On the occasion of the annual RIBA President’s Medals, William Gowland, from the University of Nottingham, received the SOM Foundation 2010 Fellowship Award given to a student who has completed the RIBA Part 1 course of study at a school of Architecture in the United Kingdom. William explains his winning submission, entitled “ Augmented Reverberation,” as follows:
“As our environment, culture and economy continues to become increasingly transient, the British Isles struggles to produce its own industry. The Isle of Sheppey, which owes its name to the Saxon’s “Sceapige,” meaning Isle of Sheep, hosts an isolated marshy landscape, where the atmosphere is quiet and haunting. Scarred by the intermittent presence of heavy industry, rivers, ditches and dereliction, it is here, away from the distraction of our visually dominated western culture ,that the mind is allowed to wander and our senses that are constantly suppressed begin to awaken. On Rushenden Marsh, “Augmented Reverberation” seeks to integrate a poetic landscape of light industry through the revival of a gut string industry that was once a thriving British venture. Bespoke natural strings are produced from sheep intestines for various instruments, including the violin. Building, landscape, and instrument are intertwined to create functional pavilions on the marsh that form Aeolian harps (instruments played by the wind .) The complex arrangement of accommodation, abattoir, workshops, studios, and performance spaces create an interesting challenging juxtaposition between the roughness of industry and the delicacy of art, while celebrating its connection and fragile relationship with the landscape through seasonal music festivals and events.”
In fulfillment of his RIBA Part 1 Year Out, William, who is from Catsfield, East Sussex, is currently working for a firm in Shanghai and plans to develop and pursue the theme of his award winning project which questions our interpretation and perception of the image of “Landscape “ by travelling back to the UK overland via Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Looking ahead to completing his RIBA Part 2 program in architecture, William plans to live and study in London, with the ultimate ambition of setting up his own architectural firm.