Bath researcher wins prestigious RIBA architecture award

A researcher from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering has won a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s award for Outstanding University-Located Research.

The RIBA President’s Awards for Research highlight and reward outstanding research in architecture taking place across the country.

Dr Harry Charrington, an architect, lecturer and researcher and current director of studies for the University’s MArch programme, won the award for his book ‘Alvar Aalto: Conversations with the atelier’.

He was up against outstanding entries from top university architecture departments, including the University of Cambridge, University of Westminster, and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Dr Charrington’s book showcases the creative accomplishments of famed architect Alvar Aalto, chronicling conversations with members of Aalto’s atelier that span a period of 50 years from 1944 to 1994.

Dr Charrington has worked at and written extensively on the Alvar Aalto atelier. He completed his doctorate degree based on Alvar Aalto’s social and artistic practice, and is the former curator of a dedicated Alvar Aalto exhibition.

The RIBA President’s Awards for Research highlight and reward outstanding research in architecture taking place across the country.

The judges described Dr Charrington’s book as “An extraordinary, tantalising and rigorous study of Alvar Aalto, the mystical character behind the works, and the adventure of designing in this self-conscious studio.”

Dr Charrington said: “"I am delighted this work has won the RIBA President's Awards for Research 2012. I am particularly pleased to receive this award from my professional peers as a primary aim of the research is to inform our work as architects today.

“In describing the milieu of an architect’s office through the voices of those who worked there the intention of this research is not a remarkable one, but it is a rare one. There have been many descriptions of famous architect's works, yet almost no corresponding research looking at how they designed those works - and who with.

“By talking with those involved in Aalto's atelier, and looking at his working methods, I hope the research has brought his work to life, and shown we can learn from history as well as just admire images of the past"

Professor Tim Ibell, Head of the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, said: “This accolade for Harry is greatly deserved, and reflects the rigour, novelty and impact of Harry's research in architecture. Harry's international research profile is well established, and this award simply reflects this fact. This is wonderful news for both Harry and the University of Bath.”

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Design, Professor Gary Hawley, said: “This is a major award by the RIBA. Dr Charrington’s research has been judged against the very best in this field of architecture in the UK, and has proven a very worthy winner. An outstanding achievement.”

See the RIBA website for more information about the awards.


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