Winners 2008

Bristol Brunel Academy


The jury were impressed by the impact of this school on the children of the local community.

The major design moves within the school are successful. The top lit internal street concept, incorporating working spaces makes for a dynamic, light shared space and offers excellent discreet surveillance. Fully glazed staff bays/offices are located in strategic places looking onto the communal areas. The head described how behaviour has improved considerably as a result.

The planning of the school and spaces has also had a direct impact on bullying. An excellent and typical example of this was given as the 'open mixed loos'. Two banks of unisex lavatory cubicles face one another in an open area with a row of basins down the centre. A staff room looks immediately onto the area. The result is no bullying in the school loos!

The many marble engraved plaques with quotations from the children such as 'I wish things could be simpler', 'I wish my Dad didn't snore', 'I wish I could meet my family' were amusing, entertaining and touching, a sure sign of the ownership taken by the children and users of the building.

Small details such as the integration of the lockers within the walls and the careful detailing and integration of the sound absorption within the structural roof decking are successful. The external cladding colours are subtle and slick and overall the building is one of clear quality.

The benefit of this building to its social context is greater than any other building visited, it has lifted the spirits of the neighbourhood. As one juror said 'it makes me want to go back to school'.


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