Westminster Academy at the Naim Dangoor Centre by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has won the RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award 2008.
The announcement was made on Saturday 11 October at a special awards ceremony for the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects' Journal at the BT Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool. The Academy was also shortlisted for this year's Stirling Prize. Lady Frances Sorrell, sponsor of the prize and one of its judges presented a cheque for £5000 to the winners.
The RIBA/Sorrell Foundation Schools Award was presented for the first time in 2007 to the architects of the best RIBA award-winning school - primary or secondary - with the aim of raising the standards of design in all new school building.
The aim of the Sorrell Foundation is to inspire creativity in young people and to improve the quality of life through good design, joining up public sectors such as education and health with the UK's world-class design community. The winner of the first RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award was The Marlow Academy by BDP.
Speaking about Westminster Academy, Lady Sorrell said:
"The Academy provides a striking presence ringed by the Westway, the railway and high rise local authority estates. The basic organisation is teaching and support spaces around the edges with a large full height court at the centre. The arrangement allows high levels of visibility for both staff and students. The graphic signage contributes a level of spirited corporate identity that traditional schools lack. This is architecture at the highest level, a highly controlled tour de force."
The other shortlisted buildings for the award were:
Oundle School Science by Technology Block Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough by Foster + Partners
Bristol Brunel Academy by Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Pinewood Infant School by Hampshire County Council Architecture & Design Services
St Marylebone Church of England School Performing Arts Facility, London by Gumuchdjian Architects