RIBA Ambassadors Workshop at Orchard Primary School\

Hawkins\Brown partnered with Orchard Primary School to provide three workshops with their Year 6 classes. The workshops were themed around sustainability in the urban environment. Over the course of the three workshops the children designed and built models of their very own eco-town!

The workshops looked at the different typologies of buildings that make up our towns and cities. The children worked in pairs to select a building typology. We looked at categories under, residential – where people live, office – where people work, civic – where you learn new things, shops – where things are bought and service buildings – where you go if you need help.

The children then worked in pairs to develop and write their own design brief looking at the key design features and requirements for their chosen typology. They then worked at scale to first design and then construct a series of building typologies to build a varied townscape.

Alongside the buildings the workshop looked at renewable energy sources focusing on wind power. Each pair built and tested their own wind turbine, some successful and some not so successful but all very fun! We encouraged the children to consider the size and scale of their building alongside there wind turbine design. Some looked at freestanding wind turbines and others mounted theirs on buildings.

In the final workshop the children brought all of their models together. We looked at where their building typologies and wind turbines would be best sited in our eco-town. The children instinctively placed their public building together creating a town centre and residential building just outside. Most of the wind turbines were positioned around the lake as we had discussed the importance of open space for the turbines to work efficiently.

The children then presented in pairs about why they had positioned their buildings and wind turbines in their locations, reflecting on what went well and what didn’t and sharing with each other. Hawkins\Brown awarded prizes to the children for the best functioning and most creative wind turbine and most successful building representation.

The workshop was very successful allowing the children to expand their understanding of architecture and their urban surrounding, as well as thinking about sustainability and energy production. Hawkins\Brown thoroughly enjoyed the workshop series and hope we have inspired the children at Orchard Primary School – hopefully with some budding architects in the making!

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