The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced yesterday that the Burntwood School, by AHMM Architects, has won the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize, which honors the United Kingdom's best new building. Selected from a shortlist of six buildings, the Burntwood School becomes the 20th winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize.
By weaving new construction with existing buildings build in the 1950s Modernist school by Leslie Martin, AHMM produced a campus for 2,000 pupils and 200 staff with the addition of six new faculty buildings and two cultural buildings. Self-similar buildings are formed of the same standard set of components, but with each building housing a specific function (e.g., arts, communication, math, sports, etc.). AHMM varied size and orientation of deep, load-bearing precast concrete façade panels to produce non-repetitive, self-shading elevations.
“Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children's educational enjoyment and achievement," RIBA president Jane Duncan said at the award ceremony. "Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, experienced school architects, have created a stunning campus. They have produced delightful, resourceful and energy efficient buildings that will benefit the whole community in the long term. With the U.K. facing a huge shortage of school places, it is vital we learn lessons from Burntwood. I am delighted to present architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.”
Judges for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize included Peter Clegg, senior partner of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Rory Olcayto, editor of The Architects' Journal; Theresa Sackler Bee, trustee of the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation; Steve Tompkins, director of Haworth Tompkins (winner of the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize for the firm's Everyman Theatre); and Jane Duncan, director of Jane Duncan Architects as well as RIBA president and chair.
Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The transformation of Burntwood School pieces together a 1950’s modernist education campus for 2000 pupils and 200 staff in south-west London. Within an existing mature landscape, six new buildings-as-pavilions develop the heritage of the existing, orchestrating a system of bespoke constructional components to bring both efficiency and delight. The new buildings – four 4-storey teaching pavilions, a new sports hall and a new performing arts building – are placed amongst a number of retained buildings (including two by Sir Leslie Martin) to form a complete and coherent campus, with lawns, squares and a central pedestrian spine. Within each pavilion, classrooms and ancillary accommodation are arranged along a central corridor with voids and double-height spaces at each end to increase natural daylight and make connections to the exterior. The regularity of each plan is followed through to the elevation with faceted precast concrete panels that correspond to a 7.5 metre structural and classroom module; a development of the prefabricated façade work seen at Dagenham Park Church of England School.