The RIBA President's Medals Student Awards

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Medal Winner 2007
Serjeant Award - IGuzzini Travelling Award -
This project investigates collecting as a facilitator of knowledge, exploring its influence upon space and form. One could argue architecture has an epistemological function.

The reformulation of the earliest Observatory within Greenwich, Flamsteed House, is inspired by the principles of Kurt Schwitters “Merzbau” and investigations generated from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”. From the narrative, Captain Ahab’s cabin is examined as a spatial organism driven by mappings in pursuit of the white whale. The investigations underpin the design for the Perceptual Observatory as its form and interior condition evolves from the qualitative and quantitative observations it collects.

Steve Westcott


Steve Westcott’s work focuses on the observation of natural phenomena and architecture’s role in enhancing perceptual experience. Steve turned his studies of visual perception and the landscape and history of the Greenwich Observatory into an extraordinary complex of rooms, courtyards, views and towers, woven around a new openair matrix replacing the Octagon room. The project is a journey in time, a remembered room, a machine for looking, a place for architectural inquiry and drawing, and a site for allegory and myths. An exceptional response to the year’s theme of ‘Migrations’ inspired by Melville’s novel Moby Dick.

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