Birmingham Pupils Learn How To Design Theatres and Libraries

Birmingham Pupils Learn How To Design Theatres and Libraries

Pupils from two Birmingham schools have been learning how to design theatres and libraries thanks to a special education project organised by Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

The pupils from Starbank Primary School and Waverley Secondary School, both in Small Heath, were given the opportunity to take part in the design and architecture project following The REP’s involvement in the Library of Birmingham development. With the help of under-graduate and post-graduate architect students from Birmingham City University, pupils at both schools learnt about how spaces and buildings are designed through a series of workshops. Waverley Secondary school were then given the challenge of designing a theatre or library, whilst Starbank Primary were given the task of designing a public square, using Centenary Square as inspiration.

Once the challenges were completed all the designs were then judged by Steve Ball, Associate Director (Learning & Participation) at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Patrick Arends, Architect at Mecanoo – a member of the design team for the new Library of Birmingham, and Kevin Singh from Birmingham City University. From all the designs one was chosen from each school and the winning group of pupils were then treated to a day trip to Holland to spend a day with architects from Mecanoo, designers of the new Library of Birmingham.

Talking about the project, Steve Ball, Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre said:

“The REP’s involvement with the new Library of Birmingham development provided the perfect opportunity for us to engage with young people about design and architecture. We work with over 10,000 young people each year giving them opportunities to learn more about drama, playwriting and careers in theatre but we have never been given the opportunity to explore and learn how theatres are designed. It’s been a real success and the project has shown how creative and inspirational young people can be.”

The Waverley and Starbank pupils also had the chance to present their designs to architects from across the Midlands at a special event hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Speaking about the event RIBA West Midlands Regional Director, Matthew Dobson said “RIBA is delighted to support this project which demonstrates the important fusion between architecture, architects and the communities they serve.”

The project was funded by Bright Space which delivers Creative Partnerships projects in Birmingham schools.