Architecture student presents prize-winning design at United Nations

Issue date: 07 April 2016

Architecture students at UWE Bristol

Louise Priestman, a postgraduate architecture student from UWE Bristol, has been awarded second place in the International Council for Caring Communities' (ICCC) annual student design competition. Her innovative designs for an integrated 'village style' development for the elderly in Castle Park, secured her an invite to the United Nations in New York where she presented her scheme at the 54th session of the UN Commission for Social Development.

The ICCC was founded in 1994 by the late Dr Albert Bush-Brown, architectural historian and Professor Dianne Davis to stimulate and showcase innovative concepts that address global longevity challenges and opportunities. Through educational programs, conferences, technical support and international student architectural competitions, ICCC promotes a “Society for All Generations.”

The competition brief invited architecture students around the world to apply their creative talents in developing solutions which integrated older people into the fabric of the community and fully include them in all social, cultural and productive activities.

Louise's scheme is a large inner city 'village style' development in the heart of Bristol, set in Castle Park. The project focuses on bringing the elderly back into the place with the best access and facilities rather than pushing them out into the suburbs where there is little access to shops and parks. The scheme includes different levels of secure accommodation as well as mixed use shops and accommodation for all ages.

Louise currently studying for her PGCert(Professional Practice and Management) at UWE, said, “Coming second in this competition has been an absolute surprise and it was an amazing opportunity to present my scheme at the United Nations. For me the idea was about people, before anything else. I think this is an issue which will become more and more significant as we move into an 'ageing' population. So many people I have spoken to fear the idea of being placed in a care home, so I began to ask the question why? and the scheme is my response to that question.

“The trip to New York began with a meeting at the charity headquarters overlooking Central Park where I met all the other contestants from all nationalities. It was great to meet different people from different cultures; and yet our aspirations for better care were the same. We also had a private trip of the World Trade Centre buildings and a tour of the train station before it opened. The following day we made our way to the United Nations building, following security we sat down in a very busy conference and talked through our schemes. It was a very humbling (if quite unnerving) moment, but it has encouraged me to pursue this area and look at specialising once I qualify as an Architect.”

Elena Marco, Head of Department Architecture and the Built Environment, said, “ I was delighted to see that Louise's MArch final project had been awarded the second place in the International Council for Caring Communities' (ICCC)annual student design competition. Louise's passion for architecture is a credit to her dedication and hard work. It is fabulous to see more and more UWE Bristol students engaging with real life scenarios and proposing solutions that are of great value to the community.”

For more on studying at UWE Bristol, watch the video: Architecture at UWE Bristol

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