The new school building has emerged from the scaffolding that surrounded it when I photographed it earlier this year. The library and a study area are on the corner of the north end, at street and first floor levels, visible through glass walls. Immediately next to it, towards the centre, is the main entrance and the school’s administration area. The canteen and catering area take up the south end of the building on the ground floor and these are also visible from the street (which must be a bit unnerving for the staff).
This is quite a challenging site, sloping and right next to a busy road with no room to spare. At first I found the building a little disappointing, the large white section that takes up around two thirds of the facade on Greenford Road seemed solid and overwhelming. Standing directly in front of it you can see all the way through the area above the main entrance and that transparency, along with the movement of the people using it, makes that white mass seem less dominant. It’s obvious that the best views into and out of the building were put in the canteen, library and central staircase, places where distraction is less of an issue (hands up everyone who spent most of the lesson looking through the classroom window). I particularly like the imaginative use of the school badge on the facade.
Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.