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ARK All Saints Academy and Highshore School, Southwark

Not showy, just classy

Credit: Timothy Soar

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for Balfour Beatty, Southwark council and ARK

Contract value: £19.3m

GIA: 11,716m2


The 800 place All Saints Academy and smaller Highshore School (for those with learning difficulties) are on a site that constitutes almost an entire urban block. The project represents a brilliant transformation of a failing school.

The overall masterplan and the internal planning (internal voids, open spaces, wide corridors) allow for multiple connections within the spaces. On the masterplan scale the main Academy building, Highshore School and the gym sit around the central playground/external space. This is quite an achievement given that it had to be phased alongside the existing school. 

  • Credit: Timothy Soar
  • Credit: Timothy Soar
  • Credit: Timothy Soar
  • Credit: Timothy Soar

The facades use simple materials to achieve external elevations that feel very sophisticated and refined. This is an important part of raising ambition, expectations and standards in a challenging area. The architects’ experience of building many schools and learning every lesson in the book showed.  This is not showy, just classy, successful and elegant.

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