Winners of the 2015 RIBA McAslan Bursary announced

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), John McAslan + Partners, and the Environment Agency have today (Tuesday 27 October 2015) announced the winners of the 2015 RIBA McAslan Bursary.

Umi Baden-Powell has been awarded £5,000 for the project ‘The Zero-Point House: A machine for living in the age of housing and environmental crises; a cross-cultural solution to housing shortages and rising sea-levels.’

Umi Baden-Powell is currently undertaking her MArch at the Royal College of Art, and will use the bursary to research floating architecture in the Netherlands and in Nigeria in order to produce guidance for specific and sustainable floating architecture solutions in the UK. It is hoped that the bursary is the beginning of a much larger project, which will culminate in a prototype house.

During the debate, the jury also highly commended Clementine Blakemore for ‘Project Lacy Green – Phase Two’ and Christopher Bradley and Tom Cole for ‘5sqm of desire: (Designing for a socio and bio-climatic sustainability understanding of the balcony typology)’ who will each be awarded £2,500.

The judging panel comprised Jo Ashbridge (AzuKo), David Balmforth (ICE), Sir Phillip Dilley (Environment Agency), Peter Hansford (BIS), Asif Khan (Asif Khan Ltd), John McAslan (John McAslan + Partners), Robert Torday (John McAslan + Partners), John Waldron (RIBA Education Trust Funds Committee) and Georgina Ward (John McAslan + Partners).

Sir Phillip Dilley, Chairman of the Environment Agency, said:

“The Environment Agency is delighted to support the 2015 RIBA McAslan Bursary. Umi Baden-Powell’s project is a worthy winner and shows great imagination. Indeed all of the winners deserve our warmest congratulations. It is critical that we nurture skills and a spirit of innovation in the next generation to ensure that our industry can provide sustainable solutions for the future. The RIBA McAslan Bursary is helping that happen.”

Jane Duncan, RIBA President, added:

“The RIBA McAslan Bursary scheme is so important to our portfolio of funding schemes, and I am delighted that we have been able to run it again this year. The potential for these projects to have a real and lasting impact on the future of sustainable design cannot be underestimated. I would like to congratulate Umi Baden-Powell, Clementine Blakemore, Tom Cole and Christopher Bradley, and extend my thanks to the Environment Agency for the funding of the bursary cycle this year, which is clearly supporting diverse and innovative projects.”

John McAslan, Executive Chairman, John McAslan + Partners, added:

“The judging panel was hugely impressed by the variety and ingenuity of this year’s submissions. Umi Baden-Powell’s winning entry responds directly to the challenge of climate change and her approach and proposed methodology has real vision. We look forward to working with Umi and with the two runners up, Clementine Blakemore, and Tom Cole/ Christopher Bradley, over the coming year. It will be fascinating to watch their respective projects evolve.”


Notes to editors:

1. For further press information contact Callum Reilly in the RIBA press office: 020 7307 3757

2. Images of the winners’ work can be viewed at:

3. For more information on the RIBA McAslan Bursary, visit

4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members

5. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates @RIBA


Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2015

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