Academy shortlisted for prestigious architecture award

25th July 2008 at 01:00

As poor design in new schools came under the spotlight this week - the Government's advisers on architecture ruled that many new schools are not good enough or "mediocre" - there is at least one iota of good news for architects of education buildings.

Westminster Academy was named on the six-strong shortlist for Britain's most prestigious annual architecture award.

The west London school, which moved into its new building last September, is in the running for the Stirling Prize, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The academy, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, is easily recognisable thanks to its striking multi-coloured design. Ringed by a main road, railway and high-rise local authority estates, it also features an inner courtyard that rises up through the building.

Staff and pupils were asked for ideas for the design. The pupils identified lockers and bully-proof toilets as their priorities.

Alison Banks, the school principal, praises the design for improving pupil behaviour.

Other buildings on the list include the restored Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank, and Manchester's civil justice centre.

The awards ceremony will be held in Liverpool on October 11.

Photograph: Edmond Terakopian.

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