Academy buildings win a preservation trust award

1:00pm Monday 12th November 2012

By Reg Little

THE Oxford Academy is celebrating winning a major award for its new £33m home in Littlemore.

The school, which welcomed pupils to the state-of-the-art building in Sandy Lane West last year, was among the winners announced at the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards at St John’s College, Oxford.

The school lifted its award in the New Buildings section. The judges, praising the work of the school’s architects White Design Associates, said: “Built on the site of the former Peers School at Littlemore, these new school buildings exude an air of confidence, which is already having a positive influence on students and staff.

“The site is shared with Mable Pritchard House and has become a popular local community resource.”

Academy principal Mike Reading said: “It was great for Oxford to recognise what’s happening in the south of the city where 80 per cent of the children come from 20 per cent of the most deprived wards in the country.”

The other new Oxford building to receive an award was the Shulman Auditorium at The Queen’s College in High Street.

The work of Oxford-based architects Berman Guedes Stretton and the contractors Kingerlee was praised for the way that it incorporated historic features within the design of a modern building.

Head bursar Linda Irving Bell said: “It is vitally important to The Queen’s College that any building work we undertake is very sensitive to our environment and enhances our heritage for current and future generations.

“We felt that this was achieved by Berman Guedes Stretton’s stunning design for our Shulman Auditorium, which is now in constant use for a wide variety of cultural and educational events.”

Oxford City Council received an award for the restoration and refurbishment of the Old Fire Station, which this week celebrated its first anniversary as centre promoting the arts and helping the homeless.

Over the past year, Arts at the Old Fire Station in George Street has packed in 68 shows, five festivals, more than 25 different kinds of regular classes and involved 192 artists in 16 gallery exhibitions. More than 26,500 people have gone through its doors.

The architect and project manager, Jonathan Clements, from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said: “The vision was to create a unique, dynamic and inspirational centre for creativity, skills development and enterprise that the community could be proud of. It was a very unique project, bringing together a homeless facility and an arts company. We aimed to celebrate the history of the building as part of the architecture.”

Also honoured with awards were:

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