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Elisabeth Helmin wins innovation prize for undercroft design

Elisabeth Helmin (Nugent 2019-20) has been awarded the Arnold Embellishers’ Wettern Prize for Innovation in recognition of her exceptional presentation of ideas for enhancing the Undercroft of the new Winn Building.

elisabeth helmin in the cloisters

The Wettern Prize is awarded when a pupil makes a practical, well-thought-out suggestion which the Arnold Embellishers and the Headmaster feel could improve the campus significantly.

Elisabeth, who is from the USA, attended the College on the prestigious ESU Secondary Exchange programme. She researched, modelled and presented ideas to make more exciting use of the thoroughfare to the dining hall and science block. Her design involves a corner stage, a retractable screen, an aquaponic garden and inventive seating.

undercroft area elisabeth's model for undercroft design

The presentation formed Elisabeth’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for which she was awarded an A*. The EPQ is an extra A-level standard piece of study which is now taken by a large number of sixth formers as part of their university applications and to provide extra academic stimulus on a topic they want to research. Elisabeth is now studying landscape architecture at the University of Connecticut and wants to specialise in the education and outdoor public spaces sector.

The Arnold Embellishers is a group of current and past parents, pupils, staff and friends of the College who support projects to enhance the school which might not otherwise be undertaken. It is hoped that elements of Elisabeth’s project can be funded by the Embellishers and implemented shortly.

Being awarded the Wettern Prize and having the opportunity to develop the Undercroft project at Eastbourne is such an honour’ said Elisabeth on hearing the news in the States.

I am truly grateful for this community to have been so accepting of my ambitions. I was given generous amounts of time by the school’s architects and the Facilities Department to discuss the practicalities of my ideas. With the unwaivering support of the DT Department and Mr Lawson, the Headmaster, I was able to develop my EPQ over seven months, planning location, budget, aesthetics and viability. I look forward to continuing this project with the Arnold Embellishers.

Elisabeth Helmin