Double awards success for £12m Colston's Girls' School revamp
THE imaginative expansion of Colston's Girls' School in Bristol has won two major titles.
The £12 million building and refurbishment project at the secondary academy in Cheltenham Road, completed last year, scooped a first prize from the British Council for School Environments (BCSE) and a regional award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Both honours recognised the excellence of the design by Walters and Cohen, which created a 21st century facility to complement the Grade II listed Victorian school building.
Nusrat Faizullah, chief executive of the BCSE, said the scheme met the needs of teachers and children.
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RIBA said: "The confident new building cleverly wraps around existing buildings creating a coherent collection of spaces.
"This is successful, unpretentious architecture, which has restored a school's sense of its status in the local community."
The society's president Angela Brady said: "What really stands out is that even in times of austerity, we can still deliver amazingly clever, high quality buildings that reflect the needs of today and enhance our daily lives."
The CGS redevelopment, which was funded by the Government and the Society of Merchant Venturers after the school became a state-funded academy in 2008, includes a three-storey brick block that houses a theatre, student cafe, teaching spaces and study rooms.
It is linked to the neighbouring row of shops and the original landmark brick building by a new "statement" entrance for students and parents. It is glass on both sides so passers-by can see through from Cheltenham Road to the landscaped grounds behind.
Another major feature is the Anthony Brown Music Pavilion, which has been built into the slope of former playing fields and looks out on to a new sports area. The building includes large practice rooms, a performance space and a music technology room with Apple Mac computers.
Other parts of the original school have been redeveloped to enhance facilities for students at the popular school, which takes girls from all areas of the city.
Executive principal Lesley Ann Jones said: "We are thrilled with these awards, which recognise this exciting redevelopment. We have the best of both worlds with historic buildings that give the girls a sense of tradition and stability alongside some state-of-the-art classrooms designed for 21st century learning. "
The design of the facilities has also created some wonderful outdoor spaces where girls can socialise. The music pavilion is by any standards a beautiful and innovative building."