Built Environment and Architecture

LSBU student wins prestigious international RIBA Architectural award

09 December 2021

A London South Bank University (LSBU) Architecture student, Desislava Cholakova, has won a prestigious RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) 2021 President Medal at the annual awards for the world’s best student architecture projects.

Desislava was awarded a RIBA ‘Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing’ for her amazing ‘Cathedral of Trade’ project. The ‘Cathedral of Trade’ is located in the financial district of London and speculates a “post-Brexit ‘Utopian’ world” where alternative forms of future democracy are debated. The project proposes a “banker’s hub”, accommodating debating areas, workspaces, archives, and bunkers, all derived from extensive research on the historical and religious significance of the City of London.

With the past week a second LSBU student won another major national award. Radha Ukani, a LSBU Product Design student won Young Designer Award at the Plastics Industry Awards 2021. The award was for Radha’s Zerowaste product design which solved an energy supply issue for rural communities by tackling a major sanitation issue.’

Luke Murray, Head of Architecture at LSBU, said, “We couldn’t be prouder of Desislava Cholakova for winning a RIBA 2021 President Medal which is one of the most prestigious architecture awards in the world. Desislava’s brilliant Cathedral of Trade’ project is a fantastic piece of work and highly deserved winner of the RIBA Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing.

“Desislava Cholakova’s Cathedral of Trade’ project beat off competition from over 300 award entries from 102 schools of architecture in 31 countries around the world. It is a great example of LSBU’s commitment to giving our students opportunities to learn and succeed with an excellent standard of teaching and industry standard facilities which gives them employer-ready skills and experience.”

The RIBA President’s Medals is the most renowned and global student competition in the architecture profession, with participation from over 408 schools of architecture across 80 countries. The RIBA President’s Medals were established in 1836. In 2021 the RIBA President’s Medals had the highest ever number of entries in their 185-year-old history.