This year’s Education Sector winners of built and future projects offered up designs which demonstrated the truly international nature of the competition. The judging panel aimed to find a forward-thinking winner within the economic constraints of today’s education system.
The completed project winner is Braancamp Freire Secondary School, Lisbon, Portugal by CVDB Arquitectos; a project which showed ‘a new approach to retrofit planning’ [Richard Hyams, Astudio] and an ‘elegant response to the local topography’ [Javier Quintana, Dean of IE school of Architecture and Design].
The future project winner is Chameleon: Flexible Kindergarten, Ljubljana, Slovenia by MODULAR architects. The Flexible Kindergarten is designed in a modular fashion which can be applied to any given location worldwide, with a ‘simple, yet intelligent plan’ [Stefan Jakobek, HOK] which offers a variety of spatial arrangements and specification to suit the specific client.
The Braancamp Freire secondary school proposes the restructuring of a series of existing pavilions around the school into one uniform unit. At €798 per sq m it is an astonishingly low budget construction for such a high quality finish. Richard Hyams was particularly impressed with the skill of CVDB when it came to blending the existing structures harmoniously into the bold new design, pointing out that ‘creating an exquisite whole, without any compromise is extremely tricky’.
Javier Quintana complimented the aesthetic qualities produced by CDVB as an ‘artisanal approach to design’, expanding ‘they are combining art and architecture in this design. They have dealt very successfully with the rearrangement of pre-existing buildings’.
Stefan Jakobek summarised the victorious design as a ‘simple, robust, well executed project built with an incredibly low budget’. Furthermore, Peter Barrett states that ‘the colour is a clever touch; it changes the light throughout the day, which is delightful’.
The Chameleon project by MODULAR architects won over the judging panel with its ‘flexible design’ [Javier Quintana] and ‘interesting material logic’ [Richard Hyams]. The modular built-to-specification design managed to maintain architectural rigor by creating ‘a variety of light qualities, creating a really lovely space’ [Stefan Jakobek]. Stefan Jakobek gave this project very positive reviews, stating that the design ‘works on every level; it is an example of the way forward’.
To summarise, the jurors were most impressed with designs which faced a difficult brief without compromising design detailing or the educational heart of the project. The victors of the competition succeeded in both elements convincingly, providing inventive ways for education to move forward within architecture.
Congratulations to both CDVB Arquitectos and MODULAR Architects!