The new Academies will provide a state of the art learning environment comprising a 900 place Girls’ Academy and a 750 place Boys’ Academy with a joint 400 place 6th Form. Our site specific design concept for The Crest Academies responds to E-ACT’s (Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust) vision of “Excellence in Education for all” to create a contemporary learning campus capable of reflecting both Academies’ educational ethos and values. This will deliver an innovative flexible and adaptable learning environment the first of its kind in the UK, drawing directly upon the existing site’s conditions and context, bringing together the two themes of Nature and Nurture as integral to the development of each individual learner and a learning community.
Nature and the inspiring sense of being in nature will permeate the building, landscape and environmental design, creating a unique and innovative learning environment conducive to emotional and physical well being and providing the optimum environmental conditions for enjoyment of learning, raising aspirations and improving attainment.
These will include:
• A dynamic relationship between the internal and external spaces which will instigate positive learning.
• The exploitation of natural daylight through building siting and orientation.
• The environmental design of buildings that can be easily managed to ensure personal comfort, control and well being.
Nurture will be delivered through an integrated building, landscape and environmental design resulting in a dynamic and flexible range of learning spaces maximising the delivery of the Education Brief to create Academies which will nurture a culture of learning diversity and depth. This integrated learning environment will support “innovative learning and teaching strategies and resources”.
The integration of Nature and Nurture will deliver a truly inspiring and innovative environment with learning at its core. An original design it will reflect a contemporary approach to education and learning as pervasive, comprehensive and lifelong.
Reflecting the Academies’ civic role, our masterplan will exploit the site’s topography, landscape and views to reinstate, reinforce and enhance its distinctive geographical location, and its environmental and historical connections with its surroundings. The masterplan for the Crest Academies will create a linear park, stretching from Crest Road in the north, to Dollis Hill Lane in the south and Gladstone Park beyond it.
It is our belief that the journey to learning is integral to the learning experience. Ideally complementing it and in dialogue with the Victorian park, the Crest Boys’ and Girls’ Academies’ learning setting, will consist of four stepped pavilions immersed in a park. The park setting, with its unique range of learning resources, will be key in fostering the learning community’s sense of civic awareness, pride and responsibility.
The design comprises four distinct pavilions linked by three separate, clearly defined and architecturally distinct entrances/pods and an atrium. The four pavilions are conceived as integral to their natural park setting, configured in a splayed formation and harmoniously set on different terraced levels. This arrangement will allow the Academies to function both independently and jointly by sharing timetabled facilities and central facilities.
The dynamic design of the Academies pavilions is reinforced by the pods, dedicated learning areas linking the pavilions. The pods will provide a range of flexible learning areas supporting both traditional and innovative pedagogies, after a wide range teaching styles.
The building design and cladding directly displays and represents learning. The pavilion cladding following the Fibonacci’ sequential order represents the building’s links with its natural setting and expresses the Academies’ specialisms. The Fibonacci numerical convention can, in fact, be translated in Technology, Languages, Mathematics and Performing Arts, the Academy specialisms.
Location: London Borough of Brent
Architect: Capita Symonds
Project: The Crest Boys’ and the Crest Girls’ Academies
Capita Symonds Client: Wates (Contractor)
Project Client: Brent Council
E-ACT Sponsor: The Crest Academies
Dates for Commencement: October 2011
Date for Construction: April 2014
Contract Value: £37 million