15 May 2023

City of London Academy, Shoreditch Park

The Academy at the heart of The Britannia Project  - the City of London Academy Shoreditch Park – has been named as one of 52 RIBA London Award winners in 2023.

The judges citation describes the school: "Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, this new academy is a key element of a [FCBStudios] Hackney masterplan project started in 2017. Located at the heart of a dense residential area in the throes of regeneration and expansion, the new four- to five-storey-tall school sits on the edge of the popular Shoreditch Park, directly opposite the new Britannia Leisure Centre. Despite being surrounded by greenery, this is in every way an urban school on a tight site.

Its restrained and quite formal brick and prefabricated concrete panels are an appropriate architectural expression for a quality civic facility. The student entrance is via a covered colonnade that continues from the front down the side of the building, a place for the children to meet friends and socialise when arriving or leaving.   Internally the school is well-ordered, light and airy, with a three-storey atrium at its centre, where the main student arrival point occurs and a grand timber staircase connects to the upper floors.

Other features include a rooftop playground on the top floor, a sports hall on the first floor, and a flexible dining hall on the ground floor. 

The City of London Academy is a good example of a building that is low-energy in operation, demonstrated through a high-performance facade, passive ventilation strategies, and a BREEAM Outstanding certification.

It has already proved a success story for Hackney, with the borough proudly stating that the academy is witnessing a ‘steady increase of enhanced student behaviour and higher GCSE grades’. "