The Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid

November 10, 2010

Zaha Hadid has designed the Evelyn Grace Academy in the Brixton district of south London.


The Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, London Borough of Lambeth, broadens not only the educational diversity of this active and historical part of London but also augments the built environment in a predominantly residential area.

This Academy presents itself as an open, transparent and welcoming addition to the community’s local urban regeneration process.

The strategic location of the site within two main residential arteries naturally lends the built form to be coherent in formation. The building assumes a strong urban character and identity which is legible to both the local and neighbouring zones. It offers a learning environment that is spatially reassuring thereby being able to engage the students actively.

The design of the building proffers that, which contemporary architecture can, to create a healthy atmosphere as a milieu for progressive teaching routines. In keeping with the educational ideology of ‘schools-within-schools’ the design is to creates natural segregation patterns nested within highly functional spaces which give each of the four smaller schools a distinct identity, both internally and externally. These spaces present generous environs with maximum levels of natural light, ventilation and understated but durable textures.

The collective spaces – shared by all the schools – are planned to encourage social communication within a distinct hierarchy of natural aggregation nodes which weave together the extensive accommodation schedule. Similarly, the external shared spaces, in order to generate a setting that encourages interaction, are treated in a manner of layering creating informal social and teaching spaces at various levels based on the convergence of multiple functions.

Visit Zaha Hadid’s website – here.

Photography by Luke Hayes