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Penoyre & Prasad completes Bobby Moore Academy on Olympic Park

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The school, sited in the London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, provides 9,470mof learning and social spaces across six storeys

The school will be officially opened on Wednesday (5 December) by Geoff Hurst, who under Bobby Moore’s captaincy of the England team at the 1966 World Cup Final, scored the hat-trick that beat West Germany. 

The academy can accommodate up to 1,140 students. It is the larger sibling to the Bobby Moore Academy Primary School, which opened last year on the other side of the Olympic Park.

6452 n75

6452 n75

Source: Penoyre & Prasad

The school building is positioned on the site’s northern boundary to maximise external play space. The scheme also includes covered outdoor social space at ground level, as well as a series of stepped roof terraces with views of London. The school dining facilities, assembly hall, music and IT teaching, and sports facilities are located at ground and first floor levels. The first-floor sports hall can be accessed by an extra large lift for parasports teams. Above this further teaching spaces are located on the upper floors. 

An internal ‘street’ runs through the school as a central spine. Teaching spaces, organised by faculty, run off the ‘street’ and are naturally ventilated, using low energy heat-recovery units fixed to the windows. 

6452 n17

6452 n17

Source: Penoyre & Prasad

Architect’s view 

The new school is a beacon of learning in the rapidly developing Olympic Park. It provides first-class educational spaces while capitalising on the world-class sports facilities around it.

The big challenge for the design was accommodating the large programme of spaces on such a tiny triangular site of less than 3,900m2 while maximising external play space for the students. Set in the pantheon of great Olympic architecture, it also had to punch above its architectural weight.

Given the site’s exposure on all sides, the building is conceived as an object, seen in the round and from afar. Its distinctive form and architectural expression serve to create a strong identity for the school while rooting it in context and creating a civic realm where none existed before.

The building is like a tardis. From a distance, and in comparison to the Olympic Stadium and the vastness of the Park, it appears small. On closer inspection, it has a more dominant and civic presence, commanding its site and the adjacent canal.

Once inside, the building reveals itself as a series of complex and interrelated spaces. The use of double and triple height volumes, voids cut into the circulation spine and extensive glazing creates ever-changing experiences and continuous vertical and horizontal connections. Wherever you are in the school, one is oriented to the outside with extensive views across to London and the Olympic Park. 

Rafael Marks, associate partner, Penoyre & Prasad 

645 bma site plan with both schools

645 bma site plan with both schools

Site plan with both schools

Project team

Start on site January 2017
Completion September 2018
Gross internal floor area 9,470m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 10,045m2
Form of contract or procurement route ESFA Contractor’s Framework (Design and Build)
Construction cost  £28 million
Construction cost per m2 £2,787
Architect Penoyre & Prasad
Client David Ross Education Trust
M&E / sustainability MZA
Structural engineer Terrell
Landscape architect Fabrik
Acoustics engineer HRS
Fire strategy Tenos
Approved inspectors JMP
Transport consultant Momentum
BREEAM asessor Method
Planning consultant Savills
Contractor Balfour Beatty
CAD software used ArchiCAD
Annual CO2 emissions 9.3kg/m2


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