2020 IHBC Gus Astley Student Awards
The winner of the IHBC Gus Astley Student Award for 2020 has been offered to Felix Charteris from York’s IHBC-Recognised conservation course and all awardees will receive a cheque, certificate and a free place on the IHBC’s 2021 Brighton Virtual School on 17-18 June 2021, supported by the IHBC’s CREATIVE Conservation Fund.
IHBC 2020 Student Awards guest judge Matthew Slocombe, director of SPAB and Full Member of the IHBC, said, "It’s been an honour to be involved in the judging of the Gus Astley award. I knew Gus well and valued his contribution to both IHBC and SPAB.
Bob Kindred is the IHBC’s research adviser and past trustee of the Gus Astley memorial Fund, the core fund for the IHBC’s CREATIVE Conservation Fund. Bob has advised on the Gus Astley Student Award programme since its inception, and 2021 re-affirmed the high quality of the submissions across the 51 entries!
Bob said, "Having made an overview of the submissions, it is evident to me that many of the candidates this year have demonstrated a clear sightedness and undertaken thorough research into under-regarded aspects of heritage policy and practice."
IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said, "As usual, in response to the sheer breadth and quality of submissions, as well as the 2020 Gus Astley Award, additional awards have been made – each of which comes with a cash prize, certificate, and a free place to the Virtual School.
"From 2021 on, all awards are supported by the IHBC’s new CREATIVE Conservation Fund. In this context, we are especially glad to be able to thank the many donors to that charitable initiative, including of course the IHBC itself, and so many of our own members."
 Winner of the 2020 award to Felix Charteris
- Work – Retrofitting Democracy: The politics, perception and strategy behind the ‘Restoration and Renewal’ of the Palace of Westminster
- Course – MA in Conservation Studies course at the University of York
Matthew Slocombe said, "This is an ambitious and original study, looking at the themes underlying one of the country’s most prominent building projects. To tackle conservation, politics and language in such a thought provoking way was extremely impressive."
Bob Kindred said, "Using the conceptual grounding of Authorised Heritage Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis offered interesting concepts of language and perception to describe heritage projects, explained and summarised concisely across two pages."
Dr Gareth Dean, Associate Lecturer in Conservation, University of York, said, "Felix was an exceptional student. His dissertation provided valuable insights into the complex heritage and conservation frameworks within which decisions are made for important public buildings, but his findings have a bearing on how we manage and conserve all our historic buildings."
Felix said, "I am honoured to have been awarded the GASA for 2020 and thank the IHBC and the judges for their recognition. My research was born out of my experience working at the Houses of Parliament where I sought to engage young people in the UK’s democratic process. It was here that I saw first hand the extent to which the historic building itself mediated both perceptions of what Parliament was, and what it could be. Against the backdrop of the Restoration and Renewal programme, I wanted to draw attention to how our prevailing attitudes towards heritage and significance were altering and constricting the scope of not only change to the physical Palace but also to the democratic reform of the institution of Parliament. I would like to thank Dr Gareth Dean for his excellent supervision and support; and Dr Louise Cooke and the Department of Archaeology at York for the enriching experience I had on their Historic Buildings Conservation Studies MA. It was a fantastic grounding in conservation theory and practice which I hope to build upon when I seek full membership of the IHBC.’
 Additional award winners for 2020
Recognition has been given to several other participants, including:
- Work – Traditional Buildings and the Race for Energy Efficiency.
- Course – MSc in Conservation of Historic Buildings at the University of Bath.
 Highly Commended (IHBC’s CREATIVE Conservation Fund selection) to Efthymia Stathopoulou
- Work – The Athenian Palimpsest; Towards a Historic Urban Landscape.
- Course – MSc in Architectural Conservation at Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh.
 Booth-Bird Award for a Conservation Plan to Frank Coyne
- Work –A Conservation Management Plan for Mutton Island Lighthouse, Galway, Ireland.
- Course – MA in Conservation of the Historic Environment Birmingham City University.
 Special Mention to Anna Jacka
- Work – Pragmatism or Pastiche? An exploration of the implications of re-creating or restoring garden structures using substitute materials.
- Course – MA in Conservation of the Historic Environment Birmingham City.
Find out more on the IHBC Gus Astley annual Student Award
For more on the Fund’s background see the NewsBlog.
This article originally appeared on the IHBC NewsBlog under the headline, 'IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Awards now out: Successful topics from retrofit and CPs to carbon and landscapes, as 2020 winner Felix Charteris examines ‘Retrofitting Democracy’. It was written by Joanna Theobald and published on 18 May 2021.
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