1 year ago

KEIM Edition No.1: Zaha Hadid Architects

  • Text
  • Hadid
  • Zaha
  • Architecture
  • Concrete


EVELYN GRACE ACADEMY Actually, British schools are a local authority matter, but the academy model initiated by Tony Blair is based on a combination of centralisation and privatisation. Here the schools are run by private organisations instead of public authorities. This controversial concept aimed in particular to boost and reactivate secondary schools in weaker areas. One example is the Evelyn Grace Academy in the London Borough of Lambeth, which is run by the „Absolute Return for Kids“ charity. To be precise, the academy encompasses four schools: two secondary schools and two sixth form colleges. On a plot of land measuring only 1.4 hectares, all schools are accommodated in one single S-shaped building that includes all the extra rooms for laboratories, sport and art. Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher were responsible for the concept and even managed to find space for three sports fields and a 100 m sprint track. The latter runs spectacularly under the school building from one edge of the plot to the other. Each school has its own entrance, and its position in the building is revealed by the large tilted strips across the facade. In fact, the two levels of each school are interlinked with those of the neighbouring school, resulting in the building‘s basic motif of tilting lines. While the building exterior is dominated by aluminium panels, glass and dramatic tilting effects, the interior is characterised by generously curved corridors, light classrooms and highly varied transitions between the levels. Yellow and green accents are the only contrast to the grey of the exposed concrete and help the Academy to stand out clearly from other schools, where colour schemes play a far greater role in terms of spatial effects and identification. Besides being an aesthetic feature, exposed concrete is a thermal mass that helps to compensate for peak temperatures in the summer. The schools-within-schools principle not only makes it easier to move from one school to another. It also enhances communication between the 1,200 school children, thanks to the communal areas on the base levels and the mobility zones approaching these areas. Indeed, the spatial planning has been designed with multifunctional social contact areas supplementing the classrooms on various different levels. 14

TILTED AND INTEGRATED EVELYN GRACE ACADEMY Architecture Zaha Hadid und Patrik Schumacher Project management Lars Teichmann Location London-Lambeth Construction period 2006–2010 Internet 15