George Clarke announces young winners of Gravity Building Design Competition

by Francesca


Renowned architect and TV presenter George Clarke has announced the winners of the Gravity young persons’ design challenge for schools in and around Bridgwater, Somerset. 

The challenge, created by his education charity MOBIE – Ministry of Building Innovation and Education – asked young people to let their imaginations run free by designing an innovative and inspirational green place with jobs and homes that meets the changing needs of future generations, including promoting wellbeing, quality of life and healthy ageing.

The Gravity project will create a unique place: a sustainable, connected smart campus that delivers economic transformation, a sustainable environment, between 4000 and 7,500 jobs in cleaner, green businesses, with up to 750 new homes for the workforce.

Located near to Bridgwater, in Sedgemoor, Somerset, just south of Bristol, it is an amazing development that is seeking to accelerate a response to addressing climate change whilst creating new jobs and homes. Gravity will create a new location for clean, large-scale advanced manufacturing industries.  It will be a place where people can choose to work and live – ‘a blueprint for a smarter, greener future’.

The presenter of Channel 4 programmes Restoration Man, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Old House New Home said: “Home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives. It crafts the way we live, and how we grow as families and communities. Well-designed places and communities like Gravity can enhance the way we live and promote good health and wellbeing”.

Clarke added: “The communities and homes of the future will be lived in by today’s young people. That is why I am so excited to announce the winners of this young persons’ design challenge. We asked young people, aged between 11 and 18, to design a place and home of the future – a sustainable, adaptable, green place that promotes wellbeing, quality of life and healthy ageing. 

“From past experience I expected to see amazing design talent and imagination come forward, and I was not disappointed. It was hard for the judges to choose the overall winner, age group winners and the runners up. They were genuinely wowed by the standard of the work that these young people produced. The winners created some incredible and inspirational, future thinking designs. The future of the built environment and homes is in great hands with young talent like this around – I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

The judges were drawn from Gravity, MOBIE and Bounce Forward, who provided participating schools with mental resilience training.  The overall winner is Alyssa Ghio of Chilton Trinity School, Bridgwater with her amazing Pythagoras House design.

Claire Pearce, Director of Planning and Economic Development for Gravity commented “re-imagining the Gravity site ensures we can fully consider how we respond to climate change and in doing so to attract international businesses to the South West. Occupiers require an accessible workforce so our approach of enabling a new era of clean growth together with dedicated homes for the workforce, within a campus and community is really exciting. We hope the design challenge has inspired young people about Gravity, and motivated them to aspire to learn, live and work in Somerset in the future”.

Gill Slocombe, Deputy Leader for Sedgemoor District Counciladded: “The competition has encouraged young people to think deeply about place making; what do they want from Gravity and places of the future? What kind of workspaces and homes create a happy, healthy and well-connected place to live and work? The high quality of the competition entries demonstrates that young people are full of ideas about how we can create better, greener and smarter places.  I would like to congratulate the winners and to thank everyone who has taken part.”

The Young persons’ design challenge was open to schools and colleges located near to the Gravity site in Sedgemoor District in Somerset with three age groups – 7-11, 12-15 and 16-18.  It asked them to create houses and a space that they care about and want to live and spend time in. The place and home should be environmentally ‘super-green’, use sustainable building methods and materials, green energy and smart technology with an emphasis on health and wellbeing of people, the community and our planet.

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