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Vox pop: The Urswick School by Avanti Architects.

Photos: Tom de Gay.

Avanti Architects originally made their name with scholarly restorations of famous Modernist buildings such as the Finsbury Health Centre in London by Bertold Lubetkin. The Urswick School, built in a deprived borough of London called Hackney, is however a new build project designed by the practice. The building has just won this year's Peoples Choice Award at the Hackney Design Awards. The awards scheme is designed to stimulate and promote good design in the borough.

Let's see what got the locals excited.

The school is a 750 pupil secondary school with a specialism in sports. The architects tried to showcase this specialism with the creation of excellent sports facilities, but they also attempted to increase access for the local community.

As with many new schools today the accommodation is arranged around a double loaded atrium that provides a spine of public space at the centre of the building, designed to act as the main social gathering area.

The school has strong environmental credentials using solar shading, natural ventilation, and biomass boilers at the heart of its environmental strategy.

Street view.


Dining room.

Movement studio


The gym.

Stair landing.

Environmental strategy diagram.

Block diagram.


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