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Industry award nominations for graduates

8th August 2017
Architecture and constructionArchitecture and design

BA (Hons) Architectural Design and Technology graduates April Rapley and Edward Kercher’s final major projects have both been shortlisted for an award by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), which recognise and celebrate the exceptional work and skills of those studying architectural technology.

April and Edward share their designs with us which will see them both secure a CIAT 2017 Architectural Technology Student Award next month…

Tell us a bit about your final project.

April: The brief was to re-design a new building for Chandler’s Ford Infant School. As the school is for 4-7 year olds, it was important to make the building fun and interesting for the pupils and the design had to also give pupils the best learning experience.

April Rapley's brief was to re-design a new building for a school

Edward: My theoretical project was based on a brief from Hilton Worldwide to construct a new hotel in Woolston, Southampton. The location of the site is in close proximity to local transport and could attract international customers through Southampton’s airport. The site required landscaping with areas for outdoor leisure and the client was keen to promote a luxurious environment while creating a design style hotel.

Edward Kercher's brief was based on a brief from Hilton Worldwide

What was the inspiration behind your project?

April: The project had two main features, designing for pupils with special educational needs and incorporating the environment. I chose these as I think inclusivity in schools is vital and as children in infant school are so young, their experience can determine the rest of their experience through education. I also chose to incorporate the environment in different ways in the design so it teaches the children about the importance of looking after the environment. The design includes technologies such as rainwater harvesting and solar panels, which reduce the buildings impact on the environment.

April displays the outdoor space

Edward: My Gateway Hotel project came from three key concept design ideas and needed to incorporate some part of Southampton’s rich history. The first was based around the location of the site; bordering the Itchen River, the building needed to completely utilise these views, with a real focus on the hotel guest rooms and function areas.

The second was the idea of replicating the form of shipping containers, as the site was once used as a docking station for major naval vessels. This was achieved through the zinc metal cladding on the southern façade of the building, imitating the corrugated metal aesthetic that shipping containers have.

The third idea was to allow the building to blend in seamlessly into its surrounding environment. This was achieved through use of multiple green roofs, one of the main attractions to the building is the two-internal green space atriums.

The building incorporates Southampton’s history in many ways but one of the most obvious was by naming it, ‘Hilton the Gateway’. Southampton was once known as ‘the gateway to the world’ due to its thriving port, which is still true today.

Edward highlights where the 'green bar' would be situated

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Solent?

April: Being at Solent has taught me so much. The range of units I have been taught over the last three years has set me up for working in any area within the design industry.

Edward: The design projects within our units have been extremely fulfilling and interesting. Furthermore, the briefs from industry clients were really useful as they allowed us to have input from a different perspective.

What is next for you?

April: My plan is to carry on studying a master’s degree in sustainable building design at Solent.   

Edward: I am currently working at ADAM Architecture in Winchester.

The library within April's school design

Please share any advice you have for other students or potential students?

April: My biggest piece of advice would be to make the most of everything Solent has to teach you. Don’t just stay in your comfort zone. I chose a different structure for each of my projects to get the most feedback from lecturers and learn everything I could so when I have to face similar problems in the workplace I have more of an idea what I’m doing.

Edward: The best thing I did was my placement for two months in the summer at ADAM Architecture between second and third year. This allowed me to get my foot in the door with a professional company and contributed massively to the reason I have a job now. Furthermore, always prepare for hand ins as early as possible, this allows you to gather lots of input along the way from lecturers and colleagues.

Edward highlights the sustainable features within his project

Winners for the CIAT awards will be announced and presented on 15 September 2017. There are three award in the Project category including winner, highly commended and commended. Find out more about the shortlist here.

Find out more about our architecture courses here.