Commended: Regina Shi Qi Ng, Architectural Association, London
Sewage Metropolis, Triptych: Halls of Alchemy
Consider the great 6th century Basilica Cisterns beneath Istanbul, the ambition of Bazalgette’s Victorian Embankment and Tokyo’s cavernous Underground Discharge Channel, designed to save Tokyo from flooding. But those great predecessors don’t daunt Regina Shi Qi Ng, whose investigations into possible hydraulic architectures are both impressive and evocative. She pulls in William Blake, artist Piero Manzoni and perhaps, as Hugh Pearman noted, architect John Outram, to create her mythical water temples at Crossness sewage treatment plant at Thamesmead. Will Alsop said the work ‘inspired in its visionary aspects,’ while Jes Fernie found their multi-coloured joy ‘a wonderful foil to all that black and white madness.’ While not a prize winner, all the judges acknowledged the drawings’ power in their ‘epic treatment of effluent’.