Chelsea Academy - the future of urban school design


Chelsea Academy,  which has been built by Wates Construction, has set new standards in its creation and use of outdoor space.

At a workshop held by Wates last year with Learning through Landscapes, the UK’s National School Grounds Charity, Chelsea Academy was identified as an exemplary project that created unique outdoor facilities and illustrated the positive impact of architects, constructors and schools working closely together in this field.

“Using outdoor space during lesson time should not be seen as a treat or a novelty. School grounds should be designed as outdoor classrooms, not just as play spaces,” said Learning through Landscapes, Development Manager, Mary Jackson.

She added, “Two thirds of schools which have improved their school grounds have observed better attitudes to learning amongst their pupils”.  We need to further encourage the creative use of outdoor facilities so that students have an environment they will enjoy, use and respect.”

Eamonn Wall, Wates Education Sector Director said, “Just creating outdoor space through utilising roofs is not enough.  With Chelsea Academy the outdoor space has also been designed to ensure the facilities are what students want and can benefit from most.  The workshop provided our designers with an opportunity to share, develop and refine ideas which will result in greater innovation in the design work Wates puts forward for future education projects.”

The Chelsea Academy has been built by Wates Construction to meet the needs of a 21st century school within the constraints of an inner city urban environment. The Academy covers the entire footprint of the site so every inch of space had to be carefully considered to ensure maximum efficiency.

As a result the roofs have been utilised providing outdoor space for both teaching and social use, a multi use games area and a tennis court.  These facilities are those you would not normally find within tight site inner city schools.

February 2011

Learning Spaces