Award-winning architectural practice astudio is pleased to announce the completion of the £15m The Kingston Academy regeneration project, which now also sees the school open to the public as community centre.
Throughout the project, astudio sought to enhance elements of the old building’s history, while incorporating modern architectural changes to drive efficiency, flexibility in the space and create the most effective learning and community environment. The regeneration project drew on astudio’s expertise in adapting old spaces to fit with new teaching styles and the modern demands of academies, while aiming to truly reflect the school’s mission of ‘Achieving for Children’.
In line with efforts to modernise and maximise the Academy’s ability to create an environment that fit its new role as a community centre, astudio prioritised access to natural light and the availability of versatile, flexible spaces. At the heart of the Academy, astudio installed a top-lit centre space, also supported by redesigned, naturally lit areas and more open spaces fit for a range of activities.
Advanced technologies played a central role in the new building, allowing for the greatest flexibility and efficiency. This included the use of virtual reality headsets for prospective parents and the use of BIM to coordinate the design.
Following a complex phasing programme, astudio was able to successfully complete the project in stages that enabled the academy to continue operating and functioning fully before the construction was complete.
It is astudio’s belief that with the right community leaders and innovative designers, schools can support and enhance student productivity. astudio has worked on multiple academic projects since it was founded in 2007, including the St Paul’s Trust School, which was completed in 2010 and Twickenham Academy in 2013.
More recently, astudio has been responsible for designing the redevelopment of Greenwich Trust School, introducing formal and informal education spaces for a variety of learners, whilst retaining and maximising the re-use of existing buildings on site. The project is due for completion in September 2019.
Richard Hyams, Co-founder and CEO of astudio, commented: “We are delighted to have completed the regeneration of The Kingston Academy, helping to reinvigorate a fantastic institution, which will now be available to the public as community centre. We are proud to have been able to bring our creativity and extensive experience in understanding new teaching styles in old spaces to the Academy. The result is a school that enhances the building’s history while making sure it is fit for the future. We look forward to seeing the Academy play a strong role at the heart of the community for many more years to come.”
Sophie Cavanagh, Head Teacher of The Kingston Academy, said: “As a Head Teacher and Trustee, I am delighted with the significant increase in space and the broad range of facilities which our new extension represents. In addition to providing us with vitally needed new classrooms and specialist laboratories to house our growing school, the new building offers us a versatile array of workspaces.
“The entire school community will undoubtedly gain great benefit from the large, light filled dining and social areas, new spaces for informal meetings or quiet study, the fantastically versatile demonstration studio and much more. With the addition of the new full size sports hall and activity studio, our pupils will be able to enjoy a far greater range of sporting, fitness and well-being activities than previously. Members of the local community will also be able to reap the benefits of these excellent facilities, reinforcing our position as a vital service at the very heart of our local community.”