The Education Building Wales Awards shortlist has been announced and HLM Architects have made the list with Pencoedtre High School in Barry in the Project of the Year – Schools category.

The new facilities will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration, inspiring the next generation of learners in one of the Vale of Glamorgan’s most socially and economically deprived areas.

Pencoedtre High School was built as part of the Sustainable Communities for Learning in Wales programme – a long term strategic investment by the Welsh Government and Welsh Local Government Association.

The new BREEAM ‘Excellent’ school caters for 1100 pupils which includes 6th form and an additional learning needs unit. Designed with the Future Generations Act (Wales) wellbeing goals at the forefront, the new school will improve the social and cultural wellbeing of its users, facilitate a larger range of different learning requirements, intertwining both social and educational environments.

Gareth Woodfin, Cardiff Studio Director, HLM Architects, said, “We’re delighted that Pencoedtre High School has been shortlisted. These new facilities will provide students with the resources they need to excel academically while extending support to the local community by acting as a central hub for residents in the surrounding area, aligning with our design philosophy to help positively shape the areas we serve.”

Built on a constrained site owned by the school, the design maximises the space and uses the complex levels to enhance the landscape. The external façade references the history of the local industrial heritage, with robust materials chosen for longevity while the red brickwork and grey panelling make the building visually striking.

The interior design concept is also inspired by the local area, the colour palette was chosen to connect the interior with its surrounding environment and provides a sense of place.  Six iconic landmarks of Barry were selected and developed into simplified graphic illustrations and are used as Wayfinding and also a feature wall in the main entrance of the school.

Not only does it regenerate the locality, it also provides a new, modern space for pupils to learn and thrive. It is a welcoming space for wider communities and families to come together, providing much-needed social cohesion now and for future generations.


Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 22nd June – good luck everyone!

Related posts

31.03.22 | HLM News

HLM Architects have been shortlisted for two Constructing Excellence in Wales awards

Read more
02.03.23 | HLM News

HLM Shortlisted in Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2023

Read more
16.03.23 | HLM News

Carnival Hub, Wokingham Shortlisted for two Constructing Excellence Awards 2023

Read more