Environment design and school building competition inspires young architects

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Winning design: One of the professional renderings of the winning key stage 2 eco-design from Lilya Brown

Budding young architects have produced stunning environmental designs with a range of innovative eco ideas as part of our lockdown competition run in conjunction with TG Escapes


The Outdoor Learning Centre of the Future challenge was launched by TG Escapes, SecEd and Headteacher Update to provide an engaging learning activity for pupils during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The winners have now been unveiled in the key stage 2 and 3 competition, with their ideas being turned into fully rendered architectural designs by TG Escapes and their architects Metropolis.

TG Escapes are providers of bespoke eco-buildings for education and experts in the field of building design.

In the primary competition (key stage 2), the winner is Lilya Brown whose original designs are shown below alongside the Metropolis renders that have been produced as part of her prize.


Innovative: Lilya Brown's winning design in the Outdoor Learning Centre of the Future challenge. She built a prototype of her design which is now serving as a bird box in her garden



Entrants were asked to consider a range of issues in their designs, such as technological innovation, effective learning spaces, environmental factors, good use of outdoor space, and issues relating to climate change. The judging panel included teachers and school leaders from primary and secondary schools as well as design experts from TG Escapes.

Lilya designed an eco-house building, also building a working model which she turned into a bird house for her garden. The design featured solar panels and windmills to generate power, rain water collection, a flower garden, and reclaimed wood.

The judges said: “The form of the building is effective with its curved roof opening up to allow use of the flat area and providing additional space for nature. The way in which the wood wraps around the building like a skin reuses materials but also provides an eye-catching design and helps to add layers for insulation. Natural resources are well considered alongside green approaches to creating energy.”


Eco-building: Lilya's design is brought to life in further renders from Metropolis and TG Escapes as part of her competition prize

As well as receiving the professionally rendered versions of their designs, the winning pupils have been given digital 3D walk-throughs, also created by Metropolis and TG Escapes. These allow the students to see their designs really brought to life.

Runner-up in the key stage 2 competition was a joint entry from pupils Izzy Ward and Leah Rowell.

In the key stage 3 competition, the winner is Hannah Price, who designed a learning campus, with two eco-buildings, an outdoor classroom, nature areas and growing beds. There were three runners-up: James Gould, Aiden Oakes, and Zorowar Bining. Full details and images of Hannah's designs can be found on the SecEd website by clicking here.

The winners and runners-up all receive a Tree Planting Pack with trees from the EcoMatcher global tree-planting initiative. This will include lesson plans, posters, badges, acorns to plant and 10 trees planted in Uganda for your school to adopt and track.

A spokesman for TG Escapes said: “It has been a very testing year for young people and we were happy to support schools with this competition. The ideas we received were very strong and a clear demonstration of how well engaged young people are in the challenges facing the environment and mental health.

“Thanks to our design team and Metropolis Architecture for creating such wonderful drawings and 3D walk-throughs for our winning students. Thanks also to all at SecEd and Headteacher Update for helping make this competition happen.”


TG Escapes offers a free bespoke building design to all customers in education. This service helps schools to explore ideas and visualise what can be achieved with a timber frame building without obligation. These free designs can also be used to support funding applications and CIF bids. Email info@tgescapes.co.uk or visit www.tgescapes.co.uk


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