RIBA Bronze Medal Nomination

James White, BA Architecture Stage 3 2015/16

Every year the school submits outstanding work for the RIBA's Presidents Medals. This year for the part 1 Bronze Medal James White's project for Marseille was selected.

About the Project
Marseilles, once known as France’s crime capital, has undergone a makeover since becoming the 2013 European Capital of Culture. Nevertheless, the developments of south Marseilles have created a division in the fabric of the city. Crime has been driven North, into the council defined “triangle of poverty”; here organised crime runs rife. The under equipped local prison, deemed “a violation of fundamental human rights”, fails to tackle the 56% reoffending rate, but instead provides a recruitment space for gangs.

The four stage process of the Suspended Integration looks to connect offenders back to the public realm via creative contemplation. The half-way house exploits the reflectional qualities of the creative writing process to act as a mediator to deter crime. Initial writing will be conducted in insolation, leaving the occupant secluded with the affinity of the Marseilles sky. The project then progresses to integrated forum theatre with no boundary between public and occupant, this acts as a much needed vehicle for integrating offenders back into the general populous. Beneath the process continues where personal writings from prior stages become encapsulated to create a sculptural garden leading to a public educational facility.

About the RIBA Student Prizes
The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. We provide the standards, training, support and recognition that put our 40,000 members - in the UK and overseas - at the peak of their profession.

Established in 1836 when the Institute of British Architects awarded the first Silver Medal for best architectural essay, the President's Medals are the RIBA’s oldest awards and are regarded as the most prestigious international awards in architectural education.

The current format of the awards dates to 1986, when the Institute replaced a large number of student awards, scholarships and prizes with the Bronze and Silver Medals to reward outstanding design work. In 2001, a Dissertation Medal was added to reward accomplished written work.

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