Look Draw Build@ReadingStation

12 February 2024

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LOOK DRAW BUILD @ Reading Station is a creative learning programme that uses the transport terminal of Reading Station to inform, and inspire, some 600 Primary Schools students every year. During a classroom-based modelling workshop, led by architects and engineers, the children are guided and supported to build their own railway station.

A video which explains about the project may be viewed

LOOK DRAW BUILD @ Reading Station – Teaser on Vimeo

The objective of the project, delivered by ARCHI-adventure, in partnership with the Reading Civic Society, is to encourage young children to connect with architecture and the public space. 

More information including a video about the project is HERE

Story of the Project

The project started in 2022 and was held also in 2022  Resources were provided free thanks to GWR and Haslams Estate Agents.

The project will be delivered again to 10 Primary schools during April / May 2024.  The project sponsors are the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Haslams Estate Agents.

Led by the Senior Accessibility Manager at GWR the schools have the opportunity to take their classes to Reading Station. Here they are shown how to navigate a complex station like Reading, how to gain tickets, use timetables and most importantly to understand the importance of SAFETY around and on the railway.

Schools have told us that many of their children have not been to a station and certainly not on a train.

Delivery during 2022+23. 

During 2021 we were approached to see if we would wish to support an initiative by Gemma Solanellas, of Archi-Adventure, who had moved from Caversham to her home city of Barcelona.  Gemma had gained £4,000 Community Funding from Great Western Railways for a project to engage Primary School Children (years 5/6) in the architecture of buildings, specifically that of stations. We thought it sounded a great project and said yes immediately.

It was delivered for the first time during April-June 2022 some 450 children in 15 classes at  9 Primary Schools in Reading built some 150 model stations.

Our funders were Great Western Railways and our Gold Sponsor was Haslams Estate Agents.  Delivery partners were Stantec, Weston & Co Architects and architect Matt Andrews

In 2023 the project was delivered to 540 children in 18 classes at 10 schools. It was funded by Great Western Railways, sponsored by Haslams Estate Agents and supported by Network Rail, Stantec, Ridge, Weston & Co Architects, and Ways and Means Trust.

More information about the project, including a video, go to Reading Station project with ARCHI adventure

What makes this work? This project draws on several years experience by Gemma Solanellas  who has delivered a similar project to schools in Barcelona, most recently in December 2021. Until 2020 Gemma lived with her family in Caversham and in 2019 delivered 3 similar educational projects around Caversham.  Gemma come over to Reading to assist to lead the project in schools.  Her enthusiasm is infectious.

The ARCHI Adventure website gives more information. Reading Station project with ARCHI adventure

2024 Programme.

We will deliver the programme during April to May 2024.  Our delivery partners,  Ridge, Weston & Co Architects have confirmed they wish to take part again. We await a response from Stantec.  We have approached a number of Architect’s practices in Reading to explore if they would like their members to take part.

We are delighted that the NHLF have awarded a grant of £3.600 towards the project. Haslams Estate Agents have offered to be the Gold Sponsor again  £1,500. 

We have nearly all the 10 schools signed up, including 2 SEN schools. If you would like more information contact Richard Bennett 07802 7963289, bennettbaker@msn.com