Marlborough Primary School has won the BCIA Social Infrastructure Project of the Year Category. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea commissioned Dixon Jones Architects and Waterman design engineers to design the school, using Mace as the contractors for the construction process. Other contributors included Arup, Macgregor Smith, Sandy Brown, Exova WarringtonFire, David Bonnett Associates, Lend Lease and Gleeds.
Below they discuss their reasons for entering the competition, what effect the award has had and their advice to aspiring contenders.
1. Why did you decide to enter the BCI Awards last year?
We entered the BCI Awards as we were confident Marlborough Primary School represented an exemplar project to showcase the best the industry has to offer in terms of collaboration between the designers, contractors and client team. The school staff and governors were consulted throughout the process from inception to completion (not always the case with Local Authority Design & Build) and we were able to deliver a high quality building that has truly benefited the end users as well as the wider local community.
2. How has winning this affected your business since your win?
Our BCI Awards win has generated a lot of extra publicity for our practice. Following the BCI Awards win Marlborough Primary School has gone on to receive wider recognition with further award successes at the Brick Awards, the Civic Trust Awards and the AJ Architecture Awards School Project of the Year. We have also been approached by publishers from as far afield as New Zealand and China following the BCI Awards win!
3. What advice would you give to someone entering this year?
Unlike other industry awards which tend to focus purely on the finished article, we believe the BCI Awards are as much about the successful delivery and best practices employed throughout the lifecycle of a project. So my advice would be to share stories about any innovative approaches and working methods employed in your project which could potentially be adopted elsewhere. It is also particularly important to ensure key members from across the project team, especially the client, are there on the big day for the jury visit if you are lucky enough to be shortlisted. The judges on our tour were very keen to hear as well as see!
4. Why should one enter the BCI Awards?
The BCI Awards is simply the biggest event in the awards calendar presenting unparalleled opportunities to network with professionals from across the built environment. We were delighted to attend the ceremony after being shortlisted and to win the Social Infrastructure Project of the Year Award in front of our peers was really the icing on the cake!