Heartlands High School
London Borough of Haringey
108,000 sq ft
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tp bennett was commissioned to design Heartlands High, a brand a new secondary school that was set to be a local flagship for the Government’s Building Schools for the Future programme. The school specialises in the visual and digital arts and media and accommodates 1,100 pupils within a building that is sustainable and inclusive, but flexible enough to accommodate current and future trends in learning.
The search for a suitable site, given the shortage of available land within this densely populated borough, led to the use of a long narrow strip of land running alongside the busy main East Coast railway line. As well as accommodating the existing woodland on the site, the New River running underneath it and the steep slope formed by the railway embankment line, the design had to carefully consider the impact of the new building on Wood Green Common and the wider area.
tp bennett’s design response to the site is both architecturally dynamic and sensitive to context. Two wings of flexible teaching accommodation on five levels, including special provision for autistic students, extend to embrace views over the Common. The two teaching wings are linked by the 'Forum', which runs alongside the railway line, shielding them from noise and houses the school’s central facilities, including the dining hall, multi-purpose auditorium and sports hall. These facilities enable the school to meet the needs of the new curriculum and are a resource for the local community outside school hours.
Sustainability was fundamental to the project, which secured an 'Excellent' BREEAM rating. Constructed on brownfield land, the school employs a variety of on-site renewable energy strategies and minimises consumption through careful orientation and solar shading. The landscaping scheme creates a green corridor winding across the dramatic contours of the site, helping to integrate the building into its setting and regenerate the surrounding area.