Louise Fisher, studying Architecture RIBA Part II at the University of Brighton, was named winner of the Diploma Prize for her ‘parliament’ design for a building in Ashdown Forest, by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
RIBA judge Corin Morton immediately offered Louise a job at his practice - CDMS Architects, in Montpelier Road, Brighton – and Louise accepted.
Louise, 23, received her certificate and £200 prize from Paul Zara, Chair of RIBA Sussex Branch which represents 800 architects across East and West Sussex.
Her project, ‘The Commoners Hearth’ building, would bring together everyone who has a specific ‘right of common’ over the registered common land of the Forest. The rights of common are attached to land, rather than to people or to houses: those who live in the 730 or so properties on the common land are known as commoners.
Louise said: “After researching how man has manipulated a landscape over thousands of years, it became clear that there is nothing natural about Ashdown Forest.
“The demography of people who live in Ashdown Forest has changed, from those who lived off the land to people who live there as a luxury. Consequently, the land is suffering as commoners less frequently take up their rights to pasture animals and to remove timber and bracken.
“The aim was to educate the commoners on the impact they could have on the land. A parliament would give them a presence in the Forest, so their voices could be heard.”