From education to employment

Breezy and Airy Colleges Help Learners Breeze Through Learning!

With the heat of the July just passed, even the mention of a building that is “breezy and airy” is enough to send the mind to an oasis where the temperature is tempered by a gentle waft of cool air.

To recognise the colleges and architects who have taken into account just how important providing the right environment for learning can be, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have teamed up with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to announce six of the best. These six colleges have been recognised by making the shortlist for the “LSC / RIBA Further Education Awards”, celebrating instances of excellence in design within the FE sector.

Winning Tickets”¦?

There are six nominated colleges and architects on the shortlist. These are as follows: Stephenson College, Leicestershire: Architect: Pick Everard; South Trafford College: Architect: John McAslan & Partners; Newcastle Performance Academy: Architect: RMJM; SE Essex College: Architect: KSS Design Group Ltd; New College Durham: Architect: RyderHKS; and Manchester College of Art and Technology (MANCAT): Architect: Walker Simpson. The six colleges will be further judged in the course of the inspection visits of the judges in early October, who will judge them on the basis of their innovation, excellence, adaptability, atmosphere, and the somewhat uncertain concept of the “feel good factor.”

The colleges have made the shortlist thanks to their innovative design or the effort made to make the buildings conducive to a happy learning experience. The nominated architects will all now be eligible for winning the £5,000 prize and a trophy for their design at the awards ceremony, which will take place at the RIBA’s elegant Portland Place headquarters on the 8th of November. The second place prize of £2,000 will be awarded to the project demonstrating what are called “exceptional points of special merit.”

Important Background

The Chairman of the LSC, Chris Banks, pointed out the importance of having the right environment for education. He said: “Anyone who teaches will tell you that their students will be more responsive, attentive and enthusiastic in a bright, airy and stimulating classroom. This award will recognise some of the best new buildings that are providing this kind of environment.

“Over the past four years,” he continued, “the LSC has approved grants of just under £1 billion to support 524 building projects in the learning and skills sector, worth a total of nearly £3.2 billion. More than half of the estate has now been renewed. This means there are some exciting new buildings out there and the architects responsible deserve to be recognised.”

The RIBA President, Jack Pringle, also expressed his pleasure at the joint venture with the LSC, saying: “I am delighted that the RIBA in association with the LSC has created the Further Education Awards. It is an exciting project and judging by the calibre of the shortlist nominees it is going to be very difficult to choose one winner. These important projects highlight the variety and quality of the work undertaken by RIBA members and the positive impact that design can have on Further Education learning.”

Jethro Marsh

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