Chelsea Academy London, Lots Road Education Building, LDBS, Images, Architect

Chelsea Academy, London

Education Building in southwest London – design by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

19 May 2011

Chelsea Academy London

RIBA Award winner, 19 May 2011

RIBA Awards

Chelsea Academy Building

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Address: Lots Rd, London SW10 0AB

Phone: 020 7376 3019


21 Jan 2011 – KI have provided classroom furniture for the new Chelsea Academy in Lots Road, London, working with FF&E Consultants Alligan and furniture suppliers Portsdown Education.

This new Academy is sponsored by the London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS) in association with The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It will provide world-class education for approximately 800 pupils in years 7 to 11 and 250 students in the sixth form.

Chelsea Academy Chelsea Academy Chelsea Academy
images © Tim Crocker

The Academy building, designed by architectural practice Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, ranges between two and four floors built in linking blocks with atrium and open spaces providing good circulation space and internal light, which are key on this tight site. The furniture for the new building similarly needed to be appropriate for the aspirational setting but robust and fit for purpose and the academy employed both the help of the students and teachers in the selection of the classroom furniture.

As explained by Janet Perry, Financial Director:
“The aim of including staff and students in our evaluation process was to enable the students and staff to have an influence over and pride in their environment, as well as serving as an educational process for the students.”

During a period in temporary accommodation groups of students and teachers were asked to evaluate a selection of classroom furniture such as chairs, desks and stools from different companies and manufacturers, one of which was KI.

The evaluation and selection processes were broken down into different criteria including how well products withstood the test of time in terms of practicality; how easy the product is to maintain; the durability; the quality; where the products are manufactured; and value for money.

As continued by Janet Perry:
“Both students and teachers found, after a terms use, that some chairs that had appealed to them in the first stages of the process had not worn well enough towards the later stages of the evaluation process, collecting dust and dirt very easily. Other products, initially shortlisted, weren’t as efficient when it came to undertaking classroom activities and group sessions. The students & staff judged that chairs, provided by KI, conformed to all their criteria. As a result the Academy selected chairs and desks from The Intellect Wave, Maestro and In Tandem collection. The products look appealing to the eye, are easy to maintain and above all the quality of the furniture match our expectations. They are durable, tough and cost effective.”

Chelsea Academy Chelsea Academy Chelsea Academy
images © Tim Crocker

KI Intellect Wave seating has been provided, all with light tone shells on starlight silver cantilever frames. The unique ribless design of the one-piece polypropylene seat provides and enhances comfort. The chairs are teamed with KI Intellect Wave tables with bag hooks fitted at the end of the tables, some with height adjustable frames. KI manufactured the majority of the furniture within the UK using environmentally friendly materials. Amongst the range were Intellect Wave 5 star base teachers’ chairs, 4 leg Music chairs and tailor made teachers desks.

All the KI Intellect Wave range are GREENGUARD certified for LEED accreditation which responds well to the building design’s objectives to incorporate a range of sustainable principles including optimising natural light and thermal mass.

The Maestro chair, from KI, has a chrome-plated rod frame; polypropylene seats with an integrated handle within the back rest; is a contemporary and sleek looking product, yet still a light and comfortable stacking chair. Maestro complements the Intellect Wave range for educational use. Maestro has durable polypropylene seats and backrests which are also available in a variety of colours. In the conference room there are special black Maestro chairs with upholstered seat pads each of which are fitted with tablet arms / writing tables, which can be removed if required.

Keeping in mind that technology plays a major part in the learning process the In Tandem table system seemed the most suitable as it uses unique internal beams which are easily accessible for wires and cables without interference – perfect for the quick set up of IT equipment.

Andy Yarrow the Principal of Chelsea Academy expressed:
“Starting a new school has been an exciting new challenge, providing a great opportunity to be creative and set the highest expectations and standards right from the start. KI are to be commended for supplying a chair that met the challenging demands of both the Academy’s staff and students”

Chelsea Academy Chelsea Academy Building Chelsea Academy London Chelsea Academy London Building
images from HH

The selection of furniture for Chelsea Academy has been an inspiring example of student voice at work.

The building design responds to the constrained nature of this urban site and the requirement for highly adaptable spaces to provide for future flexibility. The furniture solution provided by KI supports these requirements.

Chelsea Academy – Building Information

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
FF&E: Alligan
Dealer: Portsdown Education
Educational Furniture: KI

Chelsea Academy images / information received 210111

Feilden Clegg Bradley

Location: Lots Road, Chelsea, London, England, UK

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