Students design 'Parliament for the future'

The competition marks the 175th anniversary of RIBA and of the completion of the current Palace of Westminster, after it was damaged by fire in 1834 and rebuilt according to a design by Sir Charles Barry in 1844. Students aged 14 between and 19 from 124 school teams across England and Wales were challenged to design a new Parliament building to meet the needs of government in the 21st century. Entries were judged on the basis of design and their consideration of location and sustainability. Eastbourne College’s winning, tear-shaped design captured the judges’ imagination, and was commended for its consideration of sustainability issues. These included the use of local building materials and thoughtful design that promotes energy efficiency, through techniques such as the use of natural light and water collection. The site was chosen for its ease of access to both London and the continent of Europe by rail.

Tavistock Community College was awarded the second prize for its innovative design of an environmentally sustainable Parliament in Exeter, south-west England. The joint third prize was awarded to St. Robert of Newminster Catholic School & Sixth Form College and Torquay Girls Grammar School. The Joseph Swan School team from Gateshead was highly commended for its exemplary presentation. President of RIBA, Sunand Prasad, said, “We have been very impressed by the hard work and quality of thought that has gone into the entries. It is heartwarming to see a real appreciation of sustainable design by the students and their enthusiasm for architecture.”

All finalists and shortlisted designs were on display in Westminster Hall, in the Houses of Parliament in London, for ten days recently.

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