Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Are Shining a Light on Education; We Continue Our Series Profiling the Winners of the Journal's Third Landmark Awards with a Look at Usworth Sixth Form College. Rebekah Ashby Reports on the Winner of the 2006 Public Sector Award

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Are Shining a Light on Education; We Continue Our Series Profiling the Winners of the Journal's Third Landmark Awards with a Look at Usworth Sixth Form College. Rebekah Ashby Reports on the Winner of the 2006 Public Sector Award

Article excerpt

Byline: Rebekah Ashby

HE may be heading towards the end of his career, but Michael Bellwood is still coming up with award-winning buildings.

The senior architect at Newcastle-based dewjo'c steered the group responsible for the new pounds 10m Usworth Sixth Form College in Washington.

And the team - which also consisted of contractor Balfour Beatty and developer City of Sunderland College - triumphed in the Public Sector category at this year's Journal Landmark Awards.

Landmark judge Paul Tognarelli, corporate business manager at sponsor Allied Irish Bank GB's Newcastle branch, said: "The judges were particularly impressed with its glass atrium, which runs the whole length and height of the building.

"This provides maximum use of natural light, ventilation and heat sources. Given the financial constraints of the higher education sector, the building was considered by the judges to be an impressive use of financial resources."

Senior architect Michael Bellwood said: "I was absolutely thrilled to bits [to win] because I am on the way towards the end of my career and it's the first time I have ever won anything.

"I have to say I begun to think we must have done something right when the client was so happy with it and so were the kids who were being interviewed to start there.

"I have been back two or three times since it's been operating and I have to say it's much nicer when it's full of people - that's the great thing about it."

This project was the first time the architect, contractor and developer have worked together but the team "gelled really well" with help of project manager Turner Townsend.

Mr Bellwood says: "We had almost a free rein to do whatever we wanted with the building within the budget.

"Obviously we talked to the client the whole way along and they were very receptive to everything we said and they had their own ideas to put in which we took on board."

Surrounded by mature trees and grassed areas, Usworth Sixth Form College provides a light, bright and modern environment in which to study. …

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