06 March 2020
We are delighted to announced that RSHP partner, Tracy Meller has won the inaugural MJ Long Prize for excellence in practice for her role in the Centre Building at the London School of Economics. Tracy was selected from a four-strong shortlist which also comprised: Emma Fairhurst of Collective Architecture, Alice Hamlin of Mole Architects and Nicola Rutt of Hawkins\Brown.
The annual MJ Long Prize is open to UK-based female architects and judged on an overall body of work with an emphasis on a project completed within the past 18 months. The award is named in memory of inspirational architect, lecturer and writer Mary Jane Long (1939-2018), who worked on the British Library with her husband Colin St John Wilson (1973-98), along with a collection of museums and studios for leading artists.
Tracy’s win was announced during the W Lunch held at the Battersea Arts Centre in south London on Friday 6 March - a former town hall renowned for its place in radical politics - once the campaign home for the Women’s Suffrage.
The judges, chaired by AJ editor Emily Booth and AR editor Manon Mollard, consisted of architects, architecture critics and writers, a curator and an environmental designer.
They commented that ‘Meller is a real leader, working collaboratively while still pulling the whole thing together. It’s a very difficult thing to do in a corporate culture, going against a general tendency of having a solo leading voice’.
Tracy joined RSHP in 1999, was made an Associate in 2004, an Associate Partner in 2011 and a Partner in 2016. She has worked on a wide range of projects at all stages, across the residential, commercial, healthcare and education sectors.
As lead architect on projects such as NEO Bankside and Mossbourne Academy, Tracy has a track record of delivering innovative schemes on some of the most complex urban sites. Such skills recognised in her lead role on the Centre Building at the LSE, on a restricted site in the heart of Holborn, successfully delivered on time and below budget, whilst achieving an extremely high BREEAM rating of Outstanding (88.9%).
Tracy is also a founder member of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF), a group which exists to promote high-quality design in university campuses, buildings and facilities, in the knowledge that the quality of the estate enhances the student experience of teaching and learning.
Watch Tracy discuss her MJ Long Award win immediately after accepting the award on stage: Tracy Meller, Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners: ’Behind every starchitect is an army of people’