The McAvoy Group has constructed a stunning new 630-place primary school offsite for Concordia Academy in Romford which was delivered as part of an £8.2m design and build contract.
The 2,972m2 three-form entry free school has created an exemplar learning environment for local children, reflecting the academy’s vision and ethos, increasing parental choice, and providing a valuable facility for the community.
Funded by the Department for Education, the school is operated by REAch2 Academy Trust – the largest primary-only academy trust in the UK.
The use of a McAvoy offsite solution for the project allowed the development of a highly constrained brownfield site. The new building is just 1.5m from the site boundary to the front elevation.
Offsite construction offers clear benefits for the delivery of new education facilities. On this project, the solution from McAvoy enabled the development of a very restricted and challenging brownfield site. It delivered programme benefits because the construction work was progressed offsite in the factory while groundworks were put in place on site. Speed of construction is key when the demand for school places continues to rise.
The new state-of-the-art school is helping to address the urgent need for additional primary places in the South East. The London Borough of Havering has seen a significant increase in birth rates and this is projected to continue. The local population is set to rise by 11.2 per cent by 2021, further intensifying the pressure on school places.
Facilities include a music and drama studio, main hall with adjacent smaller hall, 14 classrooms, full catering kitchen, activity room, small group learning rooms, staff room and administration offices.
The design solution maximises the external play space within the site and the landscaping has created a positive external environment to reflect and support the school’s educational needs. There is a hard-surfaced games area for high-energy play; an informal outdoor learning area with tensile fabric canopy to provide a shaded area; a garden space with raised planting beds, and a dedicated, secure reception play area along the southern elevation.
The contemporary design for the new school combines strong lines, bold geometric shapes and a palette of materials that includes red brick, timber-effect cladding, render and high levels of glazing. Elements of colour provide bright accents to reflect the school’s corporate identity and emphasise the architectural features. There are brick and rendered bays to the curriculum wing, with full height glazing to the recessed areas which allow light into the break-out and circulation spaces.