Architecture graduates win AJ Student Prize Sustainability Award 2022

Recent graduates, Elle Thompson and Ali Francis, have won this year’s AJ Student Prize Sustainability Award.

Elle Thompson and Ali Francis's work

The AJ Student Prize Sustainability Award is in its fourth year, and this year had a record number of entries, showing the growing importance of sustainable and climate-aware architecture. The winners of the award were announced at a prize-giving event on the 6th October, 2022. 

Elle Thompson and Ali Francis won with their project “Re-Housing Manchester”. The project formed part of the MArch studio “Housing the Public”, led by Jo Sharples, which focused on the environmental upgrade and re-use of existing buildings for zero carbon living, with a focus on Manchester. 

The project “Re-Housing Manchester”. Proposed a creative re-use of the University of Manchester’s UMIST campus for environmentally conscious inner-city living. 

Elle Thompson and Ali Francis both graduated from our MArch Collaborative Practice. 

The project reworked a modernist gem as part of the old UMIST campus in Manchester set for demolition. The depth of analysis of the existing building fabric in terms of performance and carbon intensity was unusual for a student project. Ali and Elle developed a grading system of what should be retained, removed and reused peeling back the structure to allow self build units to be inserted within the retained structure above and a school to enliven the ground floor courtyards below. The proposals are spatially sophisticated and provide a real alternative to knee-jerk demolition of our cities.

Jo Sharples


Congratulations to Elle and Ali - what a great achievement!

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.