Architype get involved with Open City Schools Programme


architect helps school pupils

Architype has joined an exciting schools programme by Open City, who are currently running a junior design competition for primary schools in and around the London.

The programme is a great opportunity for the practice to work with young people from the area, gauge their interest in architecture and improve their knowledge of the profession.

It involves architects teaming up with a class and supporting them on a building visit and workshop, helping inform their design process for the competition and making their final ideas into models. The pupils can then submit their competition entry to Open City, for which there is an awards ceremony in July.

Partnered with the Joanna Academy near Waterloo, we visited the pupils at their school and introduced to the class what Architype and architects do, illustrated with some of our drawings and models.

For our building visit we partnered with Howarth Tompkins and took the class to the National Theatre on the Southbank. Martin Lydon, the project architect responsible for the refurbishment and other works at the National Theatre was able to show us around, and during the tour we did exercises with the class looking at materials and scale.

The theme for the design is “inhabited bridges” and the pupils had already set to work on this theme in their sketchbooks. The challenge was to make these designs into bridges that stood up, using simple modeling techniques with straws and card, incorporating some interesting ideas, including spirals, cones and trusses. The finished models will be submitted for the design competition along with their development work for the judges to review.

It was a great experience to meet the pupils and get them working and thinking creatively. Good luck to year 6 at Johanna Academy for the competition in July!


Rosie, Mariam and Sarah