A CONSTRAINED URBAN SITE FOR AN ACADEMY THAT SUCCESSFULLY SLOTS INTO ITS COMMUNITY
Sponsored by the London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS) and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Chelsea Academy provides world-class education for approximately 800 pupils in years 7 to 11 and 250 students in the sixth form.
The academy specialises in the science is and assisted by the development of close links with the museums, universities, and similar institutions within the Royal Borough.
A TIGHT SPOT
The site for the school is one of the smallest and most constrained we have worked on. Located in a residential neighbourhood, there are strict height restrictions on three sides, but on the fourth is the former Lots Road Power station. Organised as three interconnected buildings, each with a central lightwell and linked together at ground level via wide internal ‘street’ running north to south. Virtually all of the site was built on. Efficient design makes the building work hard, leaving quality space for circulation and socialising. Play areas are on the roof, and to manage height constraints, the larger sports hall and assembly hall spaces have been dug into the basement.
Classical simplicity both within its location and among current school designs.
Stafford Critchlow, Architecture Today, Building Study October 2010
AN ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
The Academy uses simple and appropriate environmental principles, which support better learning outcomes.
Large windows optimise natural light and create a connection to the local area. Using exposed concrete soffits as thermal mass and renewable energy from a bore hole – providing more that 10% of the energy used on site. Because the school sits on the London Heathrow Airport flight path, it had to be mechanically ventilated, but there are opening windows in each classroom to provide give some localised climate control.