Look Draw Build@ReadingStation

3 January 2022

Image result for Reading station During 2021 we were approached to see if we would wish to support an initiative by Archi-Adventure.  They 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.


At work in Barcelona Dec 2021.

Using Reading Station this creative learning programme is being offered to 10 Reading Primary Schools in Spring 2022, one or two Year 5 /6 classes in each. Supported by introductory activities some 600 children will have the opportunity to design their own railway station in a creative modelling workshop in the classroom, led by architects and engineers.

The aim is to teach children about the principles of building design / structure, people flows etc. Reading Station staff are also keen to be part of this to educate children about stations,

Schools have told us that many of their children have not been to a station (Pandemic issue) and certainly not on a train.  Ideally we would like each school to be able to visit Reading Station, if COVID does not enable this then over to video events.

All resources will be provided free thanks to GWR and Haslams Estate Agents.

What will make 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 will come over to Reading to assist to lead the project in schools.  Her enthusiasm is infectious.

Image result for Reading station

3 models will be selected by a panel as representative of all 20.  They will be displayed,  along with information about the project, at Pop up day exhibitions  in  town and at Waterfest.

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

Project Delivery

  • GWR Community Engagement team is the project’ main sponsor. The Gold Sponsor is Haslams Estate Agents.
  • Delivery of the workshops in schools:
  • STANTEC Reading were the engineering company behind the recent major regeneration of Reading Station. We are delighted that STANTEC have agreed to support delivery of the project to schools with 14 staff.
  • Weston & Co Architects, a young firm of architects based at Watlington House,  have also agreed to take part in leading the workshops.
  • Gemma Solanellas is the project initiator and innovator. She comes to Reading to develop the project and will assist to lead it in schools.

If you would like your school to take part then contact Richard Bennett 07802 7963289, bennettbaker@msn.com