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Zaynab Alam working on the Art Room model

Young Lansbury Lawrence Artists brighten up East End

Emdad Rahman

YOUNG ARTISTS FROM Lansbury Lawrence Primary School in Poplar added a touch of vibrancy and colour to the locality as their architectural designs for a new school art room were put up for display in the historic Whitechapel Art Gallery, nested in the East End.

Lansbury Lawrence Primary School was built as part of the “living architecture” to commemorate the 1951 Festival of Britain, gaining Grade II National Heritage listing. The school’s foyer contains a significant tile mural by the renowned artist Peggy Angus, and creative and cultural learning continues to be an important part of the curriculum at the Poplar school.

The school’s creative past and current ambition to build a purpose-built “Room for Art” within the school’s ground led them to form a partnership with Matt+Fiona Architects Ltd to guide and support the delivery of architectural concepts.

The children’s designs put forward their ideas of what the school’s future art room could look like. Ideas came from architectural techniques, such as using scale models, visual drawings and tile designs for the skeleton roof.

The intention is that the “Room for Art” should both serve the school and act as a local community hub, as a place for reflection and creative thinking. The project draws on the original ethos of the school – as a place to support learning for all, giving young people opportunities, confidence and aspiration.

To celebrate this positivity, an exclusive art exhibition was held at the Whitechapel Gallery for London’s art enthusiasts to view the pupil-led designs, concepts and visions.

Saleh Ahmed, the School Manager leading the ‘Room for Art’ project, commented, “The designs on display provide a bridge, linking the past to the future, by conceptualising the minds of our pupils at Lansbury Lawrence with the Festival of Britain.”

The pupils designed and built architectural models which were then reflected in the great yellow tiled roof concept on show.

Young protege and artist Zaynab Alam had a number of inspiring designs displayed and was part of the team that developed and structured the showpiece yellow roof.

She said, “Our designs were based on our individual thoughts and team discussions, using different material – for example, plastic and wood frames for the roof design and clay for the tile designs. We are hopeful that our school is successful in building the art room.”

Fiona MacDonald, co-founder at Matt+Fiona Architects, concluded, “The yellow roof is to become a feature for the standalone building. Its unique style will provide a visual sky light bringing natural ambience in a place of reflection and creativity.”

This is not just for art lovers. Anyone can head to the gallery to see the work on display. The exhibition ends on 4th March 2018.

For more information on the exhibition and gallery opening times, go to:

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