Phoenix High School Sixth Form Centre, Shepherds Bush Building, Project, Design, Image

Phoenix High School London : Shepherds Bush Architecture

Education Development in Shepherds Bush London, England, UK, design by Bond Bryan Architects

24 May 2011

Phoenix High School

Bond Bryan’s ‘liqourice allsorts’ Post-16 Centre inspires pupils’ interest in architecture

Construction of the Bond Bryan-designed £7.6m Post-16 Centre at Phoenix High School in Shepherds Bush, London has been completed and has been handed over to pioneering Executive Head Teacher Sir William Atkinson. The building has been dubbed the ‘liqourice allsorts’ school because the elevations comprise vertical timber panels repeated at random intervals and framed with vibrant colours, visually akin to liqourice allsorts.

liqourice allsorts School Phoenix High School London liqourice allsorts School Shepherds Bush Shepherds Bush School
images from architect

This Post-16 Centre has been constructed from in-situ concrete and incorporates an iconic design which integrates the building with the rest of the school. The building has a low environmental impact, having been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good.
Jeff Stibbons, director at Bond Bryan, says the new building has inspired some pupils to look at architecture as a career option for the first time:

“Phoenix High School is a former failing school now ranked as outstanding and our design had to reflect the fact that the school will now encourage even better performances from its pupils aspiring to study A Levels in the new building. This is a complex design that had to work within the constraints of a Conservation Area.

“Most gratifyingly, I have been approached by a number of pupils who, on learning that Bond Bryan designed their new building, have said they would now be interested in a career in architecture, simply because they find the building so inspiring.”

Executive Head Teacher Sir William Atkinson enthused: “The design creates an uplifting and stimulating environment by introducing a vibrant concept that motivates learners. The aim of the school is to inspire its pupils and our new Post 16 Centre was designed to achieve this. This has created a visual beacon for the school and the wider community; it is a cathedral for learning.”

Working with Bond Bryan Architects were structural engineers SKM, M&E consultants CPW and contractors Bowmer & Kirkland.

Phoenix High School Sixth Form Centre image / information received 240511


Phoenix High School Shepherds Bush

Europe’s largest cantilevered building will be ‘liquorice allsorts’ school
– almost 50% of building will form cantilever

Bond Bryan Architects’ design for the new £8.7m sixth form centre at Phoenix High School in Shepherds Bush, London has been granted planning permission by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and is thought to be Europe’s largest cantilevered building, with a 24m cantilever extending over an existing car park.

Phoenix High School
image from architect

The upper levels project out into a 24m cantilever from the ground floor building. The overall building length is 51m, over-turning the general rule for having only 33% of a building extending as a cantilever. This has almost 50% of the building as a cantilever.

Nick Rogers, project leader at Bond Bryan, explains how this will be achieved:

“Having such a huge cantilever compared to the ground floor structure places a tremendous loading on the building connected to ground but this is resolved by cross-bracing the floors and transferring the force back and down into cantilever and into the building pinned to the floor.

“We believe it is the largest cantilever in Europe. The columns securing the ground floor building are driven 35 metres into the ground which serve to resist the uplift force generated by the cantilever.

“The cantilever also creates a potential for flexibility within the structure, this is counteracted by ensuring the 400mm-thick external walls and precast floor system combine to form a very stiff box structure.”

The building turns the regimented horizontal timber and glass aesthetic of the existing 1950s buildings on its head, to create an elevation comprising of vertical timber panels of varying sizes, repeated at random intervals and framed with subtle colours. The resulting elevations have been likened to a string of liquorice allsorts.

The design creates an uplifting learning environment by introducing a vibrant concept that all the students can relate to. This concept has been extended in to the façade design to create a visual beacon for the school and wider community.

Focus was also to use the structural dynamics of the huge 23 meter cantilever a to inform the applied learning of the students within this specialist science college.

The building will have a low environmental impact, having been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’. Subject to funding, construction of the new Sixth Form Centre is due to start in August this year and it will open to pupils in September 2010.

Phoenix High School Sixth Form Centre image / information received Jul 2009

Bond Bryan

Location: Phoenix High School, Shepherds Bush, London, England, UK

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