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Bouygues UK-built school in East London wins two BCSE design Excellence awards

22 June 2012

On Thursday 21 June, Harpley PRU school in the London borough of Tower Hamlets won two Best of British Schools Awards at the British Council for School Environments (BCSE) 2012 awards ceremony.   The successful categories were Excellence in Design for Teaching and Learning: SEN (Special Educational Needs) and Excellence in Design for Adaptation; the latter being an award that entrants don’t specifically apply for, rather it is a ‘Badge’ award which is an acknowledgement by the judges that the project showed good practice in that specific area.

Harpley PRU (Pupil Referral Unit), built by Bouygues UK and designed by LSI Architects, works with a wide range of pupils with Special Educational Needs and caters for secondary pupils from across Tower Hamlets with various behavioural and learning difficulties.  The project involved the remodelling of an existing three storey Victorian school building and the construction of a new sports hall with the objective of re-engaging students in learning to maximise collaborative working, whilst raising standards of achievement.

The BCSE Awards is an independent body focusing on excellence in design for teaching and learning.  It celebrates the pride it has in its schools whilst promoting exceptional design of education facilities and the thinking behind the process.  The awards celebrate those key teams and individuals that work in our nation’s schools including school leaders, teachers, local authority officers, engineers, builders and architects.

Speaking of the awards, Bouygues UK Operations Director Chris Stevens said:

“An enormous amount of energy goes into the design and planning of the schools we build to ensure that they meet the specific educational criteria required so it is very rewarding to see these efforts recognised.  This is a really fantastic achievement for Harpley PRU school which provides such valuable support to this particular area of East London”.

Peter Courtney of LSI Architects LLP said:

‘‘The overall design intention reflected the highly specialised method of teaching and learning at the PRU; from the new internal lightwell to the remodelled existing building to the unique cladding on the new sports hall – when combined together the result is uplifting, dynamic and memorable.  We believe the scheme was delivered to the original architectural and educational vision and these awards are recognition of the team’s efforts in achieving these goals’’.

Tony Crisp Head Teacher (emeritus) at Harpley PRU said:

 “I love the light that the design has brought to the old building – it works really well and has architectural integrity. We are grateful to the entire team for all their hard work and adherence to the original vision”.

 Heather Young, Project Manager at London Borough of Tower Hamlets, said:

“LSI delivered an original solution which reflects the highly personalised style of teaching and learning and enabled the school to more fully fulfil their educational vision. The design and construction process was well managed and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is delighted with the final result, both architecturally and educationally”.