Golden Lane CampusEdit profile
The Golden Lane Campus, (combining Prior Weston Primary School, Fortune Park Surestart Children�s Centre for birth to 6 year olds, and Richard Cloudesley School for children with physical disabilities) The Golden Lane Campus project involves the relocation and integration of three successful school institutions onto a single, complex site in Islington, by the edge of the City of London, to create an innovative and inclusive environment for children and the wider community. Lying on a former burial ground between the Barbican Arts Centre, the Golden Lane estate and Fortune Street Park, the site has a strong planning and archaeological legacy in an area of clear physical and social diversity. The design sets out to create a sense of connection and accessibility for all the various groups and users of the building, whilst offering protected and secure environments for those who need them. Within an holistic design approach to sustainability, the design has Victorian school proportions that seek to carve natural light and ventilation out of a dense site and provide all teaching and communal spaces with dedicated connections to external spaces at every level of the building. The project is designed to have a distinct and positive sense of identity both within the building and in its external form, to suggest, and respond to, the special nature of the campus on this very particular site. A key feature of the spatial organisation is the �street�, which runs East West through the building at ground and first floor, acting as a unifying device for the campus. This culminates in the central flexible space � or �town square�. Placed off the street are the schools and primary shared spaces of the building. The street, and use of natural light and external spaces for orientation, brings clarity to a floor that is necessarily dense to accommodate the special needs facilities and nursery spaces on the ground level. This density also allows the upper floors to be considered as pavilions on a raised landscaped playground plane, referencing the podium of the Barbican, and providing controlled and assorted views over the surroundings. Whilst the very specific and complex user requirements create a bespoke design in many ways, the framed construction and generous communal and circulation spaces allow flexibility for varied future community use. The building sits as a stepping-stone between the Brutalist form and scale of the Barbican and the smaller scale of the buildings and streets to the North. On the street frontages the school presents a colourful, but protective, robust presence whilst within the campus and towards the park, it opens up and provides a calm tonal backdrop to the liveliness and chaos that the school will bring. Internally a similar strategy is employed, keeping the finishes quiet and using coordinated planes of colour to highlight and identify certain areas for way finding; the intention being not to overwhelm the spatial clarity and activity that will takes place within the spaces. The project was characterised by and had added value through extensive community consultation and involvement, driven largely by a passionate set of stake-holders including the heads, teaching staff and governors. The design and construction team has overcome the many challenges that came with the site - not least the discovery of 10,000 burials just prior to construction, which lead to a six-month period of exhumation and reburial, and archaeological study by the Museum of London.