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Architecture graduate wins top award

8 September 2009

With his provocative project on the effects of climate change, a University of Westminster School of Architecture and the Built Environment graduate has been voted one of the best in the country by Building Design Magazine’s Class of 2009 jury.

SzczepaniakNicholas Szczepaniak (pictured), a Graduate Diploma in Architecture graduate, is considered one of the UK’s top six graduating architecture students by Building Design Magazine’sClass of 2009 – a prestigious award from this top architectural magazine.


“It's fantastic to have been selected as one of the six winners of this award,” said Nicholas. “The quality of entrants this year was particularly high so to be considered one of the best graduates in the country is a real incentive and makes all the hard work over the last two years worthwhile.”


Set in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, his fantastical project imagines the construction of a set of coastal defence towers that warn of the dangers of climate change (pictured below right). “The building fabric dramatises shifts in environmental conditions, creaking, groaning, sweating and crying when stressed”.


Nick’s tutor, Susanne Isa, commended her student on handling the scheme “in a sensitive and thoughtful manner throughout”.

“In his project, entitled A Defensive Architecture, Nick has proposed an intense and thought-provoking piece of work that is a reflection of, and response to, the effects of climate change. The work is deliberately allegorical and provocative,” she said.


Szczepaniak towers

Nick was among several graduates to make a strong impression at this year’s University of Westminster architecture degree show. Professional, organised, inspiring and impressive are just some of the accolades heaped upon the 2009 exhibition.


Held at the University’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment on Marylebone Road, the show attracted considerable attention from the trade press - particularly from the widely-respected Architects’ Journal (AJ).


Ed Frith of AJ described the Westminster show as: “a technically wide-ranging show, with some outstanding exhibits”.


He wrote: “This year’s Westminster School of Architecture show, spreading through the school’s double-height studios on the Marylebone Road, features carefully-drawn and modelled degree work, such as the new vehicular architecture by Wenlan Yuan, of Ben Stringer’s unit.


“Among the many outstanding students this year were: Nicholas Szczepaniak, from Susanne Isa’s unit, with remarkable drawings of his Blackwater Estuary repository, and Emily Pavlatou, with her Hackney hedge project, produced in Murray Fraser’s Stealth Ecology unit, where models combined planar laser cutting with 3D plotting technology.”



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