30.10.2009 Peter Popp

Westminster Academy in London

Language: English; Runtime: 8 min.

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Harrow Road in west London is a rough area with a large immigrant population. Until recently, school was of no great attraction for young people in the neighbourhood. All that has now changed as a result of the Westminster Academy with its gleaming green and yellow ceramic facade. In part, this is thanks to the progressive way in which the school is run; but it is also due to the architecture.
The heart of the building is formed by a large “agora”, a three-storey hall with a staircase rising to the roof and providing access via bridges to the open corridors that lead to the glass-lined classrooms. In executing the finishings and fittings, a close eye was kept on costs. The carpets, exposed concrete and painted wood sheeting are visually restrained, allowing the colours and graphics to make their mark. Dominant elements include the green and yellow light-deflecting panels beneath the glazed hall roof. They consist of recycled doors, the white rear faces of which deflect daylight far into the internal spaces.

Architects: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, London

Directed by: Mark Logue

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