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HARRIS ACADEMY, SUTTON


21


Externally, spaces were configured by the landscape architects to offer usable study spaces away from the main active sports area to the east of the site.


Consciously mimicking aspects of a typical university campus, circulation around the building is “celebrated,” says the architect, with “key nodes offering space for students and staff to dwell, exchange ideas and discuss studies.” The design also allows users to occupy the roof terraces on the northern wings with all structural capacity built into the school for future use. “The design exemplifies civic pride, with the study and circulation demonstrated in the school’s grounds continued inside,” asserts Dimbleby.


Green goals “We maintained some of the BREEAM principles of the design, including water savings, but Passivhaus allowed us to guarantee energy savings,” remarks Dimbleby. The 10,625 m2


school is


heated by just one modestly-sized boiler feeding the small radiators in the classrooms. The architect received


word from Harris Academy’s headteacher that, during the school’s first active term, from September to December 2019, the boiler was active for just one hour.


The outdoor areas were configured to minimise off-site material disposal and to make use of the existing car parking areas where possible. “We also wanted to promote biodiversity across the site,” says Thornhill. Photovoltaics were fitted on the roof, bat and bird boxes installed in surrounding trees, and a sustainable urban drainage system was used. Green walls and rain gardens are other additions that boost the building’s green appeal.


While incorporating these eco-friendly features into the design does come at an elevated cost, with the building exceeding £3,750 per square metre, energy spend is estimated to be only 10-20 per cent of that of a regular school. From running costs through materials to massing, the school leaves only a light footprint. With this added to the pupils’ wellbeing as key drivers, it is clear that Architype has designed a school for the future. 


PROJECT FACTFILE


Lead architects: Architype Client: Sutton London Borough Council Contractor: Willmott Dixon Landscape architect: Churchman Thornhill Finch Education consultants: Lloyd Wilson Partnership Services engineer: BDP Structural engineer: Price & Myers Landscape architect: Churchman Thornhill Finch Completion: July 2019 Cost: £40m


ADF NOVEMBER 2020


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