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Raine's Foundation School


Part of the Tower Hamlet BSF this flagship school blends the best of the Victorian School Building with a new contemporary counterpoint.

Our proposal set in a conservation area refurbishes a grade 2 listed school building and adds a bold contemporary four storey extension.  The two separated by a two storey fully glazed new entrance.

The orientation of the tree lined street allowed us to provide large floor to ceiling windows that make the classrooms feel they are set within the trees.  The random façade of the new building works with the internal functions to provide a unique light and feel to each of the teaching spaces. 

A large internal street links all the spaces and is bounded by the sports building.  This top lit space provides the main spine of the building circulation linking the old with the new.  The treatment of the facades follows the great Victorian principles but with contemporary materiality, a  high quality random dark brick façade to the street with the bold plain white façade to reflect light towards the playground to the rear.  The glazed link, screening the existing rear façade, creates an inventive new library space out of an old courtyard.

This total reinvention will provide the school with a grand and adaptable building.  The fabric is a robust, concrete frame with exposed ceilings to provide night time cooling and a new efficient plant reduces the buildings energy cost.  The building will have an exemplar BREEAM Excellent performance.

This building clearly demonstrates our architectural skills in working within a rich historic context.  The existing buildings flamboyant quality is emphasised through the dramatic use of contrast between old and new. 

Benedict Wallbank, Chair of Governors at Raine's Foundation School has kindly written the following words about Astudio's involvement in this project.

"On behalf of the Governors I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your whole team for their efforts on our behalf.  We are delighted with our beautiful new building and believe it will be a major factor in enabling us to enhance the education and welfare of our current and future pupils.  We were exceptionally lucky to have you as our architectsand from your initial redesign of the feasibility scheme we felt in safe hands.  Obviously the “wow” spaces (and they do illicit “wows”) of the atrium and entrance are fantastic, but it is the individuality of each classroom and the subtle modern contextualisation of the external façade where you have particularly excelled.  You achieved all this within the very tight budget constraints that the system allows.  I hope you feel as proud of the building as we do.  Well done!"

Project Data:  
Client:  Tower Hamlets  Council/
 Bouygues UK
Budget:  £22M
Area:  8,000m²
Completion:   2013
Scope:   A-L
BREEAM:  Excellent
CO² per m² : 16.0kg CO²/m² per annum
  • Longlisted for the WAN Education Award 2012

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