Tidemill Primary School in the London Borough of Lewisham is the result of a visionary concept to increase the space and resources available to new schools by sharing their facilities with the wider community, and demonstrates how innovative thinking can make public spending go further in difficult times. Tidemill School will benefit from combining resources with the Deptford Lounge - a new state-of-the-art district library which will provide a whole range of community facilities.
Tidemill School at the centre of the site will wrap around a courtyard garden, of which the Deptford Lounge will form one wing. During the school day the children’s library, which forms part of the Deptford Lounge, will be isolated from the public and open only to the school, but out of school hours it will form an integral part of the community library facilities. The library is thus designed to allow for dual school and community use. This principle extends to a whole range of shared facilities which includes a range of school / community halls, a rooftop ball court and a large dining room and associated kitchens which can be hired out to the local community. All these facilities have separate access points from within the school and from the public realm.
On the far side of the courtyard, Resolution Studios – which will provide new homes, and studios and exhibition space for local artists – will rise above the school and provide a funding contribution in return for the use of air space over the school. The ambitious nature of this co-location of capital projects has also won the scheme an addition £5m from the DCSF’s co-location fund. The scheme is now on site and Tidemill School will move to its new premises in September 2011.