This is a two storey extension and partial conversion of an existing two-storey 1960s constructed building at Longford Community School (now known as Rivers Academy).
A total area of 750sq.m (a 200 sq.m extension and 550sq.m conversion of existing) houses two new classrooms and a Fitness Centre at ground level with a new Library/learning Centre at first floor.
The challenge here was how to successfully extend a nasty looking teaching block. We chose to build a vibrant colourful structure that straddles the end of the block almost as a kind of articulated bookend.
The two storey extension element uses bespoke designed colour-stained Finnish softwood laminated ‘fins’ that support both the first floor structure and the roof. Unusually for this material, the structure is completely external and exposed to the elements and after much research was pressure impregnated in order that it could perform to these conditions.
In between each fin are aluminium grating panels that provide solar control as well as structural stiffening to the external structure. The roof is clad with silver ‘Trespa’ panels and is designed to give the impression of floating/sliding across the exposed roof beams.
Internally, the library has been designed as an adaptable open plan area that can be used for different ways of teaching – there is raised area of carpet clad cubed modules for seating, bespoke designed tables and benches and an enclosed curved ‘arena’ space.
I've worked with many architects over the years but Jonathan’s ability to listen to our needs and turn them into crazy yet buildable designs is fantastic. He has created buildings and environments which captivate the minds of our staff and students. The vision lead by our Head Teacher of delivering 21st century teaching environments has been turned into reality by Jonathan’s designs. It is a pleasure working with him.
Robert Glass, Projects Director, Longford Community School
RIBA London Awards 2010 - Winner
World Architecture WAN Awards 2010 - Finalist
British Council for School Environments (BCSE) Awards 2010 - Shortlisted
Galvanizing Awards 2010 - Finalist
Learning Spaces Journal, July 2016
Indian Architect and Builder, April 2010
Architecture Today, November 2009
Blueprint Magazine, November 2009
Building Magazine, October 2009
The Times Educatioal Supplement, October, 2009
Details, no 22
Ecologik, September 2010
RIBA Education 10, 2010
Architecture 10 - RIBA Buildings of the Year, Published by Merrell, 2010
Fluid Structures: Adventures in Engineering, Watermark Publications, 2011