Feb 08, 2017
Hull classroom architect sets wheel in motion
Children from St Nicholas Primary School

Pupils at St Nicolas Primary School in Hull have built a scale model of a giant Ferris wheel with the help of local company Fresh Design International.

Kristopher Jones, who is responsible for architectural services at the company, led the project in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Mr Jones, who is trained as a RIBA architecture ambassador, planned a scheme of work with St Nicholas teachers linked to the school topic of Ferris wheels.

After an introductory talk and classroom activities, he set Year 5 and 6 pupils the intricate task of collaboratively building the 3m high bamboo model of a Ferris wheel to his designs.

The students also decorated the structure using coloured wool to create complex patterns, whilst learning about architectural principles including materials, construction, and engineering along the way.

The structure was made in two halves to enable it to be moved out of the hall and fully assembled in the playground.

The architecture ambassadors scheme sits at the heart of RIBA’s National Schools Programme, which aims to provide the next generation with a meaningful understanding of architecture and the confidence to debate issues concerning the built environment in which they live, play and learn.

Thirty local primary and secondary schools will take part in RIBA-led architecture workshops this academic year.

"Schools and architects from across Hull have become involved with the programme, but the Ferris wheel has been one of the most ambitious projects so far," Mr Jones said.

"The children's attitude towards the task was very impressive. St Nicholas should be very proud of both classes and what they achieved.

"The team at Fresh Design International works around the world to create harmonious environments that enhance everyday experiences and we believe it is important to involve young people from an early age in how good design can create better living and working spaces."

St Nicholas Primary School Key Stage 2 teachers Chris Posnett and Daniel Flynn said the project had opened the children's eyes to the built world as well as demonstrating the power of working together.

"The children loved this experience and took pride in their work," said Mr Posnett. "They demonstrated brilliant team skills and their work was really impressive."

Head teacher Caroline Skipper said Mr Jones's calm and positive attitude made the pupils believe immediately they could complete the task.

Fresh Design International, which has offices around the world, is strengthening its educational offering through Mr Jones's involvement with RIBA and his experiences in the classroom. The company is currently developing a sensory spaces scheme at Swanland Primary School.