Ellie Gair, Hun Pu and Alex Jusupov


The Research Project: Dunelm House – One Ruin too Many

This is a research project into Dunelm House, the students’ union building at Durham University designed by Dick Raines of Architects Co-Partnership and completed in 1966.  Currently it is under threat of demolition and the project sought to understand the different agencies involved in the struggle over its destiny and to make a case for keeping it. The students hosted a charrette at the building itself and invited a range of architects to come up with alternative proposals for its use. They then produced a 45 minute documentary on the building and its history, based on interviews with a range of key architects, historians and other interested parties, and investigated precedents such as the David Attenborough building at Cambridge University for examples of how to refurbish and update a Brutalist educational building for 21st century use. The project was selected for the prize because the research was rigorous and extensive and the original process produced an insightful and nuanced understanding of a complex situation.