For the fourth year, Foster + Partners participated in Open City’s ‘Architecture in Schools’ programme.

Sponsored by the Canary Wharf Group, the creative learning programme is designed for KS2 primary school pupils. It aims to inspire the next generation of city-shapers by partnering them with design professionals who work with them to discuss and design a better city.

This year, the practice partnered with Wyvil Primary School in Lambeth, London, with approximately 60 children taking part in a range of architectural activities including a site visit and two design workshops. The aim of the site visit is to motivate children to design and produce their own places and spaces in response to a set design brief, before moving on to classroom workshops. The first workshop introduces the notion of architectural drawings and encourages the children to convey their ideas through drawing and sketching activities, while the second workshop focuses on transforming the drawings into a 3D model. 

In response to this year’s theme, ‘Reimagining London,’ the chosen site was Foster + Partners’ Millennium Bridge, London's only pedestrian bridge and the first new crossing on this part of the Thames in more than a century. On Friday 16 September, a group of architects and engineers from the practice supported the school’s site visit to the bridge. Students looked for clues to understand how the structure was built and were asked to think about the ways people use the space.

This site visit was followed by two creative workshops in the classroom, led by volunteers from Foster + Partners. The children were asked to respond to a design brief and encouraged to present their ideas by creating drawings and models.  This year the children, from Wyvil primary school reimagined Millennium Bridge and its surrounding areas.

The four-month long programme ended with Wyvil Primary School and Foster + Partners attending a celebration ceremony, to share what they had learnt with other participants. The students also proudly received second place in the model making category. 

Ramnika Subberwal, Learning & Development Advisor, Foster + Partners, said, “Taking part in Open City’s ‘Architecture in Schools’ programme is always a rewarding experience. Watching the children engage with our team and discuss architecture and design has been so wonderful. We have really enjoyed working with the children at Wyvil Primary School, who have inspired us with their fantastic ideas and designs for a ‘reimagined London’.”

We would like to thank Open City, the teachers and assistants at Wyvil Primary School and the volunteers from Foster + Partners who helped make this programme possible.

Wyvil Primary School portfolio

Wyvil Primary School portfolio

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