Women in Property invited some very important guests to help design a new bar at the Matter nightclub in Greenwich

Letting teenagers loose in a swanky nightclub might not sound like great idea, but it is certainly a good way to interest London schoolchildren in a career in the built environment.

Last week, Women in Property gathered more than 100 14 and 15 year olds in London’s O2 and gave them a brief to redesign the VIP bar in one of the entertainment venue’s nightclubs, Matter.

The pupils, from Lilian Baylis technology school in Lambeth, were given a notional budget of £630,000 and split into rival teams. Volunteers from firms including Cushman & Wakefield, GVA Grimley and Malcolm Hollis, as well as the RIBA and the Building Centre, delivered a crash course in the construction process, after which the teenagers set to work on all aspects of the renovation, including planning, design and programming. At the end of the day they presented their proposals.

Liz Russell, chair of the South-east branch of Women in Property, said: “This is an opportunity to show the teenagers, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, the possibilities the industry can offer.”

The scale of the industry also seemed to leave an impression. One pupil, Sebastian Aguilera-Suarez, said: “The event showed us real-life construction, and the amazing amount of money involved.”