Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust thanks longest running supporter Marco Goldschmied
Marco Goldschmied is an inspiration for many aspiring young architects. He is widely known as the co-founder and managing director of Richard Rogers Partnership and served as president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from 1999-2001, during which time he initiated the rebranding of the institute. Marco now runs the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, which aims to support research into innovation in the arts, environment and human rights fields by the provision of grants and awards to individuals and charitable organisations.
This year marks 21 years since Marco first began working with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Each year Marco’s foundation donates £5,000 to the Trust as a bursary and £5,000 to the winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize. To mark the 25th year since Stephen’s death, the Foundation is raising the 2018 bursary award donation to the Trust to £25,000 and to £10,000 annually thereafter, a generous contribution that will have a great impact on beneficiaries of the bursary. To mark the occasion, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the origins of the Stephen Lawrence Prize and the annual Bursary and some of the positive impacts they have made on young people involved with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
The Stephen Lawrence Prize
In 1998, Marco Goldschmied and Baroness Lawrence founded The Stephen Lawrence Prize in association with the RIBA. The annual award recognises the best architectural projects with a construction budget of under £1 million. The prize, set up in memory of Stephen, who wanted to be an architect, is intended to encourage young talent working with smaller budgets.
Marco Goldschmied remembers: “It was 1998, the year Stephen Lawrence would have completed his Part 2 and, at the time I was judging the £20,000 Stirling Prize. It was evident that this prize would celebrate high profile projects with prize-money going to architects who were probably already established and financially secure. I felt this left a significant gap in the recognition and promotion of emerging talent in the profession. Doreen Lawrence and I discussed this personal frustration on several occasions, which led to eventually launching the annual Stephen Lawrence Prize and a £5,000 bursary. Looking back over the past years, I am impressed by the talent and grit displayed, not only by the winning architects but by each and every young person that the Trust has worked with.”
The Stephen Lawrence Bursary
The awarding of the Stephen Lawrence Bursary is an important annual event for the Trust. Through the wider Building Futures Programme we can offer a variety of different forms of support for aspiring architects, including mentoring, skills workshops and work opportunities. The bursary is designed to help students who are struggling with the financial impact of studying to become an architect, a career path that commonly takes around seven years. The money that recipients receive from the award can often be the deciding factor in whether or not a student can complete their studies or considers applying to university in the first place.
Marco Goldschmied remarks: “The annual bursary is an additional support system the Trust has at its disposal to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their true potential. It has been our goal to increase the value of the bursaries to reflect the rapidly escalating cost of studying architecture over the past years, which I am happy to say we can now do. I am humbled by the amazing personal development and career progression of each of the beneficiaries of the bursary.”
Personal case studies
“I received the bursary from the Trust just before I started my part 2 architectural studies, which helped massively to sustain me financially. The bursary allowed me to go on my studio trip to Milan and covered other course related costs, such as printing and model making materials, which helped put my mind at ease when my full concentration needed to go towards performing well in my course. Without the bursary, I simply would not have been able to afford to continue my architectural studies. The Trust also helped me following my first placement in Spain, when I was looking to gain experience in London – a task that was very difficult. Once I joined the Trust, I was given a mentor almost instantly. My mentor, Roger Watts, a director at Haworth Tompkins architects, gave me guidance on improving my portfolio, what to expect in the industry and what kind of practices to apply for. He also told me of the potential vacancy in his office and urged me to apply. Through him and ultimately the Trust, I was able to get my first architectural assistant placement in London.”
“I am currently working as a Part 2 Architectural Assistant Manager at Mace, and am en route to becoming a fully qualified architect in the summer of 2018. I received my bursary in 2009, just before I was about to begin my undergraduate degree in Architecture at the University of Kent. It eventually went towards costs during my term abroad studies in the United States during my final Masters year. Since receiving my bursary award in 2009, I have been actively involved in events, workshops and exhibitions to promote opportunities for young people of all backgrounds, ensuring they receive sufficient support in their studies and search for employment. This has led to me becoming a Trustee for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 2017. While my career has changed through the years, the Trust has been a constant since the beginning.”
“I received my bursary in 2011 when I decided to study architecture after a career change, which made the decision easier as I had to worry less about the cost of the course. I was attracted to the positive impact the profession can have on society, as well as the opportunity it gives to express oneself creatively. I completed my part 1 qualification at the University of Westminster and since then have worked for a variety of practices. I will return to study later this year to start my master’s degree. The support of the trust has enabled me to build a better network and gain a wider appreciation of the industry as whole. On top of providing financial support, the Trust has been very active in assisting the alumni through talks, events, workshops and a wide variety of programmes. I am very grateful for their support and all the work that they continue to do.”
A word of thanks from Sonia Watson, CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust:
“Marco Goldschmied has been a passionate supporter and a true friend of the Trust for many years and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him wholeheartedly for his ongoing enthusiasm, commitment and generous financial contribution. Marco has been instrumental in the conception and continuation of the Stephen Lawrence Prize and the Stephen Lawrence bursary, which have allowed us to encourage and support many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and work to create a fairer society in which everyone, regardless of their background, can flourish.”