Olga Primary School, Bow

Development of a new 720 pupil 3FE school for London Borough of Tower Hamlets with on site Sure Start Centre and innovative play areas. The new school replaces an old smaller 1FE school which we demolished as part of the works.

The new 3-storey school site is located in the centre of a residential area and comprises three linked elements each with its own specific function and character: hall and community space and facilities, teaching areas with support spaces sited around a central atrium space and an entrance spine that links the hall and community space to the teaching blocks with a 3-storey glazed entrance.

The new school was designed by Architecture Initiative Architects and maximises the potential of the constrained site in a dense urban neighbourhood, incorporating a compact school built upwards rather than sprawling outwards to occupy the minimum footprint and increase the space for landscaped play areas. A series of roof terraces are positioned to maximise daylight penetration into the classrooms, at the top of the building there is an outdoor play deck and mini allotments.

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