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School 21

London, UK

School 21 is a free-school that was procured through the academies framework. The project created a new educational campus by utilising the concrete frame of a disused school and the addition of a new build sports block.  New learning spaces were added by covering existing courtyards to create breakout spaces and resource centres. This innovative approach to school design allows a larger than normal facility.
The new spaces encourage inquiry based learning and create an inclusive environment that caters for students from 4-18 with a range of abilities.  S21 is made up of four ‘smaller schools’ - the School of Exploration pupils aged 4-9, School of Possibility pupils aged 9-13, School of Potential pupils aged 13-16 and School of Achievement pupils aged 16-18. Colour is used to differentiate between the spaces that house the smaller schools and they are designed to reflect the scale of the pupils that use the spaces. All four schools have an internal environment that is designed to help pupils and staff feel valued and motivated as well as supported within the school’s community. This is achieved by the careful planning of the learning spaces as well as the separation between them. These spaces then help to enforce S21’s vision for success: Respect, Discipline, Creativity, Communication and Reflection. 
The re-use of the existing concrete frame saves over 60 years in carbon (compared to a low carbon new build). The heavy thermal mass slows down the building’s increase and decreases of heat therefore reducing the overall energy load.  The highly insulated glazed facades have been inventively wrapped around the existing frame to create a completely rejuvenated new building and provides a future proof environment for this ground breaking free-school.
Project Data:                                                             
Client: Leadbitter  
Area:  9,800m²  
Budget: £14M  
Phase A Oct 2013 Final Completion March 2014
Scope: A-L  
BREEAM: Very Good  


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