ST JOSEPH CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
(POPLAR - TOWER HAMLET)
Completed, in 12 months, in time for the start of the new school term in September 2014, Green Tea Architects' new educational building was designed to create an inspirational learning environment for the children and families in Tower Hamlets, an area hosting the highest level of child poverty in the UK.
This longstanding rich cultural history was also at the forefront of the project, assuring a high quality design that encouraged and enriched London's mix of old and new. The ideas of 'growth' and 'wonder' in the initial design period led to an architectural expression which utilised a radial plan to achieve the experience of 'bigger on the inside', an idea inspired by the Narnia stories of CS Lewis.
An efficient and innovative use of resources was paramount to the design and, as a result, the school is BREEAM excellent. It was constructed by contractors 8 Build using cross-laminated timber, is wrapped in brick similar to surrounding buildings and splashed with shards of brise soleil colour and perforated metal balustrades. This building, which now provides for the continued presence of an educational facility on the site, was an exceptional project because of the integrated nature of the approach from the client/user organisations, the design team response and the construction process adopted. It is an innovative educational building, providing for the enrichment of the local area and culture for years to come.