Oliver Rash 

Highly Commended

Architecture student, Oxford Brookes University

"I am extremely honoured to have received 'highly commended' for the Undergraduate 2021 AJ Prize for my Mechanically Powered Brewery in Norwich. I am grateful for the recognition I have received for this work, and it’s an unbelievable way to sign off my undergraduate degree! I’d also like to thank my Oxford Brookes tutors, Emma-Kate Matthews, Kirsty McMullan and Declan Molloy for all their mentorship and belief in me and my project."

AJ student prize winner Olly Rash

Project description

The proposal sits next to the River Wensum in Norwich on a site that was once the Youngs, Crawshay & Youngs Brewery. It attempts to synthesise two programmatic ideas – beer and fishing – using site-specific research and exploring a more natural, man-powered approach to the brewing process. The design investigates how the architecture of a brewery can be an ecology of independencies that we can learn from and can be preserved for present and future. The building facilitates lambic beer production by exposing malt to airborne yeast and bacteria. Visitors are educated and become engaged with the beer-making process by seeing the machinery involved. Isinglass from dried fish bladders is used as an aid to accelerate the clarification of beer in fermentation. To reduce wastage, ground fish bones are used to fertilise hop plants while the flesh is served in the restaurant and other by-products dried for animal feed.

Tutor citation

"Oliver’s project provides an intelligent and highly sensitive response to the local historic and physical and social context of Norwich. Throughout, he worked experimentally to produce a series of drawings and models which are simultaneously atmospheric, evocative, technically detailed and spatially resolved." Emma-Kate Matthews, Kirsty McMullan and Declan Molloy

All about Olly

  • University: 

Oxford Brookes University

  • Course:

BA (Hons) Architecture

  • Unit: 


  • Project:

The Mechanically Powered Brewery, Norwich

AJ student prize Oliver Rash project work
AJ student prize Oliver Rash project work