Three of the UK's most innovative and renowned architects are the winners of an international design competition run by Southwark Council and the RIBA Competitions Office for the modernisation of three primary schools in Southwark.
The three architects will transform Michael Faraday Primary School (Aylesbury Estate), Eveline Lowe Primary School (Bermondsey) and Southwark Park Primary School (Bermondsey) into some of the very best school buildings in Europe.
Twelve architects (four for each school) were chosen to take part in the competition from 90 applicants, with the winners chosen by a panel of judges chaired by RIBA architectural adviser Paul Monaghan.
SMC Alsop – Michael Faraday Primary School
HKR Architects / John Pardey Architects – Eveline Lowe Primary School
Birds Portchmouth Russum – Southwark Park Primary School
Each school represents unique challenges and opportunities. Michael Faraday is in the heart of the Aylesbury Estate and will be one of the first new buildings delivered as part of the area's regeneration. Eveline Lowe is housed in both a 1967 Grade 2 listed building, an exemplar of the Plowden Report and an Edwardian building on a split site. The school is to be expanded and modernised to create a 21st century school that respects the design philosophy of the existing listed buildings. Southwark Park is a Grade 2 listed Victorian school and is to be expanded and modernised to create a modern school that celebrates its heritage.
The competition allowed the competing architects to meet with and explore early thoughts and ideas with staff and pupils, giving the commissioning team and the Headteachers the opportunity to develop an understanding and confidence in their future architectural teams.
The competition was part of the Southwark schools for the future programme that aims to transform education provision in Southwark. The programme includes academies, secondary schools, primary schools and children's centres.
Councillor Caroline Pidgeon, Southwark Council's executive members for children's services and education, said : "We are striving for the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable primary schools. SMC Alsop, Birds Portchmouth Russum and HKR Architects/John Pardey Architects have shown they can meet our challenge and produce inspiring buildings of exceptional quality, sustainability and functionality. We're very pleased to have attracted architects of this calibre and look forward to working with the three firms as we transform our schools".
Paul Monaghan added : "The Southwark schools for the future competition shows that there is a huge appetite in the architectural profession for primary school design. It was very difficult to pick winners and indeed Southwark Council could have built any of the shortlisted designs. I believe Southwark Council will truly be Building Schools for the Future".