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Twickenham Academy

Twickenham, UK

Astudio's design for Twickenham Academy delivers the educational vision of the Swedish Sponsor, Kunskapsskolan by providing innovative new learning facilities which have future flexibility and a strong civic presence.

The proposal for Twickenham Academy, won in competition, was to create an entirely new campus on the current Academy’s site. None of the existing buildings met modern teaching standards and were not considered suitable for delivering the educational vision of the Swedish Sponsor, Kunskapsskolan. With no structured lessons and freedom and speed of learning offered to each pupil the vision follows a university model rather than that of a normal school. The new design challenged all the standard approaches to educational design and has delivered a ground breaking learning environment for both the Sponsors and Headteacher.

The new 3 storey Academy has been designed so that it can split into 3 colleges to enable a more intimate learning environment within one building. The learning environments have all been designed around a central main hall and include a mix of open plan spaces and enclosed seminar/group rooms allowing each pupil to choose their preferred place to sit/work. This free form education model means there are no bells or hoards of students moving around at lesson change so a fresh view on circulation was taken. The result is a light, open and airy place where the pupils create a vibrant atmosphere to progress their studies.
The Academy’s innovative new learning facilities provide future flexibility, a strong civic presence and efficient use of the site. They also support extensive outdoor learning, sports and social activities that create a learning environment based on controlled freedom and good access to resources.
The new Academy incorporates photovoltaic cells, rainwater harvesting, high thermal mass concrete construction and energy monitoring systems so occupants can measure, monitor and improve their sustainability.
An efficient phasing and decant strategy allowed for the old school to remain in operation whilst the new Academy was built. Once the old buildings have been demolished a new sports hall will be built in its place. This entirely new entity will form the stepping stone to the community, reaching out to share it’s fantastic facilities including a gym, activity studio and a climbing wall. It will also house the reception to the campus and be the main entrance to the academy site and provide a secure boundary.
Project Data:  
 LB of Richmond
 Upon Thames / Leadbitter                                                                        
Budget:  £14M
Area:  9,750m²
Completion:   2013
Scope:   A-L
BREEAM:  Very Good

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