Brass-clad school gets approval

Tuesday 02 Mar 2010

Hackney Council grants planning permission to £6m school refurbishment

Currently housed in a 1930s three storey building, Orchard Primary School has been granted planning approval by Hackney Council for a £6m extension and refurbishment. Designed by Rivington Street Studio, it will form part of the first wave of projects within the borough funded under the DCSF’s Primary Capital Programme.

The new build element, in addition to creating a new entrance and extended nursery accommodation, will provide much needed specialist space for the school. The release of space in the existing building allows classrooms to be enlarged in line with national standards and includes improvements to ensure inclusive access.

The building's massing evolved through an extensive three-dimensional study of its relationship to the existing school and the wider urban context. The latter was a key ingredient for the school to enhance its image within the community and one of the decisions behind choosing brass as the cladding material.

Taken as one building, with both new and existing elements taken into account, the scheme achieved BREEAM ‘very good’ in pre-assessment. The use of green roofs, exposed thermal mass, photovoltaic/solar thermal technology and timber wall panel construction all contribute to the sustainability of the scheme.

The scheme was presented to the Hackney Design Review Panel who concluded: “The Panel enthusiastically supported the carefully considered work of the architect and the Commitment of the Learning Trust and the school governors to see through a bold and entirely appropriate design. The Panel’s members all know this area of Well Street and believe that a strong design statement will help raise the confidence and pride of the school and its pupils.”

Construction is due to commence in the summer of this year and the project is expected to complete in summer 2012.

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