The WAN Education Award 2017 celebrates the best in architectural design for all levels of educational and research use, from nurseries and kindergartens through to universities and research facilities. As the largest award of its kind, it provides a unique opportunity for entries to achieve maximum exposure; establishing firms’ credentials as design leaders within the education sector.
This year’s jury, chosen for their expertise within this sector were: Stafford Critchlow, Director at Wilkinson Eyre, Maria Nesdale, Education & Culture Practice Area Leader and Senior Associate at Gensler, Dominique Oliver, Equity Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, Keith Papa Architect Director at Building Design Partnership (BDP) and Katja Viltoft, Partner and Creative Manager at JJW Architects.
The six shortlisted projects in no particular order are:
“There is a sense of intimacy about the building which is very successful. The sectional variety of the building works well, bringing natural light from all sides to create interest.” Dominique Oliver
“Compelling interior spaces.” Stafford Critchlow
“This building has a really nice atmosphere.” Katja Viltoft
“The interior is quite varied, which I like. A lot of consideration and care has gone into the design.” Keith Papa
“Strong concept of utilising school model as a vehicle for social interaction given the declining birth rate. The building itself is well executed like many Japanese schools.” Maria Nesdale
“It’s a strong project with a great plan” Stafford Critchlow
“There’s a real strength to the way it’s been approached” Keith Papa
“The building has a really considerate response to its setting; both the immediate context of the urban block but also the wider regional Arizonan context, which is revealed in the middle. The team have worked with the accommodation to bring joy to the ground floor, and locate the simpler generic accommodation above.” Dominique Oliver
“Beautiful courtyard and external facade.” Maria Nesdale
“It’s a strong concept, they’ve really gone for it.” Katja Viltoft
“Cannot be faulted on its response to campus context, architectural concept and materiality.” Maria Nesdale
“So much variation. It’s a good scheme” Katja Viltoft
“Despite using a consistent material, there is such variation” Keith Papa
“A beautifully crafted building demonstrating a real exploration and love of the material. There is a lovely contrast between the richness of the brick exterior and coolness of internal spaces. There is a clever use of the section to enliven the interior and provide a diffuse light, and moments where the external materials are used to play with light and shade. I enjoyed the integration of the trees into the building.” Dominique Oliver
“Wellness through design is often talked about these days and this school building takes it to the extreme in a very fun and effective way. Learning spaces also seem to encourage movement and choice. A focus of the freedom of learning that works so well within the Danish curriculum model. A delightful surprise.” Maria Nesdale
“The narrative is interesting” Stafford Critchlow
“Introducing new ways of teaching; it works. They have done everything to make it an active space.” Katja Viltoft
“I want to go to this school! The project is conceptually sophisticated and considered in three dimensions. There is a sense that the whole of this building is in use - inside, outside, walls and roofs. It is quite serious from the outside, but the playful window arrangement evokes the movement engendered within. There are lovely visual connections throughout, and one feels that the body and mind will always be active and engaged here. And whilst the internal arrangement encourages activity, the building still manages to achieve intimate and personal educational environments.” Dominique Oliver
“I like the teaching spaces - they’re interesting” Keith Papa
“There’s a careful control with how it’s been placed together. It’s incredibly successful” Keith Papa
“Great views” Katja Viltoft
“For what is externally a very solid building, the quality of light within is remarkable. The building successfully combines the active communal spaces at the base, with the more intimate, learning-centric clusters of the towers. Even within the large expanses of the base plan, there is a sense that every student is considered as an individual, and nurturing space provided accordingly.” Dominique Oliver
“A great programme response to the different needs of the stages and ages of the school. Overall a very nice scheme.” Maria Nesdale
“It relates well to the surrounding area” Stafford Critchlow
“It’s beautiful, it’s very simple. It’s been done extremely well” Keith Papa
“It’s simple and complex at the same time, it’s amazing” Katja Viltof
“A brave response to an education building - a stealth building. Elegant and rigorous approach to the design - beautifully articulated and detailed with a bold choice of materials.” Dominique Oliver
WAN AWARDS would like to thank the jury and congratulate all six shortlisted finalists within the WAN Education Award 2017.
The winner of this category will be announced on the 28th February 2018 at our prestigious WAN AWARDS 2017 Event.