Kier London and London Borough of Southwark for the Charter School Trust
East Dulwich, London
The Charter School East Dulwich is a new 8FE secondary school, funded by the Free Schools programme and the London Borough of Southwark. It will ultimately provide education for 1680 local students from 11-18 years, making it FCBStudios’ largest school to date.
Conceived as a campus of individual buildings, each with a distinct function and united by landscape, the two buildings in the completed first phase of this major regeneration project opened in early 2019. A third new building, remaining landscaping and refurbishment of the ‘chateau’ - the retained chapel of former 19th century St Saviour’s Union infirmary, will form phase 2.
Sitting parallel to a railway line along the site’s northern boundary, the main building forms a back-drop to the site from the south. It provides specialist facilities for the study of science, design technology and art and design, together with all the general teaching spaces. Following the line of an existing terrace, its position allows a long view through the site from East Dulwich Grove. From its upper floors, there are impressive views across London. The sports and dining building is located at the north-west edge of the site on East Dulwich Grove, addressing the community more directly.
When phase 2 is built, the main building will be seen to formally addresses the chateau across a new landscaped square that will ultimately form the physical and social heart of the school.
Oversize windows provide generous views out and make the most of the site’s established trees and views across London to lift the spirits of staff and students.
Working within the acoustic constraints imposed by the neighbouring railway, Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery units have been neatly coordinated with windows and M&E services to deliver fresh air throughout the teaching spaces and provide simple individual control of the classroom environment. PVs are installed on both buildings’ roofs and the exposed concrete structure provides thermal mass throughout.
The existing buildings on the site are the remaining structures of the St Saviour’s Union Infirmary, the main sections of which were built between 1885 and 1887. Many of the buildings are now either redundant or derelict; those still in use belong to the NHS and house the Dulwich Community Hospital.
Adjacent to The Charter School East Dulwich will be a new community health centre, by Murphy Phillips Architects, which will replace the community hospital functions.