Award-winning architectural practice astudio is pleased to announce the completion of the state-of-the-art redevelopment of Royal Greenwich Trust School. The project has increased the capacity of the school and its ability to deliver a broader curriculum, while retaining the specialist construction and engineering infrastructure of the former Greenwich University Technical College.
astudio was able to deliver the redevelopment in partnership with Willmott Dixon around the fully operational school over the four-year project period from feasibility study to opening the doors. Furthermore, and in close collaboration with the contractors, Willmott Dixon, the project team were able to ensure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a delay of only two months by reworking the whole site to accommodate social distancing, ‘working bubbles’, and a one-way system. In addition, all meetings were held via videoconferencing platforms to limit the number of people onsite, while temperature checks were administered on entry to the site for those who could not work remotely.
The redevelopment, which delivered 3485m² of new purpose-built accommodation, has expanded the capacity of the school from 600 students (aged 14-19yrs) to a Secondary School for 950 pupils. This expansion includes 200 sixth form spaces, helping to alleviate pressure on a borough in need of greater places for pupils. The £15.6m expansion of the Royal Greenwich Trust School was funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, which has overseen the works throughout the project.
The Greenwich project prioritised an ethos of good design informing education, empowering students to thrive in their learning environment and allowing the school to develop its partnership with the local community. In delivering this ambitious project, astudio drew on its work with St. Paul’s Way Trust School, which was recognised by Ofsted in helping the school move from special measures to Ofsted outstanding grading within two years of completion in 2010.
At Greenwich, astudio was able to draw on its expertise in creating educational spaces that reflect the history and ethos of an institution, while also accommodating new teaching methods and modern demands. To maximise space available on a relatively restrictive site, the new sports hall and lecture theatre were constructed on stilts, creating valuable external space underneath them. These two new halls, as well as new classrooms, are connected to the existing buildings by the quadruple-height rectangular atrium, providing an environment flooded with natural light at the heart of the school.
astudio sought to alter the school’s existing buildings as little as possible, incorporating an exposed brick wall of the impressive old UTC warehouse into the new atrium. Additionally, the school colours of pink and grey are incorporated throughout the redevelopment, ensuring the school’s heritage and identity are woven into the fabric of its buildings. The design of Greenwich Trust School’s new atrium epitomises astudio’s aim of bridging the gap between the old and the new.
Since being founded 2007, astudio has completed multiple projects for educational institutions including St Paul’s Trust School, Twickenham Academy, Kingston Academy, and the University of Chicago Booth’s London campus.
Richard Hyams, Co-founder and CEO of astudio, commented,
“We are delighted to have delivered this redevelopment of Royal Greenwich Trust School, which elevates its future teaching and learning to their maximum potential while also remaining true to the site’s history. We are particularly proud that these principles have remained a priority throughout the project, despite the very unique circumstances in which it was completed. The result is an inspirational environment in which students, teachers, and the community can reap the benefits of a space specifically designed to meet a broad range of educational needs.”
Caroline Longhurst, Headteacher at Royal Greenwich Trust School, commented,
“The long-awaited new wing at RGTS marks an exciting and significant point in the school’s history. The new facilities will transform the educational experiences of our students and provide a much-improved working environment for our staff.”
“As a growing institution, we look to identify ourselves as the educational hub on the Greenwich peninsula, and the opportunities presented through our extended building will enable us to engage more directly with the local community through the formation of purposeful and lasting relationships. With the continued support of the Governors, Trust Exec Team, Trust Board members, and our community partners, the school is certain to go from strength to strength and we look forward to our bright future ahead.”
Cllr Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said,
“I’m proud that the Council has been able to fund this expansion which will enable even more young people to learn in a state-of-the-art environment with the best possible facilities. Times are tough for council budgets but we will always invest as much as we can in new and improved schools. I can’t wait to visit the school and meet the pupils and teachers when it officially opens next year.”