Follow Northumbria University, Newcastle

Northumbria Architecture student named runner up in national awards

Press release   •   Jul 31, 2015 11:24 BST

A Northumbria student has been named as runner up in a prestigious national architecture competition for her work to uncover an ancient settlement in Norfolk.

Sasha Edwards, a second year Masters of Architecture student, has been placed as runner-up in the 3D Reid Student Prize this year for her project to locate the remains of the country’s oldest human settlement on a coastal archaeological centre in Norfolk.

After a storm washed away a section of cliff near Happisburgh, revealing evidence of the oldest human settlement found outside of Africa, the fossilised footprints were subsequently erased by the tide. Sasha’s work proposed a novel solution to the loss of this unique Palaeothic heritage, using ground-penetrating imaging technology to identify the location of the remains.

Using large-scale models and sketches to explore the technology and the quality of the results it is able to provide to great effect, Sasha’s project was described by the judges as ‘a heroic proposition to conserve, memorialise a unique archaeological site facing imminent destruction from tidal erosion’.

The competition is an annual event for the award winning practise, 3DReid . Now into its tenth year, it is the highest- profile, practise-backed student prize in the UK. Northumbria has enjoyed previous success in this competition with former student, Gavin Lowden, winning the award in 2009.

Head judge and 3DReid director Mark Taylor said that evaluation panel had been astounded by the ‘quality and richness’ of emerging talent from UK architecture schools.

“As a snapshot of the future health of our profession, the submissions demonstrate the extraordinary creative and commercial astuteness of the students’ thinking combined with fantastic visualisation and graphic skills which gives us every confidence that the next generation is in great shape,” he said.

Sebastian Messer, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Northumbria University, said: “We're delighted that Sasha's project has been recognised in this year's 3D Reid Student Prize. Throughout the year she has worked diligently and being runner up in this prestigious national competition is a reflection of both her creative solution to a real-life problem and to her work-ethic.

“Northumbria’s Architecture courses have engendered an exceptional 'studio culture' which reflects authentic and innovative practice, and prepares students for a life in architecture and beyond.

“Sasha's project is the latest contribution to a growing body of design work which achieves those ambitions, develops the themes of permanence and transience, and considers the duration of the life of a building and landscape as part of the building's conception.”

Architecture at Northumbria is rated in the top 10 in the country by The Sunday Times University Guide 2015. Northumbria is also the only UK University to have Architecture, Building and Land and Property Management featuring in the top 13 in the Complete University Guide, with the programmes providing strong links to industry and excellent employment opportunities.

To find out more, visit:

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at or call 0191 227 4571.