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20 HARRIS ACADEMY, SUTTON


Sensors monitor CO2 throughout the building and teachers are notified when to open windows by means of a light


designs for the site, integrating pedagogical theory to inform the school layout as well as meeting the Department for Education’s requirements pertaining to space and function. Passivhaus standards also provide the foundation for internal environments optimised for educating the school’s 1,275 pupils, as Dimbleby explains: “This means plenty of natural light, low CO2


levels, and


stable internal conditions with no draughts or hot spots.” Sensors monitor CO2 throughout the building and teachers are notified when to open windows by means of a light (going against the received wisdom that you are unable to open windows in Passivhaus buildings). The architects designed large class spaces, including a double art room and double laboratory; the school expects the laboratories to be used in community demonstrations and extra-curricular activities, such as British Science Week. Considering Harris Academy’s strong community ethos, the areas most frequently used by the public such as the all-weather sports hall and the drama studio all offer secure public access.


For the interiors more generally, the architects made sure to retain views out of the end of most corridors. This was done to provide users with a visual connection to the suburban homes and state-of-the-art London Cancer Hub development outside, helping embed orientation for users. Ceiling heights exceed 3.5 metres throughout the school, with the ground floors benefitting from up to 3.9 metres, providing a spaciousness conducive to thinking and learning.


“Natural, high-quality materials command respect from students with minimal signs to disrupt the flow and peace of the space,” says Dimbleby. They also contribute to the building’s high internal air quality.


The 715 m2 sports hall is internally


finished with exposed timber. Staircases throughout the academy are open, modern and colour coded for subtle wayfinding. Linoleum and rubber flooring has been used in the shared spaces, and ceilings in the corridors are clad with timber battens.


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK ADF NOVEMBER 2020


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