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AJ Architecture Awards 2019 winner: School

Music School, King’s College School Wimbledon by Hopkins Architects has been named best school project at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards

This project for a music school was universally praised by the judges not only for the quality of its ‘very beautiful’ interior spaces but also the way it sits contextually in its site. 

As well as providing a series of smaller teaching and practice spaces, the building incorporates at its heart a 200-seat concert hall and double-height rehearsal room, each with expressed timber diagrid roofs. The judges commented on the ‘very generous volumes’ of these spaces, enjoying how the project ‘had clearly been thought of in 3D, not just on plan’. 

There was an ‘impressive thoroughness’ evident in its design, which also followed through into its construction. ‘The principal moves and strategy work very well, extending through to the thought in the materials and detailing,’ they said. One judge noted the roof’s textural richness and how the external patterning of the tiles reflected the internal glulam structure. 

While the building clearly had a generous budget, one judge observed that ‘the quality really shows’, – with the building representing ‘a very wise investment’ for the school. As another judge summed up: ‘This is a highly resolved and very sophisticated scheme.’ 

Shortlist

  • Dancy House by Allies and Morrison 
  • Northampton International Academy by Architecture Initiative
  • English Learning Zone, Carshalton Boys Sports College by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects
  • The Garden Building, St Paul’s Girls’ School by John McAslan + Partners
  • Bobby Moore Academy Secondary School by Penoyre & Prasad
  • Kingswood Prep School and Nursery by Stonewood Design
  • GW Annenberg Performing Arts Centre by Studio Seilern Architects 

Judges

  • Russell Curtis, director, RCKa
  • Simon Henley, principal, Henley Halebrown
  • Carol Lees, partner, Hawkins\Brown

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