St. John’s C of E Primary School in Tower Hamlets wins one of the Top Three 'Architecture in Schools' Prizes

Chapman Taylor is delighted to report that St. John’s C of E Primary School in London’s Tower Hamlets has been awarded one of the ‘Top Three’ prizes for its Architecture in Schools project.

The project model, created by 27 pupils from Year 5 (aged 9-10) with a little assistance from teacher Lydia Bahi and Senior Architect Priscille Rodriguez from our UK Residential team, will be displayed to the public at Crossrail Roof Gardens at Canary Wharf throughout the summer holidays.

The annual Architecture in Schools Programme, run by the Open City charity in partnership with Canary Wharf Group, is designed to introduce teachers and pupils to London’s best building designs and to help inspire the next generation of city-shapers – particularly those from less advantaged backgrounds such as many of the creative and talented pupils at St. John’s.

Our project this year was based on the programme theme ‘A Smarter City’ and involved reimagining an existing urban area to create a safer, inclusive, more open, car-free and pedestrian-friendly environment.

The selected location is the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which is about to undergo a transformation to become what the V&A describes as “the most joyful museum in the world”.

The project regeneration area currently

The concept, titled ‘Together, forever, we dream’, envisages an urban quarter where houses, a church and the museum are better integrated with the wider area by creating a tunnel for a busy road and clearing the way on the surface for new paths for a seamless journey between different parts of the neighbourhood.

The new place creates a unified destination based on the idea of togetherness for learning, working, living, playing and praying, with several ambitious innovations including a memorial for lost dreams, a multi-faith building, a rooftop greenhouse sphere, a planetarium, a homeless shelter, work pods and an area for free food.

Priscille helps the Year 5 pupils create a masterplan

Feedback from pupils at St. John’s included surprise that architects didn’t have to build houses after designing them and expressions of interest in becoming an architect, particularly from female pupils inspired by Priscille’s presentation.

Priscille, who has a strong commitment to community-related initiatives such as this, said of the programme: “It has been a rewarding experience to work with such motivated and creative young people. Their unbiased approach and abstract thinking brought about a variety of refreshing conceptual strategies for a human-centred place.”

The prize-winning project model will be displayed at Crossrail Roof Gardens all summer

An awards ceremony will take place on 19 July, where those schools which created the winning projects will be honoured. Meanwhile, this Sunday, 23 June, will see Open City’s Let’s Build London event take place at Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, with Priscille taking a leading role here also. The event is open to all ages from 4+ and volunteers will be very welcome.

Congratulations to everyone at St. John’s, particularly Year 5, and well done to Priscille!

For more information, please contact:

Priscille Rodriguez
Senior Architect (London)

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