Shortlisted for Public Building Project of the Year: Zaha Hadid’s first completed project in England is as dramatic and surreal as would be expected
Evelyn Grace Academy, London submitted by Mace
Everything you need to know about the design of Brixton’s Evelyn Grace Academy can be learned from looking at the building from either end of the 100m running track that also occupies the school site. The track has not been placed beside the school but runs right through it, forcefully plunging through and under the building via a lofty void before storming out on the other side. It forms a visual vignette that perfectly captures the sense of motion and relentless interlocking linearity that is the hallmark of Zaha Hadid’s first completed project in England.
With its clasped horizontal massing juxtaposed with frequent bursts of inclined geometric articulation, the building appears both fluid and compact, like a frozen knot of compressed energy bursting to be set free. The building is also practical, being divided into four small schools to make a 1,200-pupil school seem less intimidating. Low maintenance concrete has been used both inside and outside the building. Against the prosaic urban backdrop of traditional terraced housing, Evelyn Grace cuts an unforgettably surreal and dramatic silhouette.
ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects
PROJECT MANAGER: Capita Symonds
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Arup
QUANTITY SURVEYORS: Davis Langdon
LANDSCAPE: Gross Max
ACOUSTIC: Sandy Brown Associates
FIRE ENGINEER: SAFE
CDM CO-ORD: Arup
Each day in the lead up to the Building Awards ceremony next month, we will profile one of the finalists in the Project of the Year and Public Building Project of the Year. The winners will be announced as the Building Awards ceremony taking place on April 7. To book a table at the Building Awards visit the web site here.