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Architecture and Interior Design students design Watford Town “pop up”

Architecture and Interior Design students were tasked by Watford Borough Council, in collaboration with the Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce and New-Practice Architects, to design a “pop-up” Urban Room for Watford Town Centre. The “pop-up”, set to be located on Queen’s Road within the Atria Shopping Centre, will be a hub for the local community to keep informed on upcoming changes to Watford’s Town Centre.

The project was run as a competition with Fran Toomey, Planning Project Consultant at Watford Borough Council, Chris Luff, CEO Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce, Duncan Bain and Abigail Blunt, New-Practice Architects, visiting the Watford Campus to review and judge the student’s design models and select the winning design.

46 students worked on the brief and produced high quality designs which the judges were very impressed with. Fran Toomey says “I was impressed by the creativity and quality of all the entries, the attention to detail and clear understanding displayed was amazing and it is a shame that we can’t use them all! But the winners design was exactly what we were looking for!

Alan Smallwood, Art & Design Course Leader says “This project was a great opportunity to illustrate the kind of creativity that students can bring to the planning and design process. The students really understood what the Council wanted, and they all produced successful outcomes, but the winners was the most transferable to the user’s needs. This type of project highlights the importance of engaging with local companies as not only do the learners get a more realistic and interesting project, but also gives the companies a greater opportunity to play a central role in setting out employer-led standards for the skills they need to help their companies grow.”

The winners:


Although the first place winner’s design will make up the majority of the Urban Room, elements from the 2nd and 3rd place designs may also be incorporated in the final product.

This project with Watford Borough Council, Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce and New-Practice Architects has provided our students with valuable industry experience on how to work with real-life creative briefs.

Click here to find out more about our School Leaver course designed to help you progress towards a career in the industry.