Learning on London’s waterways
Initiative to float schools on the River Thames
Innovative solution to the pressing perennial problem of meeting the demand for new school places especially where land is costly and in scarce supply pro-actively turning potential constraints into blessings
Bespoke off-site construction enables quick construction and delivery
Adaptive single floating schools can expand and adapt responsively, their shape and size driven by pupil and educational needs rather than the constraints of land-locked sites
Modular amenities, sports and play can be provided ‘on-board’, through bridging to ‘on-shore’ facilities such as parks and green spaces, or through dedicated ‘floats’ shared between schools and communities
Enriching direct links to London’s celebrated but underused waterways enhancing educational experiences, bringing life to the national curriculum, enriching the child’s experience of their natural and urban world
High Quality with sustainability at their heart, floating schools can be robustly engineered to comply with the highest health and safety standards and full compliance with building regulations
Future proof adaptable and moveable, floating schools can be designed as exchangeable assets that can be repurposed in the future in completely different locations and potentially in completely different ways
Excellent Learning Place floating schools offer diverse places that enhance learning: pl aces of engagement and peace or stimulation; places in which to retreat; vibrancy and colour; soft and cosy or robust and expansive; places that provide safe enclosure and those which open out to the outside world
Cost of a Floating School These schools can avoid the cost of the site. Above ‘ground’ there’s no real difference in construction between a floating school and a conventional school building so no real difference in costs here.
Flotation could be equivalent to below-ground foundations costs. On tidal water, there are the additional costs of the access pier and fixed piles but these are relatively small when compared to high price of Inner-London land.
So, with the abnormals component accounted for, assessing the current size of a 1 FE and a 2FE primary school (BB103), and putting Locate-Ed approved £/m2 rate to them can give an accurate early assessment of the outturn cost of a floating school.
Due to the benefits brought by offsite construction and material selection the build quality can be very high. The fully transportable school can be built almost anywhere in the world and can take advantage of very favourable worldwide construction costs to be delivered much more cheaply than a conventional school in Central London.
Service: Creative Discipline
Location: River Thames, London
Dates: 2015 –