A class of A-level students from Tuxford Academy near Newark has been recognised for its outstanding level of skill after rising to the challenge set by the Nottingham head-office of international architects Leonard Design.
John Morgan, a director of Leonard Design, created a unique module for the A2 Product Design team to give them real-life experience of working with an architectural brief and presenting to a client. In addition to developing the module outline and guidance papers, the Leonard Design team met with the students to offer face-to-face advice and provide a taste of working in its Nottingham head-office.
Two challenges were set, one looking at architectural design and another at interior design, with a winner chosen in each category by the Leonard Design team. John Morgan said: “We asked one group to focus on interiors and design a new reception space for our Nottingham office. As the building is owned by intu, its brand colours and the inclusion of its signature bird were important. The other architectural challenge looked at a whole building which needed to be energy efficient as well as visually stunning.
“We were hugely impressed with the entries from the students – their response to quite a difficult brief was accurate and incredibly creative. It was tough, but we eventually managed to choose two overall winners.
“Joseph Spencer was recognised in the architectural design category for the precision and detail of his model. It was clear that he integrated all of his design research into the final piece.
“Jessica Kitchener demonstrated an incredibly rounded skillset to again create a very impressive model. Her recommendations were realistic yet creative with a wonderful choice of contemporary materials which brought the intu brand to life. We’d certainly be proud to have this design as our real reception.”
Jamie Tegerdine, assistant principal at Tuxford Academy, added:
“The module created by John at Leonard Design has provided invaluable experience to the students. Not only has working on something so close to real life given them skill-based experience, but spending time with the team at their busy office gave them rare insight into a career path they might not have considered before.”
Leonard Design’s work with Tuxford Academy is just one of many initiatives to support the next generation of architects. The team recently helped a year four class from Chaucer Junior School in Ilkeston which needed its advice and support to get into the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, in addition to the long-term mentoring of Nottingham Trent University students as part of their Part I and Part II architectural courses.
Leonard Design has offices in Nottingham, London, Kuala Lumpur and most recently Melbourne. The practice has a growing portfolio of projects including the Westfield and Hammerson shopping centre in Croydon, Bluewater in Kent, Kronen Vanløse in Copenhagen and Lotte Duty Free in Korea.