Two architecture practices working together on the design of a new school:
Tom Ebdon presenting the scheme
John Lyall Architects are working in collaboration with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects on the design of a new school in East London: the local authority need to build a totally new primary school by September 2011. This deadline is challenging; so too is the compact site – a small clearing at the heart of a large new housing development.
The two practices both have a wealth of design experience in their own right – but in collaboration can offer the client the resources of a bigger team, while still retaining consistently high quality and flexibility. These are the core qualities of the consortium Architects4Education, of which more later.
As the school designs are really starting to take shape this was a great opportunity to hold a cross-office design review: where the plans could be subjected to peer review. So Rob Scott left JLA’s offices in The City and cycled over to SWA’s base in North London, co-presenting the scheme with fellow architect Tom Ebdon of SWA to the rest of the office.
The process was really refreshing, and helped to progress the scheme. While we are used to discussing our work with colleagues, this broadened the debate to a wider audience and to architects with a different set of experiences, but who all share the same drive for design quality.
After much discussion, lots of sketches and one big pot of tea Rob and Tom came away with confirmation of the positives, as well as new avenues to explore, and relevant precedents to research.
This is cross-practice collaboration in action: we are all learning from one another’s methods, and the design improves through the peer review process.
In many ways it was just like being back at university, except instead of heading to the pub for post review drinks, it was back to the office!
Toby making a suggestion!
John Lyall Architects and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects are part of the Education-specific consortium Architects4Education – Along with Greenhill Jenner, Stanley Braggs, and Chris French.
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