Monday, 20 April 2009

Professional learning environments

I was very fortunate to visit the very impressive new Bridge Academy in Hackney last week. This amazing piece of architecture will really challenge some people as it does not look like a conventional school, or, according to some people, what a school should look like. It is designed and intends to operate as a very professional adult environment with the latest state of the art facilities. Built on a very very compact site it's many many levels should allow masses of circulation opportunities without feeling crowded. With two years groups currently using it the signs are good. The building will allow a whole range of learning opportunities in a variety of spaces, including extensive break out areas. The potential is massive.

The canal running alongside the Academy is a great reminder of social history as well as a starting point for a variety of discussions on a range of themes, as well as just a great feature. Maximum use was made of this during construction with a lot of the rubble and debris from the construction being removed by barge, rather than trucks through the congested streets. Even whilst I was there it was being used for both work and pleasure purposes.
A great building and visit proves that there is some really interesting and creative thinking going on with new schools designs. (Architects: BDP)

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