Thirty excited children, sticks, paint and glue, plus a flying mammal client, is not just another day at the office for Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE) architect Rebecca Lee and architectural assistants Hayley Jordan and Ava Richardson.
But their building exploration work with Dulwich Hamlet Junior School’s year 4 class earned them the award as ‘most inspirational design professionals’ in Open-City’s recent Architecture in School: primary programme awards.
For the 9th year, PTE are one of Open-City’s numerous architectural partners delivering a carefully structured programme that introduces children – and their teachers – to the built environment with direct experience and hands-on creativity. This year the theme was homes for city bees, bugs, bats and birds.
Initially, Rebecca, Hayley and Ava hosted the students at PTE’s Islington studios in the historic Diespeker Wharf, helping them to comb the building for clues to its heritage and construction.
A few weeks later, the atmosphere back at school was a little more excited, as the PTE team corralled the children into a model-making workshop. The children downloaded their bat-facts, devised their own design briefs, then got busy creating fanciful homes for bats.
The class’s efforts were rewarded by the Open-City award for ‘best class response’, with the judges noting that their collection of models showed great flair and imagination. A stylish wooden bat-box collected a special Open-City commendation for the design skills and model-making of three of Dulwich Hamlet’s enthusiastic young designers, Millie Clerihew, Alys Forman and Anna Luchmun.
PTE’s, Hayley Jordan: “We had so much fun working with the children, and learned so much from them about how they see the world. We’re already brushing up our plans for the next session.”