Conversion of assembly hall into experimental classroom, Acland Burghley secondary school Camden, London

“They have met the client’s brief in ways which have produced and enhanced health and wellbeing in the learning environment for staff students and community”

Best Healthy Learning Environment Award Winner, British Council for School Environments 2010

Something old something new something borrowed, something blue!

This quick project looked forward to the upcoming remodelling of Acland Burghley with the intention of transforming rather than replacing this iconic sixties-built concrete school. It’s both a celebration and reimagining of what’s found and a working proposal of what could be.

The Superclass was an intermediate Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project for Acland Burghley Secondary School in Camden, a refurbishment project of an underused Assembly Hall transformed into an innovative and experimental teaching/learning laboratory.

The project provides a 490m2 floor space where different learning methods can be developed and observed in order to inform the school’s requirements for their brief for Phase Two of Camden’s BSF Programme. The Superclass acts as a large classroom where up to ninety pupils can follow a project-based curriculum and work in groups of differing sizes as well as coming together for plenary sessions.

Old and disposed-of furniture was sourced in-house form a vast undercroft beneath the sixties-built concrete school with selected pieces taken apart and converted into new flexible and playful tables and benches. The new lighting scheme of vertical and horizontal strip lights are set out in a starburst configuration.  Flexibility, brightness, diversity, experimentation and playfulness – all interventions provide a new life cycle to what would otherwise be obsolete.

Service: Architects

Location: Camden, London

Client: Acland Burghley

Cost: £100k

Areas: xx

Dates: 2009

Contract: TBC 


Winner 2010 BCSE Awards – Best Healthy Learning Environment

Shortlisted 2010 AJ Small Projects


The Architects’ Journal, 21 January 2010

To Live In   To Learn In   To Work In   To Play In