LONDON.- The Royal Institute of British Architects
(RIBA) and Learning and Skills Council (LSC) last night named Joseph Chamberlain College as the winner of the prestigious Further Education Design Excellence Award 2009.
The winning architects, Nicholas Hare Architects LLP, were presented with a cheque for £5,000 at an awards ceremony held in London last night.
The annual awards celebrate design excellence in the Further Education sector and entries were judged on their innovation, excellence, sustainability and adaptability; Joseph Chamberlain College was deemed as delivering the most effective and innovative learning environment in a FE building.
The judges said: "Joseph Chamberlain College is a beautifully executed project with a delightful balance of spatial form and material specification. This is clearly expressed in the curved external masonry which uses a single type of buff brickwork and lime mortar, punctured by a simple repetition of deeply recessed grey aluminium windows. The effect is a calming urban presence on a busy and noisy Birmingham traffic roundabout.
The simplicity of form and quiet palette of materials continue into the building's inner sequence of courtyards and internal spaces. These include provision for learning areas, performing arts and sport for students and the community.
The entrance gateway is well defined between the main learning block and the 6-court sports hall providing a highly flexible area with a discreetly positioned external games court achieving excellent site integration. From the landscaped courtyards, large windows connect well to the interiors with an attractive use of colour to add bold highlights to the refectory and circulation routes. The College succeeds in creating a lively atmosphere with active and engaged students achieving high educational performance."
This year, the inaugural Sustainability Award was presented to The Tooley & Foster Partnership for the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, for best addressing the sustainability agenda with particular reference to factors including improving energy efficiency and minimising the carbon footprint. Kendal College designed by Taylor Young Architects was also shortlisted for the £2,000 award.
Highfields Automotive & Engineering Centre designed by Hawkins Brown Architects was Highly Commended for Employer Engagement, Middlesbrough College designed by Archial Architects LTD and York College designed by Bond Bryan were both Highly Commended as a Large Scale Cross Curriculum Projects and The National Skills Academy for Financial Services designed by the Tooley & Foster Partnership was Highly Commended for an imaginative reuse of an existing building.
The judging panel for the RIBA/LSC Further Education Design Excellence Awards comprised of Ian Caldwell (Chair of Jury and Estates Director at King's College London); John Walker (Walker Simpson Architects); Alistair Grindlay (Head of Capital projects, Learning and Skills Council); Paul Pearson (Perkins Ogden Architects), Nigel Robbins (Principal, Cirencester College) and Elizabeth Rushton (Principal of West Herts College).