A school in a forest – an ecology transect across the playground from high forest through wildflower meadow to wet woodland.
New all age academy situated at the north end of the Athletes Village and adjacent to High Street Leyton in east London. The brownfield site is on land raised with excavated spoil from the Channel Tunnel Rail link.
The intention is to bring the woodland habitats of Waltham Forest into Stratford City, forming an ecology transect across the site from a forest at the front, through islands of regenerating woodland, green roofs, wildflower and grassland habitats, to wetland forest at the railway line boundary.
The brief asked for environmental sustainability and practice to be self evident in the design, as these will be part of the curriculum. Biodiverse habitats and ecologically rich zones are integral to the campus design.
The public realm also integrates this approach with sustainable transport; the route to school has a wide pavement for children cycling and walking to school with stepped gabion walls for playing and sitting. As a Gateway to the Olympic Village and Waltham Forest, the realigned Temple Mill Lane will link to the east London Borough of Waltham Forest, where the children will travel from.
The academy specialises in Performing Arts and English – the external spaces support this, providing flexible, playful spaces for learning and performing. Sports facilities for the academy and the local community are sited on the school grounds and adjacent Metropolitan Open Land. All pitches comply with Sport England Recommendations.
Olympic Delivery Authority / Lendlease
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects
Adams Kara Taylor