Structural engineers from Birmingham joined children from King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls on 23 September to unveil a pavilion for the Birmingham Weekender Festival. The Pavilion, located in Eastside City Park, was designed by the girls as part of the ScaleRule project, which sees volunteers from the UK architecture and engineering community volunteer their time to raise awareness about careers in design and the built environment. 

The Pavilion was based on the winning design from a workshop held in July, which saw a number of Birmingham schools offered design tutorials by leading architects and engineers, talks about engineering careers and a competition to design a pavilion according to a brief.

ScaleRule_Students(L-R: The winning team of Isobel, Sophie and Anya)

Anya, 15, one of the team that won the design competition, was delighted to see her design constructed for real, saying:

“It is so much better than we could have imagined in our designs - fantastic!”

Rob Nield MIStructE, from engineering consultancy Arup, is one of the engineers who volunteered his time with ScaleRule, helping to run a design competition in July, and then design and build the winning pavilion design for display at the Weekender Festival.

“This is a wonderful project. It lets us promote engineering careers to Birmingham’s budding young designers, who might not have considered such a future, and lets the students see their creation built for real and showcased to the public. 

“One of the greatest satisfactions of being an engineer is seeing and touching something you’ve designed and it is wonderful to offer that thrill to young people, and hopefully inspire one or two future Birmingham engineers.”

ScaleRule Pavilion Birmingham
Nick Von Behr, Education Manager at The Institution, helped judge the ScaleRule design competition. He said:

“ScaleRule is a wonderful project and it was a privilege to help judge the design competition. It’s remarkable how hearing from engineers in person excites young people who simply haven’t considered applying their studies in such a creative way. I was really struck by the imagination and attention to detail in many of the designs - as well as the fact that 70% of the students taking part were girls. It was extremely hard to pick a winner, but our eventual choice was a really outstanding achievement, and it is wonderful to see it on show to the public in Birmingham.”

The Pavilion will next be on show at the Timber Expo at the NEC Birmingham from 10-12 October.

Key contributors to ScaleRule include The Institution of Structural Engineers, Arup, Intervention Architecture, AKSWard and Curtins.

Learn more about ScaleRule.

View our new education leaflet.

(All images credit Paul Miller)

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