Graduates Max and Dimitar are highly commended by judges as part of the AJ Student Prize 2023.

MArch graduates Max Bridge and Dimitar Zhelev were highly commended after being selected from over 100 submissions made by Schools of Architecture in the UK

Max and Dimitars work

Every year the Sheffield School of Architecture, along with other accredited Schools of Architecture, nominate students for the AJ Student Prizes - now in its sixth year. This year we nominated Max Bridge and Dimitar Zhelev, who have just graduated from the MArch Architecture course

Max and Dimitar’s project, The Tortoise & The Hare, was a challenge to the speed of life in cities. Set in Fargate, the commercial heart of Sheffield, the public house is located in one of the forgotten Victorian buildings and provides a refuge from the chaos of the city centre. 

The judges awarded highly commenced to The Tortoise & The Hare as it 'celebrated slow architecture'. Adding their appreciation of 'how it rejoices in the tactility and material qualities but also the cultural significance of place and space and making architecture'.

Dimitar and Max produced this work as part of the MArch studio “Architecture as Gesture”. 

In foregrounding the aspects most interacted with at human scale, Max and Dimitar render architecture as the mechanism of memory and the catalyst of belonging. The fact that this project has been the product of more than a singular ego and manages to evoke the feminine so powerfully, through methodology and theory, means it feels like an important event in today’s world, especially within the context of a university project.

Michael Badu

Studio tutor, Architecture as Gesture

The Tortoise & The Hare project also netted Max and Dimitar the Bryan Jefferson Prize for Excellence in our Summer Exhibition, a prize awarded in partnership with Jefferson Sheard Architects.