MacEwen: it’s time to enter

Does your building benefit a wider society? Enter our sought-after MacEwen Award and give it a profile to match

MacEwen winner last year was The Point in Tadley by Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt.
MacEwen winner last year was The Point in Tadley by Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt. Credit: Hufton+Crow

We seem to have hit a chord with our distinctively different MacEwen Award and its slogan of ‘Architecture for the Common Good’.  We now invite your submissions for its third year. It is free to enter, and the deadline is Monday 6 November.

This is the award that is less concerned about aesthetics (though they remain important), and more to do with ethics – clever, committed  projects that benefit most people.  Here’s another thing that’s very good about it: it tends to bring to light projects – urban and rural – that are often small, low-budget, and local, by young architects and other designers,  which would otherwise not receive national attention. They rub shoulders with larger projects including excellent new public space, schools designed for wider community use, health buildings, civic centres, theatres and libraries among much else.

We rule nothing out, including large commercial developments,  so long as they give something significant to the wider community – not just their direct users.  It was ­significant, for instance, that in the first year of the award we received an entry from the huge King’s Cross regeneration district in London, singling out the many community projects and ‘meanwhile uses’ associated with that development.  It was not successful that year but, our interest piqued, we covered it as a whole in RIBAJ September 2017.

So enter! In our first two years we have recognised youth, community, visitor and arts centres, ingenious modular low-cost housing, outward-looking schools, the painstaking restoration of a music hall, a Maggie’s cancer support centre, craft workshops, streetscape and park improvements, a highly imaginative food bank/café, good social housing and a pier.

It’s great to see well-known architects enter alongside new names, forging an architectural community of the committed. We are very happy to be supported by BDP, a multi-discipline practice with a historically strong and continuing social ethos. Do we all want a better society? Of course we do.

The MacEwen Award is there to show everyone how.


Projects must be in the UK, Ireland and islands such as Man and the Channel Islands.  Projects must have been broadly physically completed within the two years to 1 November 2017, and must not have been entered previously for the MacEwen Award. A phase of a longer-term project is eligible. Anyone may enter a project, but an architect or architecture student must have been involved as part of the design team.  The number of awards and commendations given will be at the judges’discretion and will be published in the RIBA Journal and

Information required

Name, location and description of project (300-500 words) explaining the beneficial social impact of the scheme.

Credit list of consultants and clients.

Maximum of six images, to include photos and drawings.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 6 November 2017