Civic Trust nod for school and community centre

Thomas Fairchild Community School in Hackney. Pic: McL

Thomas Fairchild Community School in Hackney. Pic: McLaren

Three buildings in the EastLondonlines boroughs have been recognised for their “outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment”.

The Civic Trust has commended the St Andrews Residential Development in Tower Hamlets, The New Generation Youth and Community Centre (TNG) in Lewisham, and the Thomas Fairchild Community School in Hackney for their architectural design, and for offering a positive effect on the local community.

The St Andrews Residential Development was built on the site of the former St Andrews Hospital and provides 964 homes, most of which are affordable, to the residents of Tower Hamlets. With courtyards for residents and communal gardens the Civic Trust describes it as “reminiscent of a traditional London square”.

In Lewisham, TNG Youth and Community Centre provides a range of vocational, leisure, and support services for the youth of the local community, and benefits one of the most deprived areas of London.

The Civic Trust commends the council of Lewisham in its handling of the project. They said: “Its success and popularity with young people in particular has far exceeded expectation and is testament to the ambition of the London Borough of Lewisham and the approach of the design team which placed users and the local community at the heart of the design and briefing process.”

Dieter Kleiner, director of RCKa, the architectural firm that designed the TNG said: “We are so pleased to have received a Civic Trust Award Commendation for this project. Not only does it recognise the building’s design excellence but most crucially the positive impact it has had on the local community.”

Inside the New Generation Youth and Community Centre. Pic: Jakob Spriestersbach.

Inside the New Generation Youth and Community Centre. Pic: Jakob Spriestersbach.

He added: “As a young practice we are thrilled to receive this accolade for our largest built work. It has been such a rewarding project to work on. It is a true collaboration with London Borough of Lewisham and its users, who were engaged and involved in the design process. Its success and popularity with young people has far exceeded our expectation.”

After the original Thomas Fairchild School was gutted by a fire in 2009, it was rebuilt as the Thomas Fairchild Community School for £9.3million designed by Avanti Architects. The classrooms are all built around open learning spaces to contribute to effective learning. Two other schools in Hackney were also designed by Avanti, Haggerston School and Urswick School, and both received commendations in the Hackney Design Awards 2012.

Amir Ramezani, director of Avanti Architects, said: “I have been fortunate enough to be an architectural assessor for the Civic Trust Awards for the past five years and know how highly they are viewed across the profession.  They are unique in celebrating the value that high quality design can make to the wider public realm, the built environment and to local communities.  We have been fortunate enough to win a number of Civic Trust Awards over the years and highly prize our recent success at Thomas Fairchild Community School.”

Established in 1959, The Civic Trust Awards is the longest running architectural and built environment awards scheme in Europe and operates on a not-for-profit basis. The awards are aimed to promote a positive community and environmental impact.

The awards are officially decided by the National Panel, who are a representative group of experts, but the Civic Trust also provides an opportunity for the general public to participate in nominating and judging schemes in their local area.

Watch a video showing all of 2014 winners here.

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