Evelyn Grace Academy

Brixton, London

Client:         Mace Plus
Scale:         118 500 ft²
Complete:    2010

Based on our reputation for concept delivery assurance, ability to ensure best value and bring projects in on time, B+R Architects were approached by Mace Plus to contribute to their team’s bid for Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton.  Working collaboratively with the concept Architect, consultant and the contracting team we are delighted to have led the delivery of this Stirling Prize winning project

Our role included a pre contract audit of the completed Zaha Hadid Tender design to allow our team to take design responsibility for the project on behalf of Mace Plus. Following this we assisted the preparation of the package tendering with a full redraw and review of the existing specification, allowing Mace Plus to tender the scheme using our drawings delivering greater value and an ensured programme.  By collaboratively working with the contractor and end user client along with the design architects, the successfully completed scheme was awarded the 2011 Stirling Prize.

“Delivery of Stirling Prize winner, 2011”

The Academy concept created a set of schools within a school, with a high degree of autonomy for each age group, requiring a complex spatial arrangement and careful management of the technical aspects of these overlapping areas. These ‘schools’ are organised across 4 floors angled across the site with adjacent sports hall and integrated landscaping.  A narrow sinuous footprint was proposed across the long plot to allow good levels of natural lighting and passive ventilation to all rooms.  Varying plan depths and cantilevers across floors added further complexity to the construction.

The ground floor RC slab is suspended between pile caps with an in-situ reinforced concrete flat slab to the upper floors. The upper level is a steel structure supporting a metal deck to receive the roof covering. The external envelope had further complexities in the detail interfaces of a ‘stick’ curtain walling system, aluminium rain screen and fair faced in-situ concrete coupled with distinctive banding between schools.

Due to the extent of exposed concrete as the finished facing material, significant care and control was required in the specification and construction of these elements. This extended to the detailed coordination of services throughout the development to ensure all elements were cast in-situ faithfully to the concept design. One to one mock ups and collaborative design review workshops were used extensively to ensure the quality of the finished school.