Avanti was shortlisted by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland for the design competition: ‘Designing Primary Schools for 21st Century Learners‘. The brief called for proposals that would facilitate contemporary teaching styles in Ireland as well as innovative educational ideas in the next decade and beyond. The judging panel included Angela Brady, past president of the RIBA, Prof. Takahara Tezuka and Reino Taipaninen. The panel commented:
‘A well considered scheme bringing together many ideas. It connects the interior and exterior providing a variety of learning spaces inside and outside. The design positions the naturally lit library at the heart of the building to create a well-defined focus for learning, with visual and physical connections across the building.’
The school is designed as a community in miniature. The physical design – which is from the inside out – is about making sure every child is ‘well-known’ within the school environment and can be emotionally and socially supported. Social interaction therefore is central to the design with progressive layers of openness and security an inherent part of the proposal.