July 11, 2014

What does it take to create an award-winning educational project that not only inspires learning, but also provides an atmosphere that is positive, creative and environmentally sustainable? 

Andrew Marvell College encompasses all of these things, and more. 

The HKS London education team, who designed the project, celebrated the college being named Public Sector Interiors Project of the Year at the Mixology14 Awards on June 26. The prestigious annual awards, presented by UK Mix Interiors magazine, are given to the groundbreakers and boundary pushers of the commercial interiors sector, recognising the most influential people and companies. 


Andrew Marvell College’s vision was to become a school of excellence, raising the aspirations of students, staff and the local community through providing state-of-the-art facilities, creating a culture of lifelong learning and encouraging enterprise. The team produced an environmentally and financially sustainable building, capable of delivering long-term economies and nurturing positive attitudes toward sustainability amongst students. 

The building is a focal point – a beacon – with its height articulating desire and ambition. Its form is expressed in a visual language of stacked, linear blocks that rise and twist like a stack of books. In addition to the obvious metaphorical links between books and a place of learning, the formal language of twisting planes creates three-dimensional character and interest. Terraces and overhangs were created to be utilised for numerous educational outdoor activities. 

To enhance the drama of the entrance sequence and celebrate the progressing identity of Andrew Marvell, the sculptural letters “A” and “M” literally support the dramatic entrance overhang. This continues a theme of language and lettering – that runs throughout the school – showcased in HKS’ environmental graphic design and its understanding of the relationship between form and content. The inspirational quotations in circulation and gathering spaces reflect the subjects taught in the vicinity, not only indicative of an aspirational learning environment, but also functional as directional wayfinding devices, familiarising students and visitors with the building’s amenities. The school motto, “Achieve, Believe, Celebrate,” reverberates through the design and maintains the school’s ethos throughout. 

Andrew Marvell College - resized

Head teacher Kevin Lister said of the new school, “The pupils have responded tremendously to the new building in terms of their attitudes toward learning and respect for the new facilities. Visitors have even commented on the calm and purposeful learning climate of the college.” 

To view the award submission, click the following link: http://bit.ly/Mixology_Awards_HKS_Winner_2014 

The HKS Educational Studio is a group of dedicated design professionals who deliver effective school solutions with exceptional care and service. The studio has completed projects for prominent school districts throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Ranked among the top six architectural/engineering firms by Building Design+Construction magazine, HKS works locally, regionally and internationally on education projects from 27 and worldwide offices. 

For more information, contact David Marshallsay, director of education, at dmarshallsay@hksinc.com; Dan Flower at dflower@hksinc.com or Sherri Smith at ssmith1@hksinc.com.

Posted in Education, Green Places
Tagged Andrew Marvell College, Mixology14 Awards