ECO Friendly Design

A wapping great undertaking

In 2009 a group of parents from the Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse districts of East London got together to talk about the secondary education provision within their community. Even though Wapping had been an admissions priority area for over ten years, theirs was a part of the borough where single-sex post-eleven education remained the norm and the demographic had led to many local schools becoming stratified along lines of both gender and ethnicity.

Twelve months later, they moved into a permanent home – a six (now seven) -storey former office building on Commercial Road, London E1. And the design of the premises reflected the educational philosophies that were determined during years of research by the Trust that had been established to apply for and ultimately run the school, meaning that on the day it opened, the school (which was designed for 420 students) had just eight enclosed general classrooms (none of which had doors), one projector, two clocks and no pinboards. Whilst the specialist spaces – laboratories and workshops – were excellent if more traditional, the school also recognised the role computing would have to 21st century citizens, so excellent wifi coverage was ensured across all parts of the premises.

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