Fantastic results from schools in the Newark Town Hall John Carr 300 Competition

Posted on: Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Earlier this summer, Newark Town Hall invited local schools to join in with an architectural competition in memory of the Town Hall's architect, John Carr. Students were given an architectural drawing of the Town Hall's ground floor and invited to let their imaginations run wild while redesigning the upper floors.

Approximately 250 entries were received, and the judges were amazed with the results. They were so impressed that a third-place prize was added to each category, and there were several 'highly commended' entries within each group, too.

Councillor Matthew Spoors, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Economic Development, said: "I am really pleased that we had such a brilliant response to the John Carr exhibition competition. The entries were absolutely fantastic and showed that we have a whole bunch of creative talent in our local schools. The winners should be incredibly proud of themselves, as should everyone who took part.

"I look forward to seeing all the entries displayed as part of the Town Hall's Heritage Open Days exhibition in September."

Cara de Angelis, an architect with local firm Guy Taylor Associates who have sponsored the competition and provided the prizes, said, “The imagination and standard of presentation produced was extremely impressive. Not only was the design of the façade considered, but many drawings included detailed illustrations showing possible alternative uses they would like to see in the building.

“Many designs were filled with colour and fun ideas, with others taking a more considered approach which continued the geometric forms, symmetry and detailing that John Carr featured in his Neoclassical designs. There are certainly a lot of talented and creative young designers in Newark!”

Donald Insall Architects also judged the competition and provided the original drawings, which the students worked from. Rebecca Burrows represented the Donald Insall team and commented, “We were delighted to help judge the Newark and Sherwood school entries for the John Carr design challenge in July.

“It was truly inspirational and thought-provoking to see the creative responses coming from children of all ages. In particular, we were impressed by the themes of inclusivity, sustainability and biodiversity that were represented, offering a responsible approach to the design of our future cities.”

The public is invited to view all of the entries at a special exhibition in the Town Hall Ballroom during Heritage Open Days. The exhibition will be open from 10:30am until 3:30pm on Saturday 16th of September, with the prize giving taking place during the exhibition at 11am.

The winners from years 1 & 2 were Harley (first place), Olivia (second place) and Dhrish (third place) from John Hunt Academy. The year 3 & 4 category winners were Maisy (first place), Ava (second place) and Abigail (third place) from John Hunt Academy. The year 5 & 6 winning entries were from Bethany (first place), Olivia (second place), and Oliver (third place) from the Mount School. 

All the children who participated made a fantastic effort and showed great creativity. The ideas, particularly around building uses and town centre activities will be fed back into the work of the District Council through the Heritage Action Zone and other initiatives.