RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award
The RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award was created to help raise the standards of design in school architecture.
In collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Award was given annually to the architects of the best all-new primary or secondary school between 2007 and 2010. A specialist panel of judges explored the shortlisted schools, before inviting pupils to also give their thoughts and feelings about the new facilities. The Pupil Advisory Panel was also asked to rank the shortlisted schools, selecting their own award winner.
The judges selected schools that demonstrated close consultation between the school and the architects, that were sympathetic to the local surroundings, and that provided flexible, bold and exciting learning environments. The awarded schools all demonstrated high attention to detail in every aspect of design, contributing to a strong sense of pride and ownership in the school for students, staff and the local communities.
“Our new school has an abundance of space, more than we could ever have imagined. The timber and the natural touches of the building have a calming influence on everyone. Children and staff are keen to work and love their new learning environment”.
“It’s a really nice atmosphere. It’s calm and tranquil, so you don’t feel rushed to do your work. Everybody wants to come in here and use it”.
“Employing connectivity and flexibility to provide pupils with a place where they take control of their own education, Westminster Academy’s open configuration of spaces is as much a creative workplace as it is a theatre of learning”.
“The old building – no one had respect for it and people were really cliquey – going to different corners of the field to socialise. Now it’s an open building and everyone is entwined – it’s a community”.
The Award draws attention to the need for brilliant design in the school environment and the benefit of engaging pupils in the discussion about what they want their schools to be like.