. Using local materials, their proposal creates new spaces for education, community use and biomaterial processing and research at the centre of the village.  

 Credit: George Williams and Joseph Richard Cox

Harry Sale’s project gives a new, circular purpose to the empty ceramics Spode Factory in Stoke-on-Trent. His scheme involves creating a new public pavilion of reclaimed brick, reusing derelict pottery workshops as a bricklaying college, and establishing a store of salvaged bricks from construction sites, safeguarding Stoke’s architectural heritage for use in future local projects. 

Credit: Harry Sale.

We are very grateful to our judges: Dr Neal Shasore, CEO and Head of School at the London School of Architecture; Merlo Kelly, Design Fellow at the School of Architecture, University College Dublin; Bethan Watson, architect and SPAB Scholar; Neil Pinder, Head of Product Design and Architecture, Graveney School; and Wil Tunnell, architect at Edinburgh-based WTArchitecture. Our thanks also to Robert Davies for his kind assistance.  


This year’s award is generously sponsored by spatial data consultants and measurement surveyors Terra Measurement. Andy Beardsley, managing director at Terra Measurement says: "We decided to sponsor the Philip Webb Award for two reasons. Firstly, because it has a direct link to the type of projects we are involved in as spatial data consultants and surveyors. Most importantly though, we want to help promote the sensitive reuse of old buildings to both arrest their decay and reduce construction's carbon footprint." 


Book your place to join us for the Ceremony on 3 November at Conway Hall, London.  

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