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Architectural recognition for Drapers’ Academy and Novo Cemetery

Queen Mary University of London partner school The Drapers’ Academy and the Novo Cemetery at Mile End campus have both been recognised in a celebration of the best new architecture in the capital.

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© The Drapers' Academy
© The Drapers' Academy

The new Drapers’ Academy building in Romford, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with significant design input from QMUL, received a London Regional Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Tuesday 6 May. It will now be considered for the RIBA National Awards, which take place in June. 

The Drapers’ Academy is co-sponsored by QMUL in a partnership that supports the educational vision of the Academy through the development of additional and innovative learning materials and activities, collaborative teaching and events.

Professor Morag Shiach, QMUL’s Vice Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences) serves as Vice-Chair of the Academy’s Governing Body and chairs the Education Committee, on which Professor Mike Watkinson from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences also sits.

Professor Shiach, a member of the group overseeing the building project, explains: “QMUL was closely involved in the development of the design for Drapers’ Academy, working with the architects for over a year to ensure that the building was aligned to the key priorities in the education vision. We were particularly involved in discussions about the design of spaces for science teaching.”  

“Colleagues who were involved in consultations and workshops around the design of the building include Professors Mike Watkinson, Julia Shelton and Joy Hinson. We are all delighted with the result – a really outstanding building - and that the achievements of pupils at Drapers’ Academy have improved so dramatically.”

The Novo Cemetery at the centre of Mile End campus was shortlisted by RIBA in the education category. In 2012 the cemetery underwent significant landscaping work, led by Seth Stein Architects, in order to preserve the site and significantly improve the aesthetic and use of the surrounding area, following the building of Arts Two.

Working in consultation with the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Congregation, the architects were commissioned to create a new border and pedestrian routes surrounding the burial ground, including a new space for quiet contemplation behind Arts Two.

In April the site received a Grade II listing from English Heritage.

Visit the RIBA website for a full list of winners from the RIBA London Awards 2014.

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