Winners of the 'Icebox Challenge Award', RGU architecture students working in their workshop
Image by: Louise Mather

Architecture students win national design competition to feature at COP26

By Jenny Frost - 15 June 2021

Architecture students from RGU are celebrating winning a national competition for highly energy efficient buildings that will feature in the run up the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year.

Four students from Robert Gordon University’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment have won the prestigious ‘Icebox Challenge Glasgow’ award, after designing a vibrant energy efficient building.

The ‘Icebox Challenge Glasgow’ is a competition open to students from across Scotland who were challenged with creating a building that was both innovative and eye-catching.   The competition asked students to design one structure built to Scottish Building Standards and another built to a more environmentally friendly, ‘Passive House’ standard.     

The structures will be left outside for three weeks, each holding an equal amount of ice. When opened, the amount of ice left in each box will be measured. How much ice remains will demonstrate how well each ice box keeps out the heat. 

The team of architecture students from RGU'S Scott Sutherland School created a winning design celebrating a traditional highland building using timber, herringbone cladding, stained red, green, and yellow, that was inspired by the natural colours of the highlands.   They also took inspiration from the Integra House designed by RGU Professor Gokay Deveci.

Each of the two structures designed by the RGU Architecture students will be built by the students at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre in Glasgow before being put on public display in St.Enoch’s Square Glasgow from 19 July to 8 August. This will run ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26.

The winning group of students from RGU include mature student Matt Clubb,  Lina Khairy, aged 23, Alina Vinogradova aged 28 and Kyle Henderson, aged 23.

One of the winners, mature architecture student, Matthew Clubb, who is from Daviot Aberdeenshire said; “I am absolutely thrilled that students at RGU have won the ‘Icebox Challenge Glasgow’.   We have worked hard as a team to create a building that is vibrant aesthetically and embraces passive design and prefabrication.

“We drew inspiration from the Scottish Highlands and incorporated design features and materials that would minimise our building’s embodied carbon.   It is fantastic that our designs will be showcased and built at a public installation in Glasgow city centre ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference.”

Head of The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Professor David McClean said: “We are delighted that a group of architect students from Robert Gordon University has won this exciting national competition and will gain international exposure. The climate imperative occupies an increasingly central position in the education of architects, and in practice itself, and it is wonderful to see students motivated to engage creatively in this way and of their own volition.

“In the face of advancing climate change, the design of energy efficient buildings is now more important than ever. Building substantially on our research expertise, the School is constantly reinforcing the development of knowledge and skills in sustainable practices across the breadth of its curricula. I am delighted that the judges of the Icebox Challenge Glasgow, have recognised our talent and that our students’ work will be showcased to a global audience ahead of the UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow.”

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