Bridge Academy, Hackney School Building, London Education Design, Images

Bridge Academy London : Hackney School

Hackney Education Development, north east London design by BDP, England

11 Nov 2009

The Bridge Academy

Location: Hackney, north east London, UK

Design: BDP

BDP’s Bridge Academy Wins SCALA Award

The Bridge Academy in Hackney, designed by BDP, has won the SCALA* Civic Building of the Year Award. The award was announced at SCALA’s annual conference and exhibition, held in Edinburgh on Friday 6 November, which focused on the theme ‘Public Architecture – Regeneration’. The award was collected by BDP architects Keith Papa and Keith Watson, on behalf of the project team.

Bridge Academy
Bridge Academy photo © Martine Hamilton Knight

The objective of the civic building competition is to promote the construction of high quality public buildings and formally honour excellence in design and construction. The Bridge Academy was shortlisted along with 13 other civic projects, from an original list of 120, all completed during the past year.

The judging panel commented on the winning building: “Conceptually stunning, this inspirational design makes excellent use of a small challenging site set in a large residential area along side a canal. The creative use of natural light with the tiered sectional plan form enables maximum use to be made of every square metre of space.”

Bridge Academy’s seven storey structure fits 15,500m² of learning and recreational space into a tight 6,000m² inner city site in the London Borough of Hackney. Every inch of outdoor space is utilised to the maximum, the ground is displaced upwards creating a wide variety of external space for use by the students. The project is a natural development of the work BDP undertook at Hampden Gurney School and then developed for the DCSF in the Exemplar School Design programme with the ‘Beehive School’. This is the first time that the vertical school model has been applied to a secondary level school building in this country.

BDP was appointed as architect, structural and buildings services engineer, lighting designer and landscape architect. Davis Langdon was quantity surveyor; Harris Grant, acoustic consultant; Tribal Property Services, construction project manager; and Place Group, project manager. The main contractor was Mace.

Bridge Academy London
Bridge Academy photo ©Commission Air / BDP

* SCALA (Serving Construction & Architecture in Local Authorities) is a collaborative organisation of public sector architects and related professionals committed to assisting its members in achieving the highest possible standards in the development, design, construction and management of the public sector estate for the mutual benefit of their employers.


The Bridge Academy Award

The Bridge Academy : Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award Finalist 2009

13 Jun 2009

The Bridge Academy The Bridge Academy Hackney Hackney Education Development
photos © Nick Weall

The Bridge Academy, situated on an extremely tight, brownfield site confined by the Regent’s Canal, shows how design can create a high-quality learning environment on even the most challenging site. The client, investor, design team and school community all worked together closely from start.

The Academy, which specialises in music and maths, has 1,150 students and its inspiring design aims to improve students’ attendance and performance. Its facilities are also available to the local community.

Hackney education building design by BDP Hackney education building design by BDP Architects Hackney building design by BDP
photos © Nick Weall

The vertical arrangement of the building is based on BDP’s successful ‘schools without corridors’ research, bringing pupils and staff together, maximising social interaction and minimising poor behaviour. A ‘sound shell’, clad in maintenance-free red cedar, wraps teaching spaces around the social heart of the school. A ‘music box’ sits by the canal, and can be transformed into a 450-seat auditorium. A garden terrace, sports terrace and hanging gardens link the elements and spaces between.

There is natural light throughout the school, even in the sports hall which is sunk below street level.

The Bridge Academy The Bridge Academy The Bridge Academy

Judges’ comment
“This multi-storey academy makes a significant contribution to its east London location.”

The Bridge Academy – Building Information

Client: Department for Children, Schools and Families and UBS Investment Bank
Principal designer: BDP
Principal engineer: BDP
Principal contractor: Mace Plus
Contract value: £33 million

The Bridge Academy The Bridge Academy


The Bridge Academy Award News

The Bridge Academy : BDP success at ACE Engineering Excellence Awards

14 May 2009

BDP was triumphant at this year’s ACE (Association for Consultancy and Engineering) Engineering Excellence Awards held in London on Wednesday 13 May. The awards showcase consultancy and engineering firms who demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value and engineering excellence.

Bridge Academy Hackney
Bridge Academy image © Martine Hamilton Knight

Oliver Plunkett, BDP structural and civil engineering director picked up the winner’s trophy for the Building Structures (Large Firm) category for Bridge Academy, beating Buro Happold, Pell Frischmann, Scott Wilson and WYG Engineering to the title.

Bridge Academy’s seven storey structure fits 15,500m² of learning and recreational space into a tight 6,000m² inner city site set along the Regent’s Canal in the London Borough of Hackney. The inspirational structure is designed to eliminate anti-social behaviour prevalent in traditional school corridors, with a sweeping steel arch at the heart of the academy which creates a column free flexible space.

On receiving the award Oliver said “I’m thrilled that a project that does so much to enhance the area and create a stimulating learning environment for local children has been recognised, both for the creative design approach of the interdisciplinary BDP team to the significant site challenges and the dedication of the contractor’s team in realising the design”

In addition BDP’s Sustainability group picked up a Highly Commended in the Research, Studies and Consulting category for their work on the AUDE Research Project. Headed by David Ritter, the study researches the legacy of aging 1960s university buildings and provides institutions with a practical guide and toolkit on sustainability best practice, whole life costing and making the ultimate decision to replace or refurbish.

Bridge Academy Hackney image / information from BDP Architects

Bridge Academy Hackney design : BDP

Location: Hackney, London, England, UK

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Hampden Gurney School

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