PLACE Design + Planning wins two awards at the Hackney Design Awards for their designs for Clapton Girls’ Technology College
Working in conjunction with the architects Jestico and Whiles, the team won both a design award and the People’s Choice Award. PLACE prepared the landscape design proposals for the school as part of a consortium led by Mouchel Parkman Babcock Education, under the Building Schools for the Future programme.
The overall intention of the project was to create a school with a more collegiate character that provides a new and exciting learning environment for pupils, teachers and visitors. The scheme was designed to be stimulating and creative, and recognises the fact that the school grounds are an invaluable teaching resource for the education, recreation, and health of the students and staff.
The designs have softened the college’s existing courtyard by introducing additional trees, new shrub borders and Victorian style seating and litter bins. A new courtyard and outdoor seating area have also been introduced. There is an emphasis on a more extensive tree canopy, simple grassed areas and places to sit. This reflects an assumed use where a higher proportion of girls will sit and talk or quietly study.
Designed in accordance with ‘Secure by Design’ standards, the scheme provides a safe and friendly school environment, which not only enhances the school’s image and the opportunity for outdoor education but is also respectful of the existing architecture and neighboring properties. A real emphasis has also been put on retaining as many healthy, existing trees as possible and increasing the biodiversity within the school grounds, thereby contributing to the ecological diversity of the wider Hackney environment.