Studio 11: Educating Hackney

Studio brief

This year will focus on education in the broadest sense and the space between, the non-programmed, flexible space that allows schools to develop new educational models. In May 2010, the Conservative MP Michael Gove introduced the ‘Priority Schools Building Programme’, fatefully giving rise to the ‘Baseline Designs for Schools’, reigning in “architectural extravagance” through a series of prescriptive spatial and material rules to be applied to all new school buildings. These included minimising break-out and circulation spaces and, famously, banning non-orthogonal forms. Our studio challenges the absurdity of the ‘Standardised Designs’ putting forward visions for a new school that reflects your chosen educational philosophy and is highly place specific.

We will start the year by exploring a range of educational models and their tectonic implications, ranging from studio schools through to Steiner schools with a series of concise briefs. We will explore representation through memory and personal experience. This research aims to produce a series of key moments and guidelines forming a brief for a successful school.

Our site is an edge condition between an open park, a road and dense housing in London. How this site is appropriated may be determined by the pedagogical requirements. Traditional schools are like mini towns comprising of public and private spaces, streets and squares with an underlying logic which is corrupted by piecemeal developments. Can the spatial hierarchy and uses of schools adapt over time to reflect the changing educational drivers? Could there be more overlap of education and civic functions?

The field trip will be to Holland to explore radical visions of the twentieth and twenty-first century and visit Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Feilden Fowles is an RIBA National Award winning practice based in London and delivering projects in housing, education, masterplanning and the arts. The practice delivers a range of socially and environmentally sustainable buildings across a variety of sectors and aims to make architecture that is rich in character and distinct in identity.

Sketch of an urban environment and community centre, with people enjoying the space


Course Architecture BA (Hons)
Tutor Fergus Fielden
Edmund Fowles
Ingrid Petit
Where Central House, 3rd Floor Studios
When Tuesday and Friday