A year-long project to teach students about architecture and construction has given one year 9 pupil from Blackley in Manchester the opportunity to design and build a new outdoor teaching and break out area at their school.

The Co-operative and BAM Construction launched the project last year with SCAPE, a teacher/architect team, as part of its community commitment and support for education following completion of The Co-operative’s brand new head office at 1 Angel Square in Manchester.

Alessandra Ozuzu (age 14), one of eight students who took part in the project at The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, has seen her design for an outdoor shelter become a reality after it was selected by fellow students at the academy as well as pupils from local primary schools.

BAM Construction and Plincke architects worked alongside the pupils to make sure that the winning design could actually be built.

Tony Grindrod, Construction Manager, of Salford-based BAM Construction said: “I cannot think of a more fitting way to mark the completion of 1 Angel Square than to work with the next generation of builders and designers to create Alessandra’s innovative design”.

“To complete this very enjoyable project we worked with our sub-contractors from the Co-operative HQ construction team; AE Yates, Gariff, Fisher, Davco Roofing and Stonehouse Projects.”

Julia Chance, of SCAPE, said: “Alessandra’s design emerged from her use of the modelling materials that were at hand, whilst simultaneously considering the location of the site in the school grounds and the accommodation requirements of the brief.

“Alessandra began to work with an Innocent packaging box and carved out organic shapes on the shelter wall, which came from the Innocent logo on the packaging she was using. She then contrasted this with a grid-style window pattern on the other side of the shelter. The shelter is situated on a pathway so you can walk straight through it, or you can stop, pause and sit down inside it.”

Kathy Leaver, Principal of The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, said: “We are all delighted with our new shelter, which will be here for students and staff to use and enjoy for many years to come.” Amanda Jones, Head of Business Change and Transformation at The Co-operative Group, said: “We launched this project with students at our academy to give them the chance to learn about building design and construction so that they can benefit from the expertise of those organisations that have been involved in building The Co-operative’s new head office in the city. It is part of our educational legacy following the completion of 1 Angel Square.