What if: projects ltd named Infrastructure Architects of the Year

Cass studio leaders Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven win prestigious annual architecture award.

Date: 23 April 2018

What if: Projects Ltd, an architectural practice who teach architecture at The Cass have been named Infrastructure Architects of The Year at the annual Architect of the Year Awards organised by Building Design (BD).

The practice’s founders Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven, who teach undergraduate architecture Studio 8 on BA Architecture, collected their prize at the lavish awards ceremony at Westminster Park Plaza Hotel on 18 April.

Their winning project described as a "pioneering piece of joined up thinking", was a collaboration with the London Borough of Waltham Forest to encourage people to get on their bikes through the creation of a series of connected mini-Holland, cycle-friendly zones. Interventions have included red cycle lanes on either side of Lea Bridge Road, streets which prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and a network of links criss-crossing into the borough’s marshy and wooded hinterlands. The scheme’s health and economic benefits to the community are massive. People are now reportedly cycling more, walking more and breathing in fewer fumes. Commercial units are full for the first time in 15 years and cafes are spilling into the streets.

BD's annual celebration of architecture is unique in recognising a body of work across different sectors, judged by a panel of industry experts. Launched in 2004, the Architect of the Year Awards rewards UK practices responsible for the best overall body of work. Organised by BD, the Awards are distinguished from other architectural awards by virtue of honouring overall achievement within a particular sector. This provides a truly meaningful premise on which to compare the work of different architects.

Mae Architects who lead postgraduate architecture Unit 5 on the Professional Diploma in Architecture (now Architecture RIBA 2 MArch) was also in the shortlist for Housing Architect of the Year.

awards ceremony with large screen showing men accepting award