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Project
Tidemill Academy and Deptford Lounge
Year
2006–2012
Client
London Borough of Lewisham
Number of homes
38 (Resolution Studios)
Local authority
London Borough of Lewisham
Awards
Education Estates Award 2014 - Finalist
Civic Trust Award 2013 - Commendation
London Planning Award 2013 - Winner
RICS London and South East Award 2013 - Commendation
European Copper in Architecture Award 2013 - Finalist
Building Award 2013 - Finalist
International Property Award 2012 - Winner
New London Award 2012 - Winner
Structural Steel Design Award 2012 - Commendation
Surface Design Award 2012 - Finalist
World Architecture News Award 2011 - Winner

This mixed-use project which combines a primary academy, district library, community centre and artists’ studios with affordable homes and a market square, provides a new civic heart for Deptford. Taking a unique approach to regeneration, facilities are shared between the school and the community, to enhance the public realm of the Thameside town. These include a rooftop sports pitch, a flexible suite of assembly spaces and a dining hall and kitchen.

The development is centred by Tidemill Academy, a new district library called the Lounge, Resolution Studios, which provides homes and studios and exhibition space for local artists and converted warehouses which have been modified to house a Special Educational Needs unit. These buildings are linked by a glazed corridor which envelops three sides of a sheltered courtyard playground which pupils helped to design.

All shared facilities are in the Lounge and have been designed with separate access points from within the school and from the public realm. This enables the school to have sole use while children attend classes with the wider community using an entrance from a new square, to gain access out of hours.

As well as reviving public life in the town centre, this project aimed to restore something of Deptford’s past grandeur, which is best embodied in the Lounge’s dramatic gold-coloured perforated copper screen.

PTE provided a full service from concept to completion and was novated by Lewisham Council to the building contractor.

This remarkable project mixing a school, library, community hub and 38 flats should be more widely studied. Its blingy copper-clad façade is deceptively monolithic but conceals multiple functions including a rooftop sports pitch. The academy's north and south wings are separated by an undulating playground closer to what pupils generally enjoy in Denmark than the flat puritanical yards most British schools provide. The Deptford Lounge is a persuasive example of what can be accomplished when cash-stripped institutions share resources and architecture.”
Phineas Harper, Director, Open City/Open House 2020
The residential bit’s quite interesting – a mixture of triplex and duplex units in 5 stories....The other great aspects to the scheme include its inter-connected hall and assembly spaces, rooftop ball court, changing facilities, design and technology music rooms, and independent access to school kitchen facilities making it available for private hire by the community, district library, resource centre for start-up businesses, artists’ studios... It’s brilliant!”
Roger Hawkins, World Architecture News Awards judge 2011
Right from the start PTE were very amenable to the fact that we wanted full involvement in the design process. They suggested that we break into some stakeholder groups – teachers, teaching assistants, the admin team and obviously the children. We set up representative groups for those stakeholders and they met with us for a period of several months and they facilitated the meetings, they tried to work up a profile of our aspirations, our expectations – the non-negotiables, what we had on the wish-list....we really were fully involved in that process.”
Mark Elms, Former Headteacher, Tidemill Academy
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