International Academy of Greenwich

Status: Planning

Location: Greenwich, London

Client: DfE Capital

Number of school places: 765

Size (m2): 6,317

Contractor: n/a

Completion due: n/a

The International Academy of Greenwich is a free school that will provide facilities for 765 pupils aged 11-19. The site is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), within an area of nature conservation, with the Southern Green Chain running alongside the River Quaggy at the north of the site. It is also split into two parts by an Environment Agency flood defence wall, with the northern side falling within the ‘Weigall Road Flood Storage Area’. With all of this in mind, and amid huge interest from adjacent neighbours, local groups, parents and staff, Architecture Initiative’s response
had to be sensitively designed and context driven.

The proposal embraces its context, interacting with the flood defence wall, maximising the efficiency of the plan and enhancing the relationship between the landscape and architecture. The linear layout of the scheme, whilst complimenting the local urban grain, allows all general classrooms to benefit from high levels of natural daylight and views over the MOL with a predominantly glass façade broken up with vertical louvres. In contrast, the urban facing south facade is more solid faced in pre-cast concrete frames with infill brick panels, to reflect the architectural
language of the adjacent homes.

Importantly, the plans seek to enhance the MOL it sits on by protecting ecology, encouraging biodiversity, increasing the number of trees on site, and increasing opportunities for the pupils, parents, staff and general public to use and enjoy the site and all it has to offer.

"This scheme has the potential to provide an exceptional learning environment for 765 free school students. In our view, this benefit outweighs the impact of developing this piece of brownfield land and the loss of aspect from some neighbouring properties."


Catherine Horwill, Design Council CABE Advisor

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