Work completes on transformational school

Construction has completed on the redevelopment of Sir John Cass and Red Coat Church of England Secondary School, Stepney Way, in East London. Commissioned by Tower Hamlets Council, designed by architects Astudio and built by Bouygues UK, the project combines new build and refurbishment to create a transformational scheme aimed to positively impact effectiveness in teaching and learning.

Built under the Building Schools for the Future programme, the new school in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets will accommodate 1495 pupils aged 14-19.

Sir John Cass and Red Coat Church of England School is the fifth in the borough to be handed over by Bouygues UK, with a further 10 schools currently under construction or yet to commence works.

Three new buildings, carefully arranged to stitch together the refurbished main building, have been built on the school’s site. The new school features a strong and welcoming entrance, a mixture of new and refurbished classrooms, a new Performing Arts Centre, and a state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Centre to act as a hub for learning.

Maximise space

To maximise the school site, where previously buildings and extensions were poorly configured in relation to each other with a number of leftover spaces and no long term planning strategy, Astudio worked with the school to create a master plan to improve and enhance the experience of all those using the site. Carefully considered external spaces bring the school together and hard-surfacing of all available external areas provides much needed play space alongside tree-planting and landscaping.

The design celebrates and emphasises the striking difference between new and legacy buildings, with ceramic tiles used for the new buildings in contrast with the brick and concrete of the existing 1960s and 1970s structures.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “The works carried out under the BSF programme are creating top class educational facilities at secondary schools across the borough. Building Schools for the Future is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about the young people who will experience life-changing benefits from this investment.”

The school forms a key part of Wave 5 of the Tower Hamlets Building Schools for the Future programme and has achieved a BREEAM rating of Very Good.

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