DEC Connect & Extend Awards ARE HERE! - Easy to deliver projects to inspire future STEAM professionals in the classroom or workplace


Hotel Underground – a top secret project 2014

OverviewThe TeamDeliverablesPlanning & DeliveryKey datesKeeping in touch

Shaken and Stirred…. Hotel Underground WOW! SLEEP Event Judges

“The quality of finalist presentations has been amazing. It’s clear that a lot of work has gone into them.”
“This was one of the hardest choices I have faced for along time, the quality was so high!”
“The decision was extremely difficult as each entry had tremendous qualities.”
“All schools have done a fantastic job….a great deal of thought and effort.”

Following a two day prize, which included a back of house tour of the Radisson Blu Edwardian Sussex Hotel and presentations from the Group’s design and engineering specialists, our two school finalists went head to head in the grand final at London’s prestigious SLEEP event on Thursday 27th November.

Presenting on the stage in front of a packed audience of hotel industry professionals, the two teams were fantastic, demonstrating a clear understanding of process and methodology.

Judges were looking for sparks of ingenuity, real creativity and thinking outside the box. They wanted clear articulation of the whole design and process, and also, critically, that teams had remained true to the brief with particular attention to sustainability and community and overall end user satisfaction.

Winner – ’00Heaven’, by St Ambrose Barlow RC High School, Salford

The 00Heaven: a hotel proud of its British tradition that is sustainable, modern, stylish and welcoming to the community. The hotel’s luxurious facilities include a spa and gym, swimming pools to suit all ages, a park, bowling alley and sports hall. Design highlights include the ‘secret’ Casino Royale. Sustainability features include sourcing local materials, making the most of natural light through multiple skylights and curtain walling, using solar energy and water recycling and filtration for showers and toilets.

Runner Up – ‘The Subterranean’, by Heathcote School, Chingford

The Subterranean: an exciting new luxury hotel with a mission that centres around three key elements; luxury, community and sustainability. The hotel offers amazing facilities including an underground pool, spa and bowling alley and community features such as a crèche, clinic and conference suites. Sustainability features include a water-recycling shaft, educational aquarium and underground conservation area.

Our schools will be submitting mission reports to our blog soon.

Meet our Hotel Underground Final Judges…

David Waboso - Judge

David Waboso

David is Director of Capital Programmes at London Underground where he oversees a £1.3bn annual upgrade programme. An internationally renowned engineer and project manager, he has worked for some of the world’s most prestigious engineering and consulting firms on infrastructure programmes in the UK and internationally. He has advised governments and agencies around the world on Railway strategy.

In addition to his day job, David has a passion for the training and education of engineers. He has served on committees into the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in our schools, speaks regularly to the media and radio/TV on engineering matters, and promotes opportunities for people of all backgrounds to realize their full potential in engineering and other professions. David was recently awarded a CBE for services to transport in London, and in 2013 made the list of 50 most influential metro industry executives.

Martin McDonnell - Judge

Martin Mcdonnell

Since school Martin’s passion for excellence in design and graphic presentation has been the spur for his creative vision. In 2000 Martin founded Soluis Group with the aim of delivering world class 3D Visualisation and Interactive Presentation services. Today, as Founder and CEO, Martin leads and directs his business to deliver the best-in-class presentation experiences to delight and engage audiences in all sectors across the globe.

Martin’s eye for applying new technologies, including evolving computer games technologies, ensures that the latest solutions are exceeding the expectations of Soluis’ growing customer base who are the biggest and best global design and construction firms. In the hotel sector Martin has been instrumental in growing key strategic relationships which have led to Soluis being the preferred visualisation and virtual reality partner for several world leading brands in the market.

Eugène Staal - Judge

Eugene Staal

Eugène is Senior Vice President Technical Services of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Eugène decided at a young age that his future lay in the hospitality industry. After completing the Hoge Hotelschool in Maastricht, he joined Hyatt International in 1988 as Corporate Management Trainee at the Grand Hyatt in New York, then as Assistant to the Vice President Food and Beverage in Chicago. After 12 months at the Grand Hyatt Bali he returned to Chicago as Corporate Project Manager for Hyatt International working on projects worldwide.

Eugène’s current focus is on Branding; launching Radisson Red and fortifying Radisson Blu. Focus is on the Nordics where a major CAPEX improvement plan is being launched repositioning the Nordic portfolio. His passion lays in innovation within the hospitality business; steering Carlson Rezidor’s Innovation Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee.

Pete Baxter - Judge

Pete Baxter

Pete is Vice President and Head of Autodesk UK. Pete has a long career in the technology sector. He qualified as an architect and also holds a Masters degree in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Liverpool. After a period of in practice, from 1993 to 1996 he worked with a start-up company and developed a 3D building modelling software. Following a successful sale of the technology he worked for Parametric Technology Corporation in Waltham Mass, USA in various sales management roles. Pete joined Autodesk in late 2004.

Throughout his career, Pete has been promoting 3D technology in many areas of design and production. The benefits of Building Information Modelling and Digital Prototyping are now being seen across the industry. Pete is very excited to be a member of the leadership team at Autodesk helping to drive invention and innovation in markets that we serve to help our customers imagine, design and create a better world.

James Bond is back in town, and he needs somewhere to stay.

A special agent for MI6, Bond’s life is full of secret hideouts, quick getaways and time saving (often life saving!) gadgets.

But for all his thrilling antics and celebrity lifestyle, years of blowing up buildings and speeding around in fast cars and boats have left their mark on James Bond’s carbon footprint. What’s more, he’s never really engaged with the public, and so wants to create an area of the hotel specifically for community groups to use.

This time he wants to put his planet and his people first. Bond is an extraordinary man, and he needs an extraordinary hotel.

That’s where you come in

We want you to create Hotel Underground – London’s coolest hideout.

You have just a few months to pull together a great team and develop your ideas into a great design.

You’re going to need some help, and thankfully, there’s plenty around….

Hotel Underground Sponsor


Each DEC school will be supplied with a design brief that requires them to transform an existing London Underground station into a hotel with a community space for celebrity client, James Bond.

They will be provided with a 3D model and visualisation, a budget template to work to, and a sustainability and accessibility code which must be strictly followed, to transform the station underground and space available above ground, creating an iconic, signature building. The building should include accommodation, services, luxury provision (e.g. Spa), public spaces, restaurants and bar(s) and any other facilities deemed appropriate by the team.

Each school can enter as many teams as they wish, and each team can have up to 8 members. Certain roles and responsibilities must be assigned to team members, and in smaller teams, members may need to ‘double up’.

Hotel Underground ExpertsSchools will be supported by their sponsors – those who have subscribed to our ‘Adopt a School’ scheme – who will provide experienced professionals, and also built environment university students. Please note, those schools who have yet to be adopted will be supported by professional body members, university students and teaching personnel. A number of #UKBIMCrew subscribers have also committed to supporting the children when they have time available.

All entries must include digitised reports and rationale, and models must be presented using Autodesk Revit Architecture, the software used throughout the DEC programme. Teams can also use other visualisation and presentation software, including from the Autodesk Design and Entertainment suite.

From all our entries, we will select two finalist teams, one from the North, and one from the South, and bring them to London to work with built environment experts. They will then go on to present their ultimate Hotel Underground designs to a captive audience of the world’s greatest hotel design specialists at this year’s Sleep Event ( where a winner will be chosen.

The team

Students in each team must take on a professional role. A degree of guidance can be provided, especially from your industry supporters, but we do want the children to think about the project team as they learn about these professions in the DEC

Each team must comprise hotel design consultants in disciplines as follows:

1. Architecture

2. Structure

3. Building Services

4. Landscape (Interior and Exterior)

5. Facilities Management

6. Interior Design

7. Project Management

8. Quantity Surveying

The children will have to demonstrate how, in each role and as a team, they have focused on sustainability and accessibility in their design. A hotel logo should be designed which respects and reflects their ethos and aspirations. This is something the students should produce as a team.


We don’t want to be too prescriptive as we’d like to encourage teams to be innovative! However, there are a few things they absolutely must produce:

A 10 minute filmed presentation
Teams should present in any digital format they wish (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi etc) and also have presentation boards and a printed design report. This should include each team member’s contribution across professional disciplines. We’re not going to restrict the number of pages here, but something resembling the size of a postage stamp or classic novel of a thousand pages may not create the right impression…

Think Planet ChallengeThe THINK PLANET Challenge
Create an innovate way in which Hotel Underground guests can help eliminate waste in bedrooms and public areas.

Company and Mission Statement
In each presentation, teams should make reference to their vision as a design company – come up with a great name for their organisation and let judges know their mission in life….

hotel-underground-modelA Revit model
Teams are encouraged to remember that this is not just a fit out below ground – we want to see something amazing above ground too, and how they are tying the two together.

Hotel Underground signage
Teams should produce a logo/branding for their Hotel – this can be anything they wish, but the best one will really reflect the ethos of the company and their understanding of their client’s design brief.

Some options to make the presentation just a little more special….

A physical scale model
Teams may also wish to make some physical models of their hotel, or perhaps some of their signature spaces… We like real models! They are a little more touchy feely and give those who might not have access to technology a chance to understand the design….

Visualisation via technology
In our experience, young people and tech goes hand in hand. There are many ways in which teams can produce visualisations of their projects if they wish, to support their presentation. Whether static renders or dynamic fly-throughs, industry professionals can help here, and you could discuss opportunities with your Adopter. Then again, perhaps your own budding young professionals have a better way….!

Planning and Delivery of the project

Teachers should note that we are working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to develop the Hotel Underground challenge into a CREST Award which will give your students formal recognition for their work if we are successful. See

We therefore strongly suggest that teachers meet CREST criteria when developing their report (as a school project) if they later want to submit students’ work for CREST accreditation, as follows:

1. Planning the project 

a. Project aims and objectives (students clearly identify an aim and what they want to achieve, then break it down into sensible steps to carry out during the project and explain these)

b. Project context (students describe the background to their project, including why it could be important to other people)

c. Selection of approach (students identify a number of reasonable ways to complete their project and give reasons for why they chose the ‘best’ one)

d. Project strategy (students choose a realistic way to do their project that will help meet their aims and show logic in their approach)

e. Planning and organisation (students plan and organise their project carefully and think about the help they might get from other people)

2. Throughout the project 

a. Use of material and human resources (students ask for help at the right time and in the right way and make good use of the resources they have)

b. Research (students find out about the background and previous solutions to their project and consider their research methods)

3. Finalising the project 

a. Conclusions and implications (students come to logical conclusions based on the evidence they have and understand what the conclusions mean)

b. Understanding of project outcomes (students explain how their actions affected the outcome of the project, these could be good or bad effects)

c. Reflection on learning (students reflect on what they have learned from the project and how they might have improved it)

4. Project-wide criteria 

a. Scientific and/or technical knowledge (students understand the science and technology behind their project)

b. Decision making (students make decisions in a methodical and sensible way)

c. Creativity (students think of different approaches when generating ideas and solving problems)

d. Problem solving (students think about how to overcome problems during their project)

e. Communication (students can express what they did/found in their project through writing, speaking, or using other media

Key Dates – 2014

1st July
Official competition launch – tube station model and visual information issued to schools.

8th July onwards
Autodesk webinars commence


12pm Thursday 6th November – NEW DEADLINE
All entries submitted digitally via our Hotel Underground Dropbox account.

7th November
Regional finals judging takes place

26th November
Finalists travel to London for Expert Design Day to refine designs and presentations

27th November
AM: Visit to London Underground Museum for both teams

PM: Finalists present designs at the Sleep Event, Business Design Centre, London – event attendees to vote for Hotel Underground overall winner.

Prize presentation with sponsors and London Underground before returning home.

Keeping in touch

Regular announcements and progress reports will be made via the Class Of Your Own Twitter account @classofyourown using the hashtag #HotelUnderground – follow us, and let us know how you’re getting on!

Emails will be sent from/can be sent to so please ensure to keep an eye on your inbox!

Both contacts can be used for appeals for help too, so don’t get stuck! Get some advice from real professionals when you need it! Ask the question, and we’ll try our best to get you some assistance…

A Facebook page is on the way too…


Yes please! We’d encourage all teams to keep a regular blog updated, so that once the competition deadline is reached, we can tell the world how good you are!


This is a student-led project. As teachers, you can set them off, and perhaps as you near the end of the Summer term, you might find time to help them explore some ideas.

Encourage them to find a way of communicating with their team mates throughout the holiday period – it doesn’t have to be in person (although this would be great too) – all young people are digitally mobile and Skype, What’s App, Facebook, Twitter and other social media is an easy way for them to keep in touch.

Judges will not only be looking to reward those who have fulfilled the brief and produced exemplar reports and models – they will also be looking for excellent time management and communication skills….

Our Experts

Angela Brady

Angela Brady

Angela Brady is immediate past president of RIBA (2011-2013) and a director of award winning practice Brady Mallalieu Architects. She is a professional TV broadcaster and has working on two TV series ‘The Home Show’ on Channel 4/More 4 and ‘Building the Dream’ on ITV, and is currently working on ‘The role of the Architect’ and ‘Designing for Champions’ celebratining the work of architects in London 2012 Games.

Angela is an active campaigner promoting quality architecture and the value of good design and bringing architecture to the public via school workshops on design and the environment. She has given talks around the world promoting the best of UK design expertise. She has been part of many influential panels at RIBA, RIAI, CABE/English Heritage Urban panel, Building Exploratory and LDA as design champion.

Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke

Combining an impressive academic understanding of the world of school improvement and leadership with a string of books and publications to his name, Paul is also a world-recognised and award-winning authority in the area of sustainability. He has worked extensively across the world in places such as Uganda, China, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brasil, and Canada combining his scientific environmental endeavours with school improvement work in some of, quite literally, the most hard-to reach communities on the planet.

A professor of education at St Mary’s University College in London, he is also a visiting professor at the University of Southampton and at Long Island University in Vancouver where he works in collaboration with leading minds in the area of education and sustainability.

Sonia Zahiroddiny

Sonia Zahiroddiny

As a teenager Sonia looked up to the likes of Larry Page, Marissa Mayer and Ray Kurzweil and hoped one day she could grow in the business world and apply computer sciences to everyday business to make it more effective. She obtained her BSc in Computer Networks Technology then went on to do her MSc in Business Information Systems Management.

She entered the world of Built Environment when she started her PhD in 2010 at the University of Northumbria investigating the impacts of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on Communication patterns of Construction projects. Today, she applies her theoretical grounding and practical knowledge in BIM and Computer and Information Sciences and experience in Research and Data Analysis in the Construction Industry as a BIM Consultant.

Professor Andy Ford

Professor Andy Ford

Andy is Director of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB). After graduating as a mechanical engineer he was sponsored through his degree by RA Lister diesel engine manufactures in rural Gloucestershire. On graduating he moved to London and joined Max Fordham and Partners and became a partner.

At the age of 30 he established his own  consulting practice ‘Fulcrum Consulting’ which became famed for advanced integrated low energy building design and sustainable master planning, becoming part of Mott MacDonald in 2008.

Fulcrum proactively lead the industry debate around sustainability and were founding members of the UKGBC. Andy was the Technical and Policy Chair for the first 3 years and remains a UK Green Building Council Ambassador. He was awarded the IMechE Built Environment Prize in 2008 and an honorary doctorate by Herriot Watt University in 2012.

Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton is the multi award-winning creative director at Graven Images, a leading design consultancy in Glasgow. As one of the first UK design studios to strategically integrate brand thinking and communications into the design of interior environments, Graven create some of the most successful retail, leisure and corporate environments.

Jim has been responsible for many iconic commercial interiors including the latest reinvention of The Corinthian Club, Blythswood Square Hotel and Spa in his home city, and stunning designs for Radisson Blu hotels in Philadelphia and Chicago.

Jim started working life in industrial engineering before moving into design. He frequently passes on his expertise to the next generation of design talent through his lectures. His tips for budding interior designers? “Be nosey, ask questions, always carry a pen, sell your ideas with the passion of a Barras salesman, and believe in yourself.”

Guy Abrahams


When Guy was little, he wanted to design the toys inside Kinder Eggs. Guy graduated from Dundee University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering & Economics but couldn’t find an inventive job in engineering or in Kinder Eggs so he joined media. Over the past 25 years Guy has been a pioneer on how advertisers can use new media & technology to communicate with their customers. Guy Abrahams is now the Global Strategic Planning Director at ZenithOptimedia Worldwide.

Ranked by UK’s Campaign magazine as one of the “Top Ten Best Media Thinkers”, he has worked in strategic roles in full service creative and media agencies and has built a reputation as a creative thinker who delivers inspiration and effectiveness for clients, working on brands like Land Rover, Heinz, Asus, Nestle, Madame Tussauds, Maxim Magazine and Pathe Films. He is a regular conference speaker around the world discussing the future of media, marketing and technology.

Paul Woddy


One of the most experienced BIM consultants available in the industry, Paul has spent the last fourteen years offering advice and guidance to over three hundred companies, including some of the biggest organisations and involvement in some of the most complex design projects in the world. As an author, consultant, and trainer of trainers, Paul is at the forefront of ideas, techniques and technology within the design and construction industry, often speaking and teaching at Universities and events around the world on the topics of BIM and training strategies.

Despite having left full-time education at the age of sixteen, Paul is passionate about educating the next as well as the current generation and his favourite and most rewarding task at the moment is teaching secondary school teachers as part of the DEC programme for which his company, White Frog is the official training provider.

Phil Bernstein

Phil Bernstein

Phillip G. Bernstein is a Vice President at Autodesk, a leading provider of digital design, engineering and entertainment software, where he leads Strategic Industry Relations and is responsible for setting the company’s future vision and strategy for technology as well as cultivating and sustaining the firm’s relationships with strategic industry leaders and associations.

An experienced architect, Phil was formerly with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects where he managed many of the firm’s most complex commissions. Phil teaches Professional Practice at the Yale School of Architecture where he received his both his B.A. and his M.Arch. He is co-editor of Building (In) The Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture (2010) and BIM In Academia (2011). He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and former Chair of the AIA National Contract Documents Committee.



Topcon Measuring Equipment

The winning team will win professional laser measuring equipment for their school, courtesy of Topcon Positioning.


topcon measuring equipment


Bring your model to life

Winning team – Using the model created by the students Soluis will take the finished design and using cutting edge games engines will make it available for users to explore and appreciate the scheme in a fully interactive environment!


Runner up – Using the model created by the students Soluis will take the finished design and produce a rendered image of a key space in the building showing it off in full glory!


Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts

Overnight stay at Radisson Blu London

Radisson Blu are offering the 2 winning regional teams chance to stay in the heart of the West End, at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London. The hotel offers an enviable location in the midst of major attractions like Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. Each prize is bed and breakfast for 8 students and 2 teachers (2 students per room).



Imagine it Built it

Arckit is the architectural model building design tool that enables you to physically bring your projects to life. The award winning system has recently been shortlisted for The London Design Awards 2014.

Winning Team – will win Arckit 240 capable of creating a physical scaled model of up to 240sq.m.

Runner Up – will win Arckit 120 capable of creating a physical scaled model of up to 120sq.m.



Expert session with renowned Manchester mosaic artist Mark Kennedy

A fantastic prize courtesy of Laticrete. The winning team will enjoy an expert session with Mark Kennedy, who has produced some of Manchester’s most iconic works of art – from the exterior of Afflecks Palace to the Selfridges Exchange Square Hubub restaurant.


© Class of Your Own Limited. All rights reserved.

COYO is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, and others providing services on behalf of COYO, to share this commitment

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.