Look Draw Build@ReadingStation

28 April 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

A video about the History of the Railway and the key features of a station, which the schools show the children before we arrive to deliver the workshop may be viewed

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 images of the workshops and quotes about the project from worshop leaders and schools is HERE

Story of the Project

The project was run for the first time in April-May 2022. It was also run in 2023. Resources for the schools were provided free thanks to funding from GWR and Haslams Estate Agents.

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

An important part of the project therefore is the visit to Reading Station for the participating classes. The project funds the transport if necessary. The visits are hosted by the Senior Accessibility Manager at GWR. The children 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.

2024 Programme.

We will deliver the programme to 10 schools across Reading, including 2 SEN schools during morning workshops held 8,9,10, 22+23 May 2024. 

Our delivery partners are Stantec, Ridge & Partners, Weston & Co Architects. Other volunteers include a trainee architect and sculptor, a former Deputy Head of an SEN school, members of the Civic Society and a Consultant Project/ IT manager . .

We are delighted to be awarded grants of £3,600 from both the NHLF and the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Awards. Haslams Estate Agents are Gold Sponsor for the 3rd year £1,500. 

If you would like more information contact Richard Bennett 07802 7963289, bennettbaker@msn.com

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 comes 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