St Mary Magdalene Academy
FCB Studio
[ England 2008 ]
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staff chilearq

St Mary Magdalene Academy

FCB Studio

This new 1360 place City Academy is an all-through school taking pupil´s from the early Years Centre through to sixth form. The through school provides a continuity of education within one facility, where it is important that individual areas should have their own sense of identity, whilst still benefiting from the common culture.

The school illustrates our interest in the relationship between the internal spaces – autonomy yet also coherence, providing pupils with the best possible opportunities to share the widest range of facilities. It is also an example of maximising the external space on a tight urban site.

The site's character, its dimensions, topography, shape, boundaries and orientation are the main generators for the design of the building.

St Mary Magdalene Primary School forms part of the new Academy. Architecturally, and from the perspective of the personal experience of very young children, it is important that this school is not subsumed within the larger mass of the Academy.

The integration of the Early Years Centre within the envelope of the Primary now allows for very positive connections between the two and makes the scheme more architecturally cohesive. The two school halls provide an impressive frontage on to Liverpool Road, with the public community facilities relating to St Mary Magdalene Church and gardens across the road.

"The users of St Mary Magdalene cannot help but be inspired by the building. It lifts the spirits of those who work and play here through the amazing feeling of space that is created and the fantastic sensation of openness generated by the light that fills the Academy."
Paul Hollingum, Head of St Mary Magdalene Academy
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

St Mary Magdalene Academy, London
Client: London Diocesan Board for Schools
Construction value: £28,700,000
Completion: September 2008
•2009: RIBA Awards: National Award: Winner
•2009: Sorrell Foundation Schools Award: Shortlist
•2009: Excellence in BSF Awards: Best Design for a New School: Shortlist

“The building is a triumph… an architecture of character, richness, detail and beauty, spaces… that are dignified, civic and very beautiful . . . ingenious use of the topography and geography of the site…St Mary Magdalene Academy is not a prototype… it is specific. It is time all schools were designed with this in mind”
Kieran Long, Editor, Architects' Journal, September 2009