A Wandsworth school has come top of the class after being named the best new building in Britain.
The judging panel at the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize 2015 – the industry’s Oscars – said: “Burntwood School is the most accomplished of the six shortlisted buildings because it demonstrates the full range of the skills that architects can offer to society.”
The original 1950s building was remodelled by architects from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
AHMM created six new buildings at the 2000-pupil girls’ school. “It encompasses great contemporary design and clever reuse of existing buildings as well as superb integration of artwork, landscaping and engineering,” the judges said.
RIBA president Jane Duncan added: “Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children's educational enjoyment and achievement.”
Paul Monaghan, director of AHMM, said that schools should be more than just practical, functional buildings.
“Good school design makes a difference to the way students value themselves and their education, and we hope that Burntwood winning the RIBA Stirling Prize shows that this is worth investing in,” he added.
AHMM’s design includes double height spaces at the end of each corridor to bring natural light into the building and to create well-framed views plus the use of large murals that act as both signposting and modern art.
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Image credit: David Anstiss