Oxford Brookes student awarded prestigious architectural prize

Oxford Brookes student awarded prestigious architectural prize

Elliott Afoke honoured in annual RIBA Awards for the world’s best student architecture projects

An Oxford Brookes University postgraduate student has been revealed as the winner of The Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing in The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2021 President’s Medals.

Elliott Afoke won this prestigious award for his Masters project ‘The Dalston Hub: A Vertical Market’.The annual awards for the world’s best architecture student projects are now in their 185th year and celebrate the best work of students from 102 architectural schools around the world.

Elliott’s project explores how gentrification has raced through Dalston, in East London, from luxury high rise developments to the threat of demolishing the Ridley Road market, which is under mounting interest from developers who want to regenerate the site into high-end flats, retail and offices.

The Dalston Hub concept taps into the beating heart of Hackney; run by traders’ activists, powered by wind energy and with shops and stalls placed on top of one another, Elliott believes that “the vertical market proclaims a new social order and system of measure of trading in the expression of retaining and saving Ridley Road’s unique characters and culture.”

Commenting on his award, Elliott said: “I am very pleased to be among this year’s winners of such a prestigious architectural award. I am honoured to be nominated by Oxford Brookes University and just participating in this RIBA award is special for me. It is the ideal platform to showcase my work and a chance to learn more from other individuals.

“Winning the Serjeant award is definitely a milestone in my career path and one that I will always cherish. It has also opened new exciting opportunities ahead.

“I would also like to thank all my tutors for their help, guidance and trust given along the way as well as a big thank you to my parents for their support in this journey.”

RIBA President Simon Allford added: “The judges and I were impressed by the quality and commitment of all the entries, which explored many pertinent topics – from the climate emergency to cultural identity and the increasing impact of technology. Congratulations to all of our very talented winners and I look forward to seeing their progress in the years to come.”