London Borough of Southwark
Local Authority Building Control Excellence Award Winner, 2018
Our design has a strong civic frontage which celebrates learning yet also includes some characterful aspects to reference the primary age children including splayed windows, colour and manifestation. The context of the neighbouring Scandinavian churches has, at the request of the end user, informed the proportion and scale of the elevation and the internal material palette for the school. Internally the new school is set around a “heart space” which will provide a range of different uses and activities during the day to support learning. Out of hours this space also offers added value to the local community. The “heart space” contains an important curved staircase specifically to respect the children and for them to use and enjoy, given many live in run down housing estates where stair cores are of poor quality. The “heart space” also links through and has views into a new large external courtyard.
Classrooms are arranged in two clusters around the “heart” and courtyard and have been designed with interactive circulation spaces with group rooms, breakout areas, coat and bag storage and shop fronts announcing the entrance to each class group through display. The clusters respect the ages of children from nursery through to year 6 with varying arrangements to offer a true “rite of passage” as the children progress through the school. All the classrooms are large and have access to external learning spaces including cleverly integrated terraces on the first floor.
The external landscaping has been designed to be integrated with the architecture to provide a stimulating and energetic environment for children to explore. A multi-use games area will be floodlit to allow for use on winter afternoons, for extended school and community use. There is also a large roof terrace which will provide more structured educational opportunities such as horticultural studies.
Hufton + Crow
John Kees Photography