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MacEwen 2021 longlist: Education initiatives

Five projects showcase extended educational services, for children and adults, involving cooking and nutrition, music, gardening and tailoring, and a range of enriching provision for early years

  • The Tailoring Academy.
    The Tailoring Academy. Credit: Jan Kattein Architects
  • The Tailoring Academy.
    The Tailoring Academy. Credit: Jan Kattein Architects
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The Tailoring Academy, Haringey
Jan Kattein Architects for London Borough of Haringey            

The Tailoring Academy returns clothing manufacture to one of London's primary fashion districts, combining an NVQ accredited training programme with fine tailoring for UK high street brands. The project was conceived by social enterprise Fashion Enter and Haringey Council, and funded by the mayor of London. Works involved the conversion of an 1022m2 disused warehouse into a state-of- the-art manufacturing and learning environment with co-location of digitally enabled production facilities and the educational programme.

The design uses folded timber and glass screens to envelop pockets of workspace accommodating various processes and maximising visual inter-dependency between study and production spaces, encouraging skills transfer in the open-plan warehouse. A loading bay becomes a light, welcoming atrium/exhibition space, giving the academy a public face on the street, communicating the organisation’s ethos and acting as a shopfront for student work and graduate fashion shows.

Fashion Enter has committed to delivering 50 jobs, 100 apprenticeships and 630 NVQ accredited qualifications on site over the next three years – a priority to support the recovery from the pandemic and the associated jobs and apprenticeship crisis disproportionately affecting young people. During lockdown the Tailoring Academy was transformed into a production facility for NHS scrubs.


 

  • Hackney School of Food.
    Hackney School of Food. Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • Hackney School of Food.
    Hackney School of Food. Credit: Jim Stephenson
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Hackney School of Food
Surman Weston for Chefs in Schools and LEAP Federation of Schools

This project takes an innovative approach to tackle child obesity and dietary issues in a deprived area: early on, inside schools, in a non-institutional, engaging, fun and enjoyable way. It converts a redundant school caretaker’s house into a specialist food education centre for primary school children and the local community. The clients’ aim is to improve food education by placing professionally trained chefs in school kitchens and classrooms.

At its heart is the educational kitchen, where children learn how to cook fresh, healthy and tasty food from scratch. The architects worked to a tight budget and used targeted interventions; the kitchen designed to be robust, unfussy and joyful, and deal with classes of up to 30 students. Derelict gardens are transformed into thriving productive spaces allowing children to grow food from seed and understand field-to-fork food cycles, and to provide outdoor cooking and eating spaces.

The Hackney School of Food will provide food focussed education to 4,000 children. Outside school hours, the project offers free or subsidised community activities, such as healthy cookery classes for nutrition-focused groups, for example diabetes sufferers. During the pandemic, the kitchen was used by volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to vulnerable members of the community.


 

  • Credit: Erect Architecture
  • Credit: Erect Architecture
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Lambeth Early Action Partnership
Erect Architecture for National Children’s Bureau

LEAP is a partnership of parents, early year practitioners and local community groups, whose aim is to give children aged 0-3 a better start in the borough. Ten facilities have been improved, developed with stakeholders and responding to local needs.

  • Brockwell One O’Clock Club (£130,000): formerly barren garden now has biodiverse planting, food growing and an undulating surface for playing. A new kitchen allows communal cooking and eating.
  • Cowley Estate family garden and yard (£124,000: a lush family garden replaces car parking and a dilapidated playground.
  • Jubilee and St Stephen’s Children’s Centres (£900,000 each):both now include a new parents’ room, health room, multi-agency working and, in the former, a courtyard garden.
  • Loughborough Children’s Centre (£380,000): a new communal kitchen and family garden add community value.
  • Max Roach One O’Clock Club (£90,000): the extension of a clubhouse to create a new entrance lobby and buggy store as a ‘mini-me’ timber clad structure with green roof.
  • Tulse Hill Estate Small Hall (£170,000): new windows and doors bring in light, while storage and toilets make the premises more useful to the community. The transformation breathed life into the organisation and there is now a full programme of resident activities and engagement.

     

  • St John’s Music Pavilion
    St John’s Music Pavilion Credit: Will Scott
  • St John’s Music Pavilion
    St John’s Music Pavilion Credit: Will Scott
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St John’s Music Pavilion, Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire
Clementine Blakemore Architects for St John’s School

The Music Pavilion is a new music teaching space for a state primary school in Lacey Green, initiated by the architect as a self-build project in 2014, while studying for her MA.

The double-pitched timber-frame form gives the building a clear identity, while referencing the local vernacular. The larch rain-screen at the front is punctured by a large opening, allowing the classroom to spill outdoors in the summer. Built using CNC-milled timber, it was hand assembled as an interlocking lattice.

Phase one was prototyped and fabricated at Grymsdyke Farm, a research and fabrication facility in the village, using timber donated by the AA-run Hooke Park. All other materials and services were donated in kind by local suppliers and businesses. The structure was begun in a student workshop and completed over five months, with the support of the school’s caretaker and volunteers. Phase one opened in 2015 and was initially used as an outdoor pavilion.

After being awarded a RIBA McAslan Bursary, the architect worked with the Parents’ Association to enclose the structure as a much-needed classroom. Phase Two opened in 2019 and has transformed the way music is taught at the school and highlighted its benefits to children and adults alike.


 

  • Toynbee Hall
    Toynbee Hall Credit: RGA
  • Toynbee Hall
    Toynbee Hall Credit: RGA
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Toynbee Hall 
Richard Griffiths Architects for Toynbee Hall

This £4.5 million project involved the refurbishment of the 19th century grade II listed building and created a sensitive extension to accommodate the 1880s charity’s present and future needs.

With NLHF funding, the building was restored providing new public access, facilities, enlarged staff offices and volunteer accommodation, linking the existing building to additional space of breakout rooms, kitchens, toilets, and conference facilities. Inspiration for the extension came from a wing destroyed in the Blitz and reads as the third gable joining the two larger halls.

The fully accessible building has been designed to meet the needs of workers, visitors and users, and provide a robust income stream for the charity.  Naturally ventilated education rooms with good acoustics and lofty ceilings were created for visiting school groups, flexible rooms with movable partitions allow multiple uses to take place, and main halls were repaired with services and lighting upgraded for greater efficiency.

It has made a huge difference to the charity to have its offices consolidated and in immediate proximity to the building where its mission first began. And this now feels to be prominent part of Commercial Street, bringing in more visitors to view the old and new, and engage with its wider social mission.