Opened by the prime minister, the City of London Academy is a demonstration of how working in partnership can produce excellent results.
The scheme is for a secondary education building for 1,200 pupils as part of the government's Academies programme. As such, the project also has facilities for community use.
The site, provided by Southwark Council, was challenging, because it was split in two by a busy road. The design team has produced a compact building featuring a light and airy atrium at its heart providing daylight and natural ventilation.
Effective and decisive project management enabled £2 million to be saved by using alternative cladding in the sports hall and all waste went to recycling bins rather than rubbish skips.
Delays were also minimised, and other benefits have been just as easy to measure. In 2005, 1,300 pupils applied for 180 places and the City of London Corporation client has been so pleased at the outcome, it has agreed to sponsor two more academies. It has resolved to use the same broad principles and partnership system.
The judges said: 'Partnering between contractor and design team produced a strong building which benefited from nearly two years of preparation.'