A scheme designed by Architecture Initiative has recently been granted planning permission for Woolmore Primary School, a 4-storey new build project at the heart of the Blackwall Reach / Robin Hood Gardens regeneration masterplan. Projected population growth in East London is putting pressure on the education system and more school places are urgently required. Woolmore will provide over 700 places for pupils and create 60 new jobs for the local area.
This project has been developed through the Local Education Partnership (LEP) between London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Bouygues UK. The compact building form is designed to take up the minimum site area and release maximum landscaped play area for the school, providing much needed visual amenity to the surrounding residential development.
The building has been positioned up against the eastern site boundary using the mass of its large spaces to provide an acoustic and environmental buffer separating the site and landscape from the busy Blackwall Tunnel approach. This position also provides an open aspect for the landscaped areas and maximum daylight and sunlight can access the whole of the site.
The school is divided into two distinct elements separated by a glazed atrium space; the administrative, shared/community spaces within one, with the second being the teaching block which contains classrooms and associated ancillary accommodation. The design consolidates the classrooms around a naturally lit atrium that runs up the height of the building, with direct access to a spine of amenities.
A series of bridges connect classrooms to circulation across the atrium, creating a link and interaction between the different levels, with the age of the pupils increasing as you rise through the building. The community halls are accessed off the main circulation atrium at the heart of the school, bringing students together in a place to congregate at lunch and assembly times. Above this at third floor level is a further suite of shared facilities that open onto a walled roof terrace to encourage active learning.