Michael Tippett School wins Grand Prix Award for Excellence at ‘Building Schools for the Future’ (BSF) Awards
London Eye Architects, Marks Barfield Architects (MBA), have won the national Award for ‘Best
Design for a New School’, and was named as overall winner of the special judges’ ‘Grand Prix’ Award for
their design of Michael Tippett School in the London Borough of Lambeth. It was named as the ‘most
transformational, inspirational and successful Building Schools for the Future project’ in the first
‘Excellence in BSF Awards’.
Michael Tippett is a Secondary school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and
accommodates up 80 students. The school was the first BSF School in London and was completed on
budget and in record time; just 21 months after the design was commissioned and only nine months after work started on site. This was achieved by working closely with Lambeth’s BSF team and the contractor, Apollo Education.
Tim Byles, Chief Executive of PfS and Chair of the Excellence in BSF Awards judging panel, said:
“Each of the 11 winners of the first Excellence in BSF awards are shining examples of the difference BSF
can make, but for the judges one project shone more brightly than the rest and that is our Grand Prix
winner, the Michael Tippett School. …In the eight months it has been opened teachers and parents have
already noticed the positive impact of the new learning environment on these young people.”
Julia Barfield, joint Managing Director of Marks Barfield said:-
“This has been a wonderful project to work on. The input of the Headteacher, Jan Stogdon and her staff
was critical to the development of the design. This project shows that a truly inspirational teaching team, combined with thoughtful design is a powerful combination.”
Jan Stogdon, Headteacher of The Michael Tippett School said: -
“We did it together. The input that students and staff have had throughout the design and construction
processes has helped our children understand the transition to a different site. We have all been amazed at how quickly the students have settled into their new surroundings and how excited they are by the new facilities on offer.”
Magali Thomson, Head of Education Projects at Marks Barfield said :-
“A thorough consultation exercise with the local community resulted in the school being able to share
timetabled use of facilities in the adjacent community initiated park, freeing up valuable space for grass on the tight school site. A true example of how looking at the wider picture can reap benefits for all.”
Sustainability was central to the brief. The form of the building is determined by the section through
classrooms which maximises natural light and ventilation with concrete soffits to maximise thermal mass.
The colourful external louvers provide solar protection and the school also has a sedum roof providing
both insulation to keep energy bills down in the winter and a natural habitant for plants and wildlife.
Twenty-one different option studies were carried out, testing both the brief and the site. Through these
options the real potential of the site became clear and the design developed to enable the school to make the most of the tight triangular site. The brief was adapted to the particular needs of the school – for example, the double height entrance and social hub developed from a requirement for a library.