An ingenious school library and music room for St Patrick's School in north-west London by Coffey Architects has been awarded the RIBA's 2011 Stephen Lawrence Prize.
The Stephen Lawrence Prize was set up 14 years ago in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993. Funded by the Marco Goldschmied Foundation, the £5,000 prize rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million, is intended to encourage fresh talent working with smaller budgets.
Coffey Architects' delightful school extension delivers a library, music room and store room with a simplicity that comes from a straightforward plan and the prevailing use of two materials: zinc and timber. The space is lined on three sides by bookshelves at ground level, and the storage display of musical instruments on the first floor mezzanine. The central volume created by this arrangement is an open and flexible space for musical practice and a group reading area. This simple arrangement is given a third dimension by the openable glass wall with a freestanding external canopy, which creates an informal area for play.
The winner was announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 Dinner in association with The Architects' Journal and Benchmark on Saturday, October 1, at Magna Science Adventure Center in Rotherham.
Architect and RIBA Past President Marco Goldschmied said:
'The St Patrick's School Music Room and Library marks that rare occasion when a small budget in the hands of a thoughtful and ingenious architect lays the seed for the step by step transformation of an entire institution. The effortless and elegant integration of structure, internal finishes and fixed furniture creates a place that generations of pupils will fondly remember in years to come.'
RIBA Past President Marco Goldschmied announced the winner, and the award was presented by Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen Lawrence OBE. The judges included the architect and past President of the RIBA Marco Goldschmied, Doreen Lawrence OBE, founder of the Stephen Lawrence Centre, and last year's winning architect Philip Gumuchdjian.
The other entries shortlisted for the awards were:
Project title: St Patrick's School Library and Music Room,
Address: Holmes Road, London NW5
Architect: Coffey Architects
Client: St. Patrick’s Primary School
Contractor: Bolt and Heeks
Structural Engineer: Rodrigues Associates
Quantity Surveyor: Stockdale Chartered Quantity Surveyors
Services Engineer: Con-Serv
Contract Value: £350,000 (US$541,555)
Date of completion: February 2011
Gross internal area: 60 sq m