London school beats Maggie’s Lanarkshire to Stirling Prize

Burntwood School
Burntwood School

Burntwood School in Wandsworth, London, has seen off competition from Maggie’s Lanarkshire to land the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015.

Rebuilt between 2011 and 2014 at a cost of £40.9m, to a design by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) in collaboration with BurroHappold and Lend Lease, the new look school mixes new build elements and refurbished 1950s structures.

Darbishire Place, NEO Bankside, University of Greenwich Stockwell Street Building, and The Whitworth Gallery were also in the running for the award but judges said the school was the “clear winner”.

The judges added: “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.

“It encompasses great contemporary design and clever reuse of existing buildings as well as superb integration of artwork, landscaping and engineering. It is a genuine collaborative project. There was a wonderful working relationship between the head teacher and the architect: a true partnership of equals.”

Maggie's Lanarkshire was the only Scottish project on the shortlist
Maggie’s Lanarkshire was the only Scottish project on the shortlist

Speaking at the award ceremony, RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children’s educational enjoyment and achievement. 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 UK 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.”

Paul Monaghan, director, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, added: “Schools can and should be more than just practical, functional buildings – they need to elevate the aspirations of children, teachers and the wider community. 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.”

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