The City Academy, sponsored by the City of London Corporation and KPMG, opened its doors to its first year intake of 210 students in September 2009. A striking contemporary building was delivered on time and to budget by a fully partnered team led by the City of London’s, City Surveyor’s Department, Studio E Architects and contractor Willmott Dixon. The challenges of a tight programme and complex site were successfully met, whilst implementing an exemplar programme of ‘young client’ engagement with the participation of the Sorrell Foundation. A colourful glassy school ribbon, woven through clusters of mature existing trees, faces the sensitive Clapton Square Conservation Area and grade II listed Sutton House across Homerton High Street. A strong sustainable approach drove a concept that has reconciled aspirations, site issues and environmental performance. This included passive environmental measures that rely on high standards of daylight and natural ventilation. A glass secondary façade assists with dealing with noise generated by heavy traffic along the street frontage.
The carefully honed environmental strategy delivered a BREEAM rating just short of excellent.
What any Headteacher or Principal asks from a building is that it be both practical and inspiring. But the task facing Studio E Architects team was even more daunting in that it is built in a location which spans Homerton Row, and has always presented a major challenge for previous schools. The building we occupy is a triumph of form & function, a landmark piece of architecture which lifts the environment for our students, teachers and the local community as a whole. Mark Emmerson, Principal, The City Academy, Hackney