On December 3, 2019, the SOM Foundation awarded its annual UK Award to students Annabelle Tan and Sun Yen Yee.
Annabelle Tan, a student at the University College London Bartlett School of Architecture, won for her entry, “Wetland Frontier.” The project aims to facilitate the regeneration of New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward community and the adjacent Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle—both currently ghosts of their former selves after historical neglect and segregation.
Sun Yen Yee, a student at the University of Westminster, London, won for his submission titled “SEED of Havana: Dissolving Condensers.” His thesis takes a theoretical approach to invigorate revolutionary aspirations and proposes integrated adaptive reuse as a sustainable alternative for urban regeneration.
The awards were announced at a ceremony hosted at the London headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects. SOM collaborates with RIBA in selecting the recipients. Students who compete for RIBA's President's Medal are eligible for the SOM Foundation's UK Award, and both Sun Yen Yee and Annabelle Tan were shortlisted for this year's medals. One of the most prestigious accolades in architectural education, the RIBA President’s Medal recognizes outstanding work by architectural students enrolled at UK-accredited schools and encourages architectural debate worldwide. The first medal was awarded in 1836. Recipients of the SOM Foundation Award receive £5,000 in the form of a travel fellowship. One award is given to a student who has completed Part 1 of their UK architectural education, and the other to a student who has completed Part 2.