Duggan Morris Architects has extensive experience designing education buildings for open public use, adult and secondary level education for new build, refurbishment and remodelling programmes working within campus masterplans procured through both public, grant, private and charity funding streams.
We have been involved in many design workshops and education forums including the Open House Green Sky Thinking, the Green Think Tank with the DCSF (Zero carbon schools by 2016), the Open City, Open Up programmes and the Sorrell Foundation working with parents, teachers and pupils.
Our experience continues to raise a number of consistent issues when tackling the specific concerns each institution faces. This includes;
_Issues of capacity, particularly on inner city, landlocked sites with boundary issues and context to consider
_Phasing and programming of construction during full or partial occupation
_Understanding of the specifics of the allocation of funding streams within the wider borough strategies
_Addressing changing needs for access both by pupils and by the wider community
_Enhancing ethnicity and culture in a positive manner to allow for every child or adult to flourish to his/her best ability
_Developing an approach to building retention and refurbishment whilst achieving a high degree of sustainability
_Delivering ‘bespoke’ solutions for special education needs
_Understanding that teaching methods are changing and can be facilitated by technological changes positively
Our strategy for incorporating the above considerations to achieve best fit has been most successfully demonstrated by our learning centre, Ortus, the Home of Maudsley Learning, built on the site of the South London and Maudsley campus, Denmark Hill. Uniquely for this project, we were engaged at a very early stage to develop the vision for this new learning facility, working within an evolving masterplan for the wider site. The project was developed through an 18 month immersion process involving research and building visits as well as extensive consultation with Maudsley user groups, Kings College Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and wider community groups, with Duggan Morris Architects commissioned to develop the client’s brief which was summarised through a series of ‘Vision Statements’. As a facility focused on mental healthcare, the project was underpinned by an ambition to de-stigmatise outdated views on such facilities. As such the building is open to the public with an accessible cafe, a flexible theatre space and events hire spaces as well as flexible teaching spaces, high quality catering and open wifi zones.
The resultant building has received many industry awards including an RIBA National Award, and achieved Stirling Midlist status as well as a nomination for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies van der Rohe Award in 2014.