It's the season for iced tea, seasonal fruit snacks, and pina coladas. This week Houlton School found a new purpose for the popular golden pineapple! It's a trophy to mark the exceptional placemaking in the category of Creative Retrofit in the 2022 Pineapple Awards.

The Pineapples are the only awards that celebrate making places where people thrive with an emphasis on the social and environmental impact of a project’s design and development.

Launched in 2019 by The Developer, The Pineapples are unique in their judging format and process. Shortlisted built projects are visited by at least one judge, who assesses the quality of these places using methodology developed with the Design Council and shaped using the 12 principles of public space by the Gehl Institute and the UN sustainable Development Goals.

Our awards submission, written by Joh Thomas was our ticket to the shortlist. The second stage was a presentation to the judges led by Richard Coppell and Joh. We used our transformation video to tell the story, walking the judges through the step by step process. They also heard from stakeholders from across the project - the Principal, architect, and colleagues from Urban&Civic.

Why pineapples? The fruit is a traditional symbol of welcome in UK architecture.

Our experience and evidence shows that well-designed neighbourhoods can have a transformational impact on us all, improving health and well-being, enhancing the environment and stimulating the economy.”

The Design Council