Evelyn Grace Academy
Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid Architects' first completed project in England presents itself as an open, transparent and welcoming addition to the community's local urban regeneration process.
Designed for 1200 pupils, the Evelyn Grace Academy maintains the educational principle of smaller "schools-within-schools," with Evelyn and Grace Middle Schools each housing 270 pupils, and Evelyn and Grace Upper Schools housing 330 pupils per school. Each of these four smaller schools are contained within highly functional spaces that give a distinct identity both internally and externally.
It is very significant that our first project in London is the Evelyn Grace Academy. Schools are among the first examples of architecture that everyone experiences and have a profound impact on all children as they grow up. I am delighted that the Evelyn Grace Academy has been so well received by all its students and staff./Zaha Hadid
These spaces present generous environments with maximum levels of natural light, ventilation and understated but durable textures. The collective spaces - shared by all schools - are planned to encourage social communication within each school and eliminate problematic zones that require supervision.
The academy is effectively split between the ground floor podium of shared facilities with the separate schools above. The schools are organized horizontally to minimize vertical circulation once the students are within their individual schools. The middle schools are spread over the 1st and 2nd floors with the uppers schools both occupying the 3rd floor.
Shared facilities that are suited to community out of hours use are located at ground level with some academic shared facilities such as the common halls and science labs located between the schools in the central area on the 2nd & 3rd floor to allow for the flexibility of them to be used either solely by a small school or as shared facilities by more than 1 school, when required.
Visitors enter at the main reception and can access any of the schools from the central core. Staff can choose how they wish to enter subject to management preference.
ARK Schools was founded in 2004 to work with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and local authorities to create new schools offering exceptional opportunities to local children in inner cities through their academic programs, with the aim of helping to close the achievement gap between children from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds.
Facts about Evelyn Grace Academy
Building area: 10,745 m2
Lisamarie Villegas Ambia
(Design & Build) Mace Plus
Photographed by Luke Hayes
Last updated: December 19, 2013