Each year successful Student Award entrants are offered free places at the IHBC’s Annual School, which can be worth up to about £500. During these Schools winners have a unique opportunity to network with practitioners and experience conservation in action and in theory, while the prizes are presented at the Annual Dinner.

Below are a few of the warm words generated by our Annual Schools, and which we consider to be very much part of the ‘IHBC Gus Astley Annual Student Award’ winning experience!

Estefania Macchi2018 Award Winner

“The Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage MSc course at Strathclyde University was a highly enriching, mind-opening journey. From one subject to the other, I collected numerous, very diverse tools related to very diverse aspects of Conservation, that ultimately found purpose in one common denominator: the Conservation Design Project. Future generations will build upon the base we are now creating, so the larger and the more diverse our set of tools, the stronger the base we are able to build. I am truly grateful to have been on this journey. And, likewise, I feel honoured and thrilled to have obtained the Gus Astley Student Award: my path has been of effort and also of passion, and I am now (more) convinced that this is the way I want to work each day. I would sincerely like to thank IHBC for the recognition, as well as the University of Strathclyde and my course director, Cristina González-Longo, for all the encouragement and support throughout the journey. It’s been a true pleasure.”

Katerina Tzivelopoulou 2018 Highly Commended

“I am delighted and honoured to receive this Commendation and feel indebted to the IHBC for the recognition of my work. I would like to thank the Welsh School of Architecture for their excellent course ‘MSc Sustainable Building Conservation’, Dr Oriel Prizeman and Dr Christopher Whitman for their support and guidance, architect Owen Luder for his invaluable insights into the era of Brutalism, and the Onassis Foundation Scholarship for Hellenes for their support throughout my master’s degree and research. My study focused on two highly controversial Brutalist commercial megastructures designed by architect Owen Luder, both of which, despite all efforts and suggested plans for adaptations, failed to achieve designation and got demolished. These two examples illustrate the plight many brutalist buildings face. Thus, I really hope that this work will encourage researchers to further investigate issues concerning the understanding and appreciation of Brutalist [and] commercial architecture, as well as the double standards posed by the listing policies and guidelines towards post-war architecture in comparison to ‘traditional’ heritage.”

Marianna Fotopoulou 2018 Highly Commended

“I am very honoured to be awarded a ‘High Commendation’ for the Gus Astley Prize for 2018. I would like to thank the IHBC for recognizing the value of my work and for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2019 Annual School in Nottingham. I am delighted to have attended the ‘MSc Sustainable Building Conservation’ at the Welsh School of Architecture. I strongly believe that Sustainable Building Conservation is a very challenging and appealing field, as it is increasingly acknowledged that combining insights offered by the performance of historic buildings, in terms of building technology and energy efficiency with contemporary solutions, has the potential to improve the quality of life for human beings. I would like to express my gratitude to Cardiff University and my tutors for their assistance and guidance and to the tenants and managers of the studied buildings, who allowed me to visit the houses, collect data and carry out a post occupancy evaluation.”

Rodolfo Acevedo Rodriguez 2017 Award Winner

“This award is of great significance, as it highlights the importance of diversity in the approach to architectural research. Through this, I hope to contribute to a growing community of individuals committed to protect and sustain the historic environment. I would like to thank Dr Adam Menuge from the University of Cambridge, English Heritage and Historic England for supporting this research. I am particularly grateful to the IHBC for their recognition, and I very much look forward to joining their campaign.”

Maria-Theodora Tzeli 2017 Highly Commended

“I am delighted to have won the ‘IHBC Gus Astley Student Award 2017: High Commendation’ for my dissertation on the restoration of classical monuments in modern Greece and to have the opportunity to attend the Annual School in 2018. I feel both honoured and fortunate to be offered recognition for a piece of work on such a complex topic, which helped me expand my understanding of conservation theory and practice over the last two centuries in Europe. I would like to thank the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh for the excellent MSc course in Architectural Conservation, and my supervisor, Dr Dimitris Theodossopoulos, to whom I am grateful for his valuable guidance and continued support. My study addressed the lack of a comprehensive history of the development of materials and techniques that have been used in the restoration of classical monuments in modern Greece, and aimed to reveal the connection between past practices and modern-day activities, as well as the latent character of conservation in the country.”


Sean McEntee 2017 Highly Commended

“I am delighted to have received a highly commended award in this competition, and excited by the prospect of attending the Annual School in Belfast. My dissertation examined the respective approaches of commercially and conservation led schemes for a one hectare site in a conservation area near Spitalfields, London, and how these contrasting schemes mediated sustainability outcomes with priorities of contemporary conservation practice. The comparison illustrated the disjunction in interdisciplinary practice between the fields of heritage conservation and sustainable development. This in turn served to suggest scope for the heritage sector to take a proactive lead in interdisciplinary discourse and practice, rather than the reactive stance to sustainability often encountered in managing change in historic environments. I offer my sincere thanks to the University of Leicester and supervisors Mike Taylor and Simon Gunn for providing the practical and academic guidance to interrogate the complexities of the topic, and the IHBC for recognising the work with this award.”


Hilary Wyatt 2016 Award Winner

“I am delighted to be awarded the Gus Astley Prize for 2016, and delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Annual School in 2017. My thanks to the IHBC for their generous award. My course at the Welsh School of Architecture offered a unique opportunity to study conservation AND (italics) sustainability within a practical design context, and I am indebted to Dr Oriel Prizeman for her continued support and encouragement. I’d like to thank all the engineers, harbour managers, trusts, and voluntary associations who generously shared their experiences of repair and recovery following the storms of 2014. I hope that my being awarded this prize contributes in some way to raising awareness of the specific issues we face in approaching the conservation of coastal structures.”


Samantha Stones 2015 Award Winner

“I am delighted and honoured to be the recipient of the 2015 Gus Astley Award. I chose to research urban exploration as a non-traditional approach to heritage and found surprising parallels in the language of exploration and the mainstream terminology of heritage values. Although urban exploration cannot be welcomed by the heritage community, there are interesting benefits to gaining an understanding of alternative and non-visible groups that are accessing and appreciating the built environment on their own terms. I’m extremely grateful to my colleagues at English Heritage for their support throughout my studies and career so far. In addition, particular thanks to Harriet Devlin for her sound guidance and encouragement throughout the Historic Environment Conservation course. Receiving the Gus Astley Award provides an exceptional end to a wonderful two years of study.”


Sarah Hendriks 2014 Award Winner

“I am thrilled to have been awarded the Gus Astley Student Award for 2014 and am very excited to be taking part in the upcoming IHBC Annual School. It is an honour to be part of Gus Astley’s legacy for the built environment and to contribute to the future of historic building conservation through research. My thanks go to the IHBC for making the award possible, to my supervisor Professor Deborah Howard at Cambridge for her guidance and support, and the rest of the ‘Master of Studies: Building History’ team at Cambridge.”


Sebastion Fry 2013 Award Winner

“I’m delighted and proud to win this fantastic award for a thesis I really enjoyed writing – what a fantastic opportunity the IHBC Gus Astley Award has offered. Thank you to the IHBC, to Jeremy Musson and to the Architectural Association.”