Maynard students take part in RIBA Architects in Residence Scheme

17 May 2013

Year 8 students at The Maynard School in Exeter have been given the fantastic opportunity to take part in the RIBA Architects in Residence Scheme and gain an insight into architecture as a profession. The scheme is made up of a series of workshops which are being run by local architects Kirsty Curnow-Bayley of Southernhay-based Living Space Architects and Nick Gilbert Scott who runs his own practice in Brampford Speke.
The Maynard School is in the early stages of investigating the possibility of constructing a new performing arts facility on or near the school grounds. One of the exciting parts of the RIBA Architect in Residence Scheme is that students can be directly involved in the early design of this project, putting forward their ideas and designs for the new development. The scheme also gives any budding architects the chance to develop the skills needed for architecture including research, investigation, design, use of mathematics and presentation.
Students attended their first workshop in November, when they looked at contemporary design features and considered the use of space. The girls used iPads to photograph the school’s buildings and then built structures that they could sit in, incorporating their own ideas and responses to space.
Kirsty Curnow-Bayley said, ‘We have really enjoyed working with the girls and have been delighted by their enthusiasm and level of creativity – they have come up with some fantastic ideas which should lead to a great brief for the new proposed building.’
A second workshop took place in February when the students were asked to consider space in terms of human interactions, creating a ‘seated scenario’ using furniture and fabric, measuring the space created and then translating the measurements into a precise scale drawing. The girls produced their own plans of the school site and then considered potential areas for future developments. They had to take into account many of the essential factors that architects have to consider.
Headmistress at The Maynard School, Bee Hughes, said “As a school we are committed to providing opportunities for students to work alongside professionals particularly in a creative capacity; we are thrilled to be part of a national scheme that supports students’ problem solving skills, whilst developing an awareness of architectural design.”
A third session is planned for this term, in which students will be developing their design ideas for the new building, with the aim of constructing an actual architectural model. They will then present their ideas to the School’s Governors.