London Borough of Camden
- AJ Retrofit Awards Higher and Further Education Category, Winner, 2018
- AJ Architecture Awards, Finalist, 2017
- New London Awards Education Category, Finalist, 2017
- New London Awards Education Category Unbuilt, Winner, 2015
The refurbished building and new accommodation provide a vital facility to meet an extremely challenging brief. Based in the Grade II-listed former Jack Taylor school on the Alexandra Estate, the existing building was in a poor state of repair and had suffered from several poorly conceived additions. The project sought to adapt the existing building for modern flexible teaching methods with a greater emphasis on technology. A single storey, prefabricated timber ‘Passivhaus’ has been introduced to the site to provide the living accommodation. Site constraints required a complex design response and considerable engagement with surrounding residents and businesses. Through extensive consultation with stakeholders, building users, health professionals, LB Camden’s planning and conservation officers, the original architect Neave Brown, the 20th Century Society and Historic England we were able to develop a proposal that met the high standards set by the original celebrated modernist design whilst also fulfilling the ambitious brief. The college have engaged with their neighbours and local community by offering vocational training for their learners in the form of a café within the main entrance foyer of the college. The building design responds by being open with large areas of glazing for visibility and open spaces that can be separated when required, yet providing exceptional levels of security to ensure the safety of the buildings users and guests. The project has been one of the most complex the practice has completed given the lack of precedent for the brief, the celebrated modernist setting, the multi-headed client and the severe site constraints.