The Institute of Historic Building Conservation special commendations -

The Gus Astley Award 2015/16

The IHBC – the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, is the UK’s professional body for historic environment conservation specialists. The annual award scheme was created by members as a memorial to the Institute’s Secretary Gus Astley, to recognise outstanding examples of coursework relating to historic environment conservation, thereby furthering those aspects of the Institute close to Gus’s heart:

  • the promotion of best practice
  • the raising of professional standards
  • assisting others in the early stages of their careers

In 2016 Andrew McBride was awarded the Gus Astley Award Special Commendation for his Year 4 (2015) dissertation, 'Amongst the ruins of Slains Castle - Is there a future for Scotland's 'Dracula' Castle?'
In 2015, Kjersti Bakkejord's (2014) dissertation (BSc Honours in Architectural Studies) entitled, ‘The Future of the H-block in Oslo: Should Norway’s Government Building be Demolished, Conserved or Restored?’ won a Special Commendation.

The awards are announced in ‘Context’ the journal of the IHBC and at the 2016 IHBC’s Annual School event in Worcester in July. Marsh Christian Trust trustee Nick Carter, presented Gus Astley Fund Trustee and IHBC Research co-ordinator Bob Kindred MBE spoke to the successful Student Award submissions in advance of the presentations. All the winners were able to take up the places in the IHBC school which the judges feel is an important part of the competition.

Gus Astley Awards IHBC dinner 2016

These awards launched in 2007 and the 2014/15 round was the first year that a Strathclyde student entered so we are therefore particularly delighted. The ‘extra merit’ of that dissertation was recognised by the prestigious judge Jukka Jokilehto who is the recognised authority on international conservation practice and standards in architecture as Special Advisor to the Director General of ICCROM. His distinguished career with ICCROM, (the International Centre for the Preservation and Restoration of the Cultural Property, created by UNESCO) and on the World Heritage Committee and the ICOMOS International Training Committee has engaged him in international missions in cultural heritage in many parts of the world.

Kjersti received £250 and a place at the IHBC 2015 Annual School. During these Schools winners have a unique opportunity to meet the experts, network with practitioners and experience conservation in action and in theory. Kjersti previously won the Department of Architecture’s Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation project in the fourth year. Cristina Gonzalez-Longo is the Director of (Strathclyde’s IHBC recognised course) the ‘MSc in Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage’.  As Kjersti’s supervisor, she reported,

Kjersti provided an excellent critical analysis of the conservation dilemma presented by this emblematic building, considering both local and international contexts. She looked at all the options for the future of the building, based on thorough research into its design, also providing a series of recommendations for the most suitable strategies and approaches to the setting, technology, history and cultural context, while also taking into account the public and politicians’ views. She has made a balanced judgement on the conservation of the building.