ARK John Keats Academy

ARK John Keats Academy

2013 - 2015

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PTE and Leadbitter/Bouyges have won a competition held through the Academies Framework to design a new academy on the site of the former Albany School, which dated from 1939. The vision for the school is for a new, all-through academy made up of a nursery, a three-form-entry primary school; a six-form-entry secondary school; and a sixth form of up to 300 pupils.

The piecemeal development of the original school buildings had resulted in an unsatisfactory layout, and some of these buildings are now in poor condition. Our approach has been to integrate the best of the existing buildings with larger scale new buildings to make a coherent whole, minimising complex and costly remodelling of existing facilities. We will retain the existing buildings which form the entrance wing and front-of-house, but add new distinctive entrances for the secondary school and primary school.

A new central pavilion will replace an existing building which is no longer fit for purpose. This will form the centrepiece of the new school and will create two courtyards, reinstating the order and symmetry of the 1930s school.

As well as a general refurbishment of the existing buildings, we will re-clad the sports hall – the most visible part of the school from the east of the site – in timber louvres and use it as an opportunity to signal the school from the approach across Albany Park.

The primary section of ARK John Keats opened in September 2013, and the secondary section will open in 2014: the construction process has been carefully phased to allow continuous occupation of the school as pupil numbers expand.