National Schools Ideas Project
St Mary’s Catholic High School - Workshop Unit 5, Croydon
ASD Projects were invited by the Department of Children Schools and Families and the Royal Institute of British Architects to deliver a Schools Design Capacity Building programme to share ideas to help improve the quality of school design and innovation for the DCSF’s school investment programmes including Primary Capital Projects and Building Schools for the Future over a three- year period.
More about the project
In 2009 Cass Projects was approached by the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) and the RIBA to co-ordinate a national academic and research programme with Schools of Architecture linked to the Building Schools for the Future programme in England.
We developed an innovative brief for the National Schools Ideas Project designed to allow collaboration on a series of live projects that would bridge academia and professional practice whilst addressing real and current issues facing schools design at the height of an ambitious national schools building programme.
The aim of the project was to contribute to ongoing and emerging debates in school design and to the DCSF’s thinking utilising students’ recent experiences in education and ability to take a fresh position in relation to current design guidance.
Writing the brief
The brief described a number of unique opportunities that the students could avail of through their projects such as the ability to take a critical stance in relation to current orthodoxies and design guidance; engagement with a live brief to design for changes in the way music and arts education were evolving with the resulting structures to be funded by Croydon Council; brief development in participation with school children, teachers, parents and governors facilitated by the Sorrell Foundation and DCSF.
Results and dissemination
Symposia were held at the award winning Westminster Academy in the Winter of 2009 and the Libeskind designed Graduate Centre at London Metropolitan University in Spring 2010 where the students came together to share their work.
The results included a series of projects that sought to bring learning out of a secondary school in South London into the public sphere through responses such as a street dance studio and productive estate gardens; the integration of Special Educational Needs into a mainstream Academy in Derbyshire; the upgrading and re-design of a CLASP system built school in Nottingham to provide a community centred space capable of supporting individualised teaching programmes.
An exhibition at the RIBA in September 2010 documented the programme.
With the National Schools Ideas Project, the approach of the ‘collaborative brief’ facilitated a collaboration between a number of Schools of Architecture around a common theme in order to develop a diversity of outcomes.
Cass Projects drew up a brief that was designed to be both expanded and met by the “players”, the participating Schools of Architecture, with the aim of contributing to the ongoing and emerging debates about school design. These debates were prompted by what was at the time a programme of unprecedented capital investment in England’s secondary schools, Building Schools for the Future.
The project was commissioned by the Labour government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families and was delivered with the support of the quango responsible for delivering the programme, Partnerships for Schools, and RIBA amongst others.
Project images and exhibition panels
More Cass Projects
Cass Student work is shown at the Huguenot Church, Soho Square
Huguenot Projects work from across the School was exhibited at the French Protestant Church on Soho Square as part of Soho Create Festival 2015.
Updates on The Cass 'Made in Hayes' projects
The Cass ‘Made in Hayes’ cross school projects started in 2012/13, and Studios across the Schools of Art, Architecture and Design have continued to build on their work in the Hayes area since then.
The cross-school project for 2015/16
Following the success of last year’s Huguenot projects shown at the Soho Create festival, The Cass has been invited back to show in 2016 with a new brief: ‘The Spirit of Soho’.
A collaboration with The Cass and Sir John Soane's Museum
7 Architectural Units at The Cass were invited by Robert Mull and the Director of Sir John Soane's Museum to respond to the theme of the Primitive Hut.
Cross-Faculty project inspired by the Huguenots history
Inspired by the rich history of the Huguenots, many of whom settled in and around East London.
Architectural design competition with St Botolph without Aldgate Church and the Cass Projects Office.
Students of architecture at The Cass, London Metropolitan University studying their Part II and Part III were invited to submit concept drawings for a new hall that responds to the needs of the church, the community and the area.
Updates on The Cass Made in Hayes projects
Following the series of workshops and events on the High Street and around the Austin Estate in 2013, the new cohort of Architecture Studio 3 students received funding from Hillingdon Community Trust to host more events at the Austin Estate.
Working with local public and private bodies in Hayes to propose and develop projects in the town centre and surrounding area.
EMI records archives
A cross-disciplinary project, with 20 different groups of students engaging in products based in and developed in response to the area of Aldgate in East London.
The School of Design launches its inaugural Project ‘DESIGN/shift’. A time for evolution/ r-evolution through design research & professional practice activities & events to critique & re-imagine the contemporary Design School.
The School of Architecture continues to co-ordinate the Brazil Study Programme to explore transformative outcomes for a new approach to urbanism and professional collaboration.
Conversation Pieces were chosen for the Olympic Dressing Initiative by the GLA to be deployed in the City of London, Whitechapel and Spitalfields during the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012.
Kachhpura in Agra, India
An on-going live project focused on water, waste and sanitation in the settlement of Kachhpura in Agra, India. Projects have received continued support and funding from the Water Trust.
Quarry worker settlements in Navi Mumbai, India
Two quarry classrooms for children’s bridge classes were constructed by students, researchers and local communities at Baban Seth quarry (March 2010) and Tata Press quarry.
Kaningo in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Members of the Projects Office and students from the Architecture school at the Cass have been collaborating with Freetown and the Sierra Leonian NGO Community Empowerment Support Organisation (CESO)
Providence Row is a charitable organisation located on Wentworth Street in East London.
New Reception classroom
ASD Projects was approached by Kingsmead Primary School in Hackney London and invited to design a new reception classroom, outdoor learning space and parents’ waiting area.
Live Project by Undergraduate Studio 3
The project was initiated by Studio 3 for a set of informal cultural organisations in Kronberg, Germany, started in June 2009.
New architecture school and an international research centre in Sancti Spiritus
London Met and ASD have entered negotiations with the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education and the Universities of Sancti Spíritus and Santa Clara in Cuba to establish a new architecture faculty and an international research centre in Sancti Spiritus.
A Schools Design Capacity Building programme to share ideas to help improve the quality of school design and innovation for the DCSF’s school investment programmes including Primary Capital Projects and Building Schools for the Future over a three- year period.
Studio 3's proposal for a canoe hub in Hayes
This booklet documents the work that Architecture Studio 3 has done to explore the use of a shipping container to provide a shelter for canoeing club The Sharks in Hayes.
The cross-school project for 2017/18
This year, as part of the cross-school project, BA Interiors and BA Creative Writing are working with the writer Rachel Lichtenstein and Sandy’s Row, the oldest Ashkanazi synagogue in London. Interiors students are making proposals for a heritage centre in the basement, and Creative Writing are working with Sandy’s Row archive material at the Bishopsgate Institute.