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Pupils present miniature pavilions for Millennium Place at Coventry Transport Museum

30 July 2014

Earlier this month, Year 9 pupils from Blue Coat C of E School presented designs for ‘Coventry Pavilions’ as the culmination of an architecture project at Coventry Transport Museum. The exciting new project has been developed through the Museums and Schools programme, funded by the Department for Education, through Arts Council England.

The pupils have been working on the Pavilions Project with the Culture Coventry learning teams, in partnership with the V&A Museum in London and Coventry University, since May this year. The pavilions were designed to be displayed in a fictitious ‘Festival of Coventry’ in Millennium Place, in front of Coventry Transport Museum.

The students’ visits to Coventry’s museums enabled the students to learn about the history of their city and Coventry’s famous motor industry, which they were asked to reflect in their pavilion designs. At the V&A, the pupils then explored models in the Architecture Gallery and the museum’s archives to inspire their work, and investigated the concepts of scale and model-making, which they developed with architecture students from Coventry University. Architecture lecturers from the university built a model of Millennium Place and both undergraduate and graduate students helped the Year 9 pupils transform their designs into miniature pavilions to add to the display. 

The designs ranged from car-shaped pavilions to designs which represent Coventry as a City of Peace and Reconciliation.

The Year 9 pupils presented their designs and the scale model of Millennium Place, complete with their pavilions, to architecture lecturers from Coventry University, Learning Managers from the V&A, and the Head of Learning and Inclusion from Culture Coventry.

Emma Hewitt, Museums and Schools Project Manager at Culture Coventry, who helped to develop the secondary schools’ architecture project, said,

“To have been able to offer a design project to secondary school students working in partnership with the V&A and Coventry University, has been very beneficial. The students have all worked extremely hard and have produced some really impressive work. As a result, each pavilion tells its own unique story about something special from Coventry. Quite a few of the students are interested in going on to study architecture, and Coventry University have already offered them the chance to go back and explore the course there further, so this has been a great opportunity for them!”

One Blue Coat pupil who took part in the project, said, “It has been a great experience for us to work to such an open and flexible design brief. This gave us the opportunity to come up with some really different and exciting pavilion designs. The opportunity to look round the museums for ideas at the beginning of the project was really inspiring.”

The Museums and Schools project aims to encourage school to make more use of their local museums as learning resources. So far, more than 6226 pupils have benefited from Coventry museum visits as part of the scheme.

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