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Awards Recognition: Common Ground — Leith by Inka Eismar

29.10.2022

Congratulations to our colleague, Inka Eismar for winning both 2022 J R McKay Silver Medal and Architecture and Design Scotland / RIAS Award for Best 3rd Year Student. The J R McKay Medal is awarded by the Edinburgh Architecture Association to the best graduating student in MA/BA Architecture at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Judges Comments:
“The EAA thought this to be a beautifully illustrated and well explained project. Good use of perspective drawings conveyed the experience of approaching the building and inhabiting the spaces. The fine cut away model had sufficient scale to explain both space and construction, and how different parts of the building relate to the whole.”

“The construction is a dialogue between two materials, the grand order of the exterior stone façade is repeated and developed in the timber interior structure, which evolves into a more complex articulation with the roof construction, giving the main public room a distinctive character. Working with the interplay of these two materials a range of spaces and experiences are carefully composed, achieving diversity within a coherent whole (…) Further consideration is given to end of life and how parts of the building could remain if the core use was lost. But one suspects a building with this much design quality would be valued by the community it serves for a long time, and this would be the best environmental result, offering good social return for the resources invested.”

“This is a sophisticated synthesis of architecture from different ages, borrowing freely from modern and traditional sources. This design straddles the style debate. It is simply good architecture and should have broad appeal.”

Inka’s Common Ground — Leith project was part of the Civic Structures: Time and the Tectonics of Public Space studio, taught this year at ESALA  by architects Nicky Thomson and Kieran Hawkins. Read more about Inka’s work via A&DS and EAA.

Inka joined GRAS as an architectural assistant in August 2022 after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh. She graduated with first class honours, having received several awards during her degree including the J R McKay Silver Medal and a nomination for the RIBA Bronze Medal. Throughout her academic studies, she developed a keen interest in working with historic and listed buildings, which she is now pursuing in practice. She has previously gained professional experience in Hamburg, Germany, where she worked on projects in the residential and educational sector.