Discover Architecture students visit Hawkins Brown, the Barbican and the Olympic Park

Olympic stadium, LondonSchool and college students enjoyed a field trip to London, accompanied by undergraduates and staff from the University of Sheffield as part of their Discover Architecture and the Built Environment programme.  The Scheme aims to widen participation to the architecture profession by encouraging local Year 12 students, interested in the built environment, to join the programme and explore future opportunities in this field.  Students on the programme take part in field trips and workshops with undergraduates at the University, as well as getting help with academic study skills and the UCAS process.

One such visit took them down to London where they visited a working architect’s studio, Hawkins Brown Architects.  The senior partner Roger Hawkins, an alumnus of the University of Sheffield, gave the students an insight into his career, the work of an architect and showed them a number of projects that the practice are developing, explaining the process through from design to completion.  The students were taken on a tour of the practice by a University of Sheffield graduate, Tom Hudson, originally from Wickersley school in Rotherham.  Tom participated in the Architecture programme while he was at school. The students had the valuable experience of seeing architects at work on their various projects and what it’s like to work in an architecture studio.

The students went onto the Barbican Centre, where they were invited to consider and sketch the themes of relationships between inside and outside spaces in this unique location.

The highlight of the day was a guided tour through the Olympic Park, where they discovered how and why the site had been chosen and how it was being transformed to meet the needs of the Olympic Games.  They were introduced to the concept of eco-friendly building design, learning how much of the construction and landscaping was designed with recycling in mind (including the planting of wildflower meadows designed by staff from the Univeristy) and how the facilities would be used after the Olympics had finished.

We are currently inviting schools to put forward applications for the Discover Architecture and the Built Environment programme again this year.  It is open to Year 12 pupils in local schools and colleges and is targeted at pupils who are interested in the built environment and who meet our widening participation criteria.

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