City Academy (Winner)
The needs of 1,100 students should be too big for this site, yet the architect has created a ribbon of glass and colour that feels spacious and light. From the outside the building is perhaps a little too 'notice me' with it's array of primary colours; but it comes into its own on the inside. The glass walls open up classrooms to corridors and students can be seen and feel safely supervised wherever they are. Retaining the mature trees was treated as an asset, with the building snaking around them. This along with the big windows creates a calm and thought-provoking environment.
When we asked a student what was the best thing about the building, he replied "the opportunity". The judges agree - it is hard to imagine a child attending City Academy that will not be a better student as a result of the way the building conveys its purpose through effective design. Once a last resort school choice - it is now oversubscribed.
Address: Homerton Row, London E9 6EA
Architect: Studio E Architects
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction
Client: City Academy Trust (City of London Corporation and KPMG)
About the project
City Academy is an educational facility with a thoroughly integrated sustainable strategy. It provides for 1100 students aged 11-18.
Situated on a tight urban site flanked by a busy main road, the thin long plot was used to its advantage with a design that weaves round existing trees and with classrooms running either side of a naturally lit circulation space. Internally the schools transparent classroom walls are designed to maximise daylight. This increases the pupil's concentration and good behaviour, while also contributing to improved security. Further natural light is provided by three large ETFE roofs over the atrium corridors.
The multi-coloured cladding is designed to create a landmark building and is an effective acoustic screen with attenuated ventilation openings. This building has achieved an A rated energy performance certificate.
Page updated: 29 Nov 2010