The young architecture studio formed by Jonathan Sergison and Stephen Bates, both born in 1964, has made off with this year’s Tessenow Medal, awarded to those architects whose work emphasizes the synthesis between design and functionalism. Despite the relatively short professional career of these two Londoners, the jury placed value on their discreet language and poetic irony, as well as their capacity to combine the everyday with the unusual, infusing their designs with innovative elements that subtly break with the familiar surroundings. Students of the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art, respectively, Sergison and Bates worked for David Chipperfield in London before setting up their own studio in 1996. Their very first projects already reflected their principal concerns: to activate the social function of modest public buildings and to design accessible homes, as confirmed by the Walsall pub, the school in Bedfordshire and the public housing in Tilbury. Both architects teach and also consult for the London City Hall on urban planning issues relating to the 2012 Olympic Games.