The 2018 Architecture in School Awards


On Friday 20th of July  hundreds of parents, teachers architects and schoolchildren gathered at Canary Wharf's stunning East Wintergarden venue to celebrate the students work on the Architecture in School programme.

ʻWe wanted to make our buildings bright and colourful and to give them balconies so residents could enjoy the sunshine.”

Reay Primary School pupil

Architecture in Schools


This year, 1440 pupils from boroughs including Camden, Croydon, Dagenham, Greenwich, Islington, Hackney, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest took part in Open Cityʼs pioneering Architecture in Schools programme. The four-month project, which included building visits and a design challenge, involved children designing their own ‘Shared Cities’ that encourage communities to celebrate and value London’s open spaces where people can meet to socialise, communicate, relax and improve their wellbeing.  Top London practices including Foster + Partners, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Jestiico + Whiles were among the architects leading the design collaboration with the pupils.

The winning designs include re-designs of Avery Hill Park, Palace Road and Caldwell Garden Estate. They include a concert hall shaped like a guitar, an extended nature garden and a community café run by local residents.


The top all-rounder prizes were awarded to: year three pupils from Reay Primary School, who worked with Shade Abudul Architects, year four pupils from Streatham Wells Primary School, who worked with architects from Studio Cherry and year six pupils from Alderwood Primary School, who worked with architects from Bell Associates. In their submission, the Reay pupils wrote: ʻWe wanted to make our buildings bright and colourful and to give them balconies so residents could enjoy the sunshine.” Pupils from Streatham Wells wrote “We need to make the entrance to Palace Road really inviting and exciting so people want to come here!” And the pupils from Alderwood Primary took inspiration from a famous quote: “Solidarity would be the first principle we feel a shared city should work to meet’.


In total 29 class entries were submitted to the inter-school competition.  Professionally built models of all the winning schemes will be exhibited at East Wintergarden. Open-City director Rory Olcayto says: ʻThe more of us who participate in debating, shaping and mending the cities we live in, the better they will be, and the more reflective of our communities they will be too. Thatʼs the underlying message of Open Cityʼs Architecture in Schools programme.ʼ


Canary Wharf Group plc has sponsored the programme for the past six years and continues to support the participation of schools from the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Lambeth.

John Garwood, Managing Director & Group Company Secretary of Canary Wharf Group say: “It’s all about aspiration and so it is important for us to inspire the next generation of designers. We are always pleased to support Open-City’s Architecture
in Schools: Primary Programme, which we hope will encourage young pupils to be more aware of the importance of good design and architecture in their own lives ”

Key Stage 2 class groups from 10 different London boroughs found the inspiration for their designs in the city’s exemplary buildings, which they visited alongside built environment professionals harking from exceptional architectural and engineering practices. Through exploring buildings such as the Angel Building, the Barbican, National Gallery, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Southbank Centre, the pupils have been able to learn out of the classroom about, and from architecture, through direct first-hand experience.

The next stage of the programme saw 84 professionals from 28 different practices such as Cottrell & Vermeulen, Sheppard Robson and WilkinsonEyre go into the classroom and work with their partner classes in response to a project design brief. This year’s design brief asked the primary school children aged 8-11 to design their own ‘Shared Cities’, and to create Design Portfolios and 3D models of these imaginative designs.

Judging the competition were: Kate Thorpe from the UCL Institute of Education, Alex Kenny from the National Education Union, Petra Marko from Marko and Placemakers Ltd, Nikolai Delvendahl from Delvendahl Martin Architects, Christian Spencer-Davies from Amodels Ltd and Rosslyn Stuart from the Royal Town Planning Institute. The judging meeting was chaired by Open City’s, Head of Learning, Sophie Draper. Winners of the six other prize categories included pupils from Anrhem Wharf who worked with Fosters + Partners for the ‘Best Model’ prize, pupils from Stebon Primary school who worked with Lipton Plant Architects Ltd for ‘Design Development’ prize and pupils from Clapham Manor who worked with Granit Architecture + Interiors for ‘Most Imaginative Design’.

Participating schools: Ainslie Wood Primary School, Alderwood Primary School, Arnhem Wharf Primary School, Ashmount Primary School, Bursted Wood Primary School, Bygrove Primary School, Clapham Manor Primary School, Cubitt Town Junior School, Five Elms Primary School, Good Shepherd Primary School, Henry Maynard Primary School, Jubilee Primary School, Kentish Town Primary School, Lansbury Lawrence Primary School, Manorfield Primary School, Northwold Primary School, Reay Primary School, St Cyprian's Greek Orthodox Primary Academy, St George the Martyr Church of England Primary School, St Johns Primary School, St Luke's Church of England Primary School, St Paul's Primary School, St Peter's London Docks Primary School, Stebon Primary School, Streatham Wells Primary School, , Whitehall Park Primary School, William Davies Primary School, Windrush Primary School.  

Participating practices: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Allies and Morrison, Bell Associates, Burwell Deakins Architects, Cottrell & Vermeulen, Delvendahl Martin Architects, Elliott Wood Partnership, Fosters + Partners, Granit Architecture + Interiors, Haverstock, Jestico + Whiles, Jo Townsend Architects,Latitude Architects, Laurent Mot, Lipton Plant Architects, LOM Architecture and Design Ltd, Paul Murphy Architects, pH+, Pollard Thomas Edwards, PRP, Shade Abdul Architecture Shepheard Epstein Hunter, Sheppard Robson, Stride Treglown, Studio Cherry, van Heyningen and Haward Architects, Weston Williamson + Partners, Wilkinson Eyre, Zuber Architecture


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