Scott Brownrigg joins forces with The Elmgreen School

05.03.08

Scott Brownrigg and Adjaye Associates have designed an innovative and exciting building for a brand new school in the London Borough of Lambeth.

The Elmgreen School is the second part of Wave 2 of the national Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF) and is the first parent promoted school in the country. The two architectural practices have collaborated to create an inspirational design that wraps the school around a glass covered ‘Market Square’ inspired by medieval Italian hill towns.  The light and airy double glazed atrium, which creates a central space, will be used for informal assemblies, group gatherings and for circulation.

The brief was to design a secondary school for 1100 students aged 11 to 18. The school includes specialist 14-19 facilities and a 30 place hearing impairment unit. Findings from an online poll run last year by The Teacher Support Network for the BCSE stated that the standard of environment in a school sets the standard for the quality of learning. If the impression is given to students that the room does not matter then the impression is that it does not matter what they do in the room. 

The architects have certainly provided a design for an environment where The Elmgreen School can meet its vision to be a creative humanities specialist school, supporting local students and the local community.   The building will be made from high quality materials, have many sustainable features and will have BREEAM Excellence with the use of concrete flat slabs for high thermal mass, intensive and extensive green roofs, bio mass boilers and a high proportion of naturally ventilated spaces with good daylight levels.  

The three storey building has a fibre cement cladding panel system with double glazed aluminium windows on the exterior. The flooring inside the learning spaces is carpeted, with timber sprung floors in the sports and activity studio and hard paved for the internal covered areas to give a ‘courtyard’ feel. The Elmgreen School is a trailblazer: One of the first Building Schools for the Future (BSF) to reach Financial Closure in London, the first of the new Parent Promoted Schools in the UK, and above all, the first of hopefully many BSF successes for Scott Brownrigg.