Evelyn Grace Academy

Zaha Hadid Architects, London, 2010


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View looking west from Grace Upper School entrance terrace 

Edmund Sumner (website)     Download Original

  • View looking west from Grace Upper School entrance terrace    
  • The running track is used as a powerful emblem    
  • View from west showing faceted curtain wall    
  • View of entrance from west    
  • View from south    
  • Central common area and canteen in Grace Middle School    
  • The dance studio is also used for exams    
  • Teaching spaces have extensive external glazing    
  • Visual concrete has 30 per cent GGBS and was cast with MDO formwork    
  • Light fittings create dynamic patterns in ceilings    
  • Staircase    
  • Site Plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Depot layout    
  • Sections    
  • Main Elevations    
  • Materials board    
  • Workling detail    

Secondary school for 1200 pupils split into four smaller 'schools-within-schools', which share communal areas

The brief focused on aspiration and integration with the community, encouraging students to achieve high standards. These aims are pursued through a vertical organisation comprising four units of around 300 pupils, known as ‘schools-within-schools’ which eases transition between academic years and maintains pupil/teacher relationships.

The layout consists of 18m wide floor plates with parallel walls, providing flexibility and adaptability. Facilities, including the library, sports hall, workshops and performance rooms, which are located in a ground floor podium are shared by all schools. A central common area is available to the local community and each school has a large ‘hub’ space at its junction with this area.

Visitors enter through a central foyer but each school has its own external entrance. Corridors are generous at 3m wide and most rooms are 50 per cent glazed, providing high daylight levels.

The project was publicly funded which meant it was difficult to justify expensive details such as curved frames and glass for the windows, design quality has been attained by the use of geometry and a constrained palette of materials.


  • Begun: Jan 2009
  • Completed: Jul 2010
  • Floor area: 10,745m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £36.5M
  • Funding: Public
  • Procurement: JCT Standard Design and Build Contract, 2005 Edition
  • CO2 Emissions: 27.2kg/m2/year
  • Address: 255 Shakespeare Road, Brixton, London, SE24 OQN , United Kingdom

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