London Met grads announced as Young Talents in Architecture

Oliver Carter and Monika Marinova have been shortlisted for the 2020 Young Talent Architecture Award for their innovative design projects.

Date: 25 September 2020

Two recent London Met graduates, Oliver Carter and Monika Marinova, have been announced as finalists for the 2020 Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA). The award was previously won by a London Met grad, Matthew Gregorowski, in 2018. 

Oliver was shortlisted for his project, Polyvalent Models. Described as a “measured response to the climate crisis, this submission addresses the use of grown materials, some in a composite state, to design and build an elevated structure on Margent Farm in Cambridgeshire and to conceive of a polyvalent building in Shadwell that would be able to adapt, with minimal modification, to accommodate programmes of primary education, work or dwelling.”

The first part of Oliver’s project was constructed with his studio colleagues in two phases totalling fifteen days. The building uses a minimum of materials and is designed with sustainability in mind. Its total material usage consisted of less than a cubic metre of concrete for its substructure; spruce and spruce plywood for its superstructure; Accoya for columns, windows, door and stair; and wood fibre insulation, a breathing membrane, and hemp and bio-resin sinusoidal panels to keep the interior space warm and dry.

Monika’s project, Stage for the City, was praised by the YTAA for its “approach for the regeneration of Stoke, an epitome of Britain’s post-industrial towns.”

Stoke, which has been branded the ‘Brexit Capital of Britain’ has been severely affected by the decline in British industry, and particularly the potteries that used to define its economy. This left the six towns of Stoke with “no appreciable centre and a poorly developed public realm” while “severe austerity budget cuts further forced council services to be dispersed leaving the town in lack of a unified civic centre and no formal participation of public institutions in city life.

Monika’s project is said to define a civic centre in a city “that has grown without one… challenging its architectural language of monumentality and democratising the image of public institutions, a venue for celebration and protest is proposed, allowing integration and acceptance between institutions and society.”

Established in 2016, the YTAA supports the talent of recently graduated Architects, Urban Planners and Landscape Architects who will be responsible for transforming our environment in the future. This year, 382 projects were submitted from over 155 European, South American, Asian schools of architecture, landscape and urban design. These were narrowed down to a shortlist of 43 projects by an esteemed jury of architects and curators.

The four YTAA 2020 Winners will be announced by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, on 5 October 2020, at the beginning of the Young Talent Architecture Award Day that will take place online from 11 am to 5 pm.

A graphic image of Stoke

Image: Stage for the City / Monika Marinova. Image Courtesy of YTAA