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AT Awards 2023 - Celebrating excellence in Architectural Technology!

Posted: 19th December 2023

CIAT held its annual AT Awards on 20 October 2023 at the Village Underground in Shoreditch, London. The premier accolades demonstrate and recognise outstanding achievement globally by both practitioners and students, celebrating Architectural Technology at its best.

“The vital flames of the discipline of Architectural Technology can be ignited, admired, appreciated, and celebrated at an event like this today. It is a flame which keeps us warm, which provides us with the structures and environments which, whether we realise it or not, make life more enjoyable, safer, more sustainable, and all the people in this room make it happen. With your combination of cutting-edge technology, common sense and yes, on occasion, the humble pencil.”

These were the opening words from host Matt Allwright, who was addressing a cross section of attendees from the built environment sector. The afternoon was a showcase of the discipline of Architectural Technology, both in practise and as a key academic discipline, demonstrating the growth and impact of AT within the UK and internationally.

2023 was another year of an array of outstanding entries and finalists, all demonstrating at their very core pure Architectural Technology through form, function, and performance.

The 2023 winners were:

The Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology

Open to all professionals based nationally and internationally, this Award comprises three categories.

Small to medium (projects, up to the value of £2 million)

Winner: Irish Life Sciences, Mel McGerr FCIAT, MMA Architects
Redefining construction through adaptive reuse, the Irish Life Sciences Global HQ is a prime example of excellence in Architectural Technology. The design seamlessly integrates state-of-the-art facilities within the original 1990s structure, balancing economic viability and sustainability through thoughtful material selection setting a high standard for responsible development and significant carbon reduction. An impressive range of sustainability measures has been integrated from the repurposing and re-use of existing materials to the extensive use of PV arrays and thermodynamic solar panels.

Highly Commended: Holly Hall Barn, JDDK Architects

Highly Commended: Plot 9, Caxton, PiP Architecture

Medium to large
(projects +£2 million up to the value of £10 million)

Winner: Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar Expansion, RDK Architects
This new roof top expansion to the existing gravity bar was this year's outstanding Winner for the medium to large category. The sympathetic modification of the current structure is sustainable in terms of energy, history and culture and should be applauded. It is an exemplary illustration of integrating a new structure with an existing functioning building. With fantastic technical detailing, the project showcased excellent buildability and assembly techniques which allowed the expansion of the Gravity Bar whilst keeping the Guinness Storehouse fully operational.

Highly Commended: Specialist Veterinary Referral Hospital, Sheerin Bettle Architecture

Commended: Blythe Rose, Paul Burton of A P Architecture Ltd

Large to mega
(projects +£10 million)

Winner: Mildenhall Hub, Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd

The Hub reflects the client’s aspiration for a multi-user facility with sustainability and efficient operation. This is a unique project that offered a regeneration opportunity to the area by supporting the growth of businesses. Mildenhall Hub is an excellent use of procedure and software to ensure issues of buildability (clash detection, design modelling) and assembly can be captured within the budgetary constraints. This was plainly a very complex project and recognition is given to the design teams handle on bringing everything together into a successfully constructed building.

Highly Commended: Sutton Rose, Paul Burton of A P Architecture Ltd

Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology

These Awards are open to students, whether they are based nationally or internationally, and comprise of two categories.

This category recognises outstanding design achievement in Architectural Technology based upon a university/college assignment.

Winner: The Hide – Centre of Environmental Safeguarding, Callum Matthew Craske, Nottingham Trent University

Callum’s entry distinguished itself from the other submissions by its accomplished explanation of the project, with impressive overall presentation and a consistent thematic approach throughout. The Judges were unanimous in considering that the choice of materials aligned well with the location and could see the careful consideration in each of the choices.

Highly Commended: Sirocco Quays: Multi-Generational Residential Scheme, Jack Buckley ACIAT, Ulster University

Commended: The Hex Building, Dylan O’Connor, South East Technological University

This category recognises outstanding research achievement in Architectural Technology from a dissertation assignment.

Winner: Reconstructing the Façade: An Investigation into the Fire Issues Surrounding Ventilated Rainscreen Cladding, Ulster University

Jack’s report was very well written and engaging. It took a very serious and topical issue and approached it in a good, clear, and meaningful way. With clear aims and objectives, this work was based on the collection of primary data matched with a clear and complete literature review. The findings obtained indicated that Automated Code Compliance (ACC) software is viewed as the future of fire compliance checking in the industry.

Highly Commended: An Investigation into Improving Communication to Students with Enhance Remote Learning Experiences, Saif Wasim, Ulster University

Commended: Hemp Lime Composite as a Natural Building Material for Proposed Walls in Irish Construction, Jack Fleming, Atlantic Technological University

The Chartered Architectural Technologist of the Year

This annual Award recognises and celebrates excellence and achievement demonstrated by a Chartered Architectural Technologist within Architectural Technology, the technology of architecture.

Winner: Craig O’Halloran FCIAT

Craig has been blazing a trail for the discipline of Architectural Technology in the United States since 2016. Although the discipline of Architectural Technology is not formally recognised in the USA, this has not stopped Craig from gaining a significant role in projects, his firm and in the industry. His point of view through the Architectural Technology lens has allowed him to lead clients through transformational change in all his work.

The Emerging Talent in the Technology of Architecture

The Award recognises Associate members of CIAT and Chartered Architectural Technologists with a professional career path of ten years or less, celebrating excellence and achievement within Architectural Technology.

Winner: Rosie Thirlwell ACIAT

Rosie has had a significant impact and unwavering passion in the field of Architectural Technology. In just six years, she has made remarkable strides, ascending from a trainee to a Senior Architectural Technologist. Rosie's influence is evident not only in her impressive project portfolio, which includes the successful refurbishment of Newcastle Civic Centre and Britannia Leisure Centre, but also in her commitment to collaboration and sustainability.

The President’s Medal

The President’s Medal recognises and celebrates an extraordinary distinction or exceptional contribution to Architectural Technology and the profession.

Winner: Gary Mees PPCIAT MCIAT

Gary has been embedded within the world of Architectural Technology for as long as most can remember. As such, he is a fountain of knowledge, constantly moving with the times, a creative thinker and promotes collaboration as the tool to keep our sector relevant, progressive, and ahead of the game. Gary has, and still, sits on many adviser groups to the Scottish Government and building standards and is contacted regularly when the Building Standards Division are looking for an expert in Architectural Technology within the built environment.

The sustainable, forward thinking and innovative designs and solutions of all the 2023 Winners and incredible individual achievements of Chartered Architectural Technologists and Architectural Technology professionals show what AT as a discipline and profession does and stands for, and the AT Awards celebrates this uniqueness.

All the Awards, Finalists and winners are featured on our website:

The AT Awards 2023 can be watched back in full on our YouTube Channel here:

The Awards reopen on 5 February 2024.