The MAIA team of second formers created an innovative figure of eight building, with the huge tree taking pride of place in a courtyard in the middle of the larger circle.
The inspirational design won them first place in this year’s Building for the Future project, in which ten groups of 12 students competed against each other to win over a panel of expert judges with their proposals.
The challenge aims to give second formers a taste of running their own business while preparing them for a range of exciting careers, with pupils applying for specific jobs including project manager, architect, interior designer IT consultant and marketing, business development and finance managers.
Their buildings had to include two classrooms, changing rooms, showers, toilets and a viewing platform.
Tasked with producing the most innovative, cost-effective and environmentally friendly designs, they were given just two days to negotiate, design and cost their project before building a 3D model and delivering a presentation to the panel of judges.
With impressive designs from all the teams, incorporating everything from wind turbines, to solar panels and roof gardens, followed by a series of accomplished presentations and pitches, picking the winner was particularly difficult this year.
Head judge Anthony Henson, a director at SDA Architects, said:
It was very close, but the MAIA team met the brief in every area and came up with a very impressive design.
MAIA’s project manager Eva Joussemet, 13, from Littlethorpe, said she and her team-mates had gained a lot from taking part in the challenge:
We learnt a lot about our various job roles and how to work as a team to achieve our goal in the time-frame. Meeting deadlines and getting the timing right was the most difficult bit.
Architect Joe Hewitt, 13, came up with the novel figure-of-eight shape for their eco-friendly building:
I just thought we could use the curves as a good way to get round the tree.
Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) co-ordinator Claire Gallagher, who led the project, which is now in its fifth year, said:
I have been impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the students over the two days. Team members had to pull together while applying their areas of expertise, and all the groups produced impressive building designs.
With the new 3G sports pitch being built, it’s been good for students to work on designs which relate to the next stage of development of the school site.
She thanked all the teachers involved in training students for their various job roles and Anthony Henson from SDA Architecture for his involvement in the project.