The practice was appointed to design the new school following a competitive tender process with contractor, Thomas Vale under the EFA Regional Framework. Our work on the earlier phases of the Academy gave us an insight into the school’s ethos and the campuses key architectural themes. Working with the City Council’s planners and landscape architect Fira a layout was developed which allowed multiple points of access and pedestrian links to Primrose Hill Street and Bath Street. The close proximity of primary and secondary schools, and the adjacent City College create strong pathways for education through to employment.
The initial feasibility stage of the design process led us to move away from the EFA’s exemplar school designs by splitting the school into teaching and hall facilities thereby fitting the building on the site and responding to the geometry of the earlier EIC building. In most other ways the layout of the two form of entry primary school respects the EFA’s design principles, creating a well tempered, efficient internal environment with generous external space for play and learning.
Working with Thomas Vale and Cundall the design was developed using a BIM approach to the production of the detailed design and coordination of the various disciplines. A steel frame allowed the rapid erection of the superstructure followed by the installation of PCU floors to provide a thermal mass and create a robust construction site for the later trades. A lightweight SFS system for the facades allowed the creation of a water tight envelope leading to the early application of the finishes and completion of mechanical and electrical services.