11 June 2009

The Bridge Academy

The Bridge Academy is a new school in South Hackney, London that has just moved into its permanent building on Laburnum Street. The building was designed by Building Design Partnership (BDP). The challenge was to make use of the site space that was available, described as 'tight'.

From the school description
Its innovative design and sense of light and space makes it friendly and welcoming. The first class facilities for students and staff makes it a fantastic place to learn. The building helps create the school community and to make the school part of the wider community.

The school’s central square is its social hub where activities take place to bring students and staff together as well as hosting events for the community and visitors.

Many of the teaching areas on the upper floors look out over the Regent’s Canal. The classrooms vary in shape and size and a number of them can be adapted quickly for small or large groups. This flexibility will help the school as the number of students grows.
From BDP description

The academy forms a seven level interactive learning environment in a dense inner city multi ethnic site alongside the Grand Union Canal.

Galleried learning space is set around a social gathering area and learning hub. A sweeping structural arch supports the centre of the school, allowing the learning space to be column free and totally flexible.

Teaching terraces extend the internal learning space as outdoor classrooms overlooking the canalside environment.

The form of the building has been designed to minimise energy use by maximising daylight to the teaching spaces and it is predominantly naturally ventilated.

The building is one of 24 finalists for the 2009 Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.

I like the almost surrealist nature of the design on the outside.

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