Deptford Lounge – London Community Building

Deptford Lounge, Tidemill Academy, London Architecture, Architect, Project

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy

London Community Hub – design by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects

5 Dec 2012

Deptford Lounge

Giffin Street, south east London

Design: Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects

Address: 11 Giffin St, London SE8 4RJ

Phone: 020 8692 3470

The start of 2012 saw the Deptford Lounge open its doors to the public and students – a new community hub designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects, which includes a school building, a library, community learning facilities, council services, work studios and affordable housing, all in a single venue. The Lounge is to be the centrepiece of a five-year programme led by Lewisham Council which will transform Deptford town centre.

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
photographs © Robert Greshoff

The new school will provide the pupils of Tidemill Academy with first-class facilities to match the ‘outstanding’ education that Ofsted says they already receive. Classrooms wrap around a large courtyard garden, and school facilities shared with the community, including a rooftop sports pitch, are located within the adjacent Lounge building. The complex has been designed with separate access points from the Lounge and the Academy. This enables the school to have sole use of the shared facilities during the school day – but out of school hours the shared facilities form an integral part of the Deptford Lounge and are open to the whole community.

The complex has three distinct elements. The Deptford Lounge presents a dramatic backdrop to Giffin Square through the use of a gold-coloured perforated copper skin, a transparent envelope which literally wraps together the many co-located facilities; in contrast Tidemill Academy has an intimate cloistered feel, with large oak-framed sliding doors and cladding enclosing the courtyard playspace. Resolution Studios sits over the far wing of the school – it consists of 38 affordable apartments with nine studios for local businesses and an exhibition space on the ground floor. The Studios respond to its more urban context overlooking Deptford Station and the rail link to London Bridge.

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
photographs © Robert Greshoff

Tidemill Academy won the World Architecture News Education Sector Project Award 2011: the judges called the scheme ‘brilliantly thoughtful’ and said that it ‘shows that a new typology of school is possible’.

“Deptford Lounge is the jewel in the crown of the regeneration of Deptford,” said Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham. “This is a fantastic public space with first-class facilities, which is already proving popular with the community. Together with new homes, new artists’ units and gallery space, and new parking facilities the complex will strengthen the local economy, improve business opportunities, and build upon Deptford’s reputation for artistic excellence.”

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
photographs © Robert Greshoff / images from architect

Head Teacher at Tidemill Academy, Mark Elms, has said on moving into the building:
“Our new school building has made an enormous impact on the quality of education our pupils receive. We have made a great start in exploiting our new learning environment and I have every confidence that we will become even more skilful in using the new facilities to the benefit of our children and their families.”

A local blog suggests that the Deptford Lounge could provide a model for delivering community facilities in the future: “Bigger, better buildings, properly equipped, open at convenient times and shared with a local school to make sure they are fully used – this is how public services should be designed. Inspirational, aspirational and striving to surpass our Victorian heritage, rather than allowing public facilities to ossify. Deptford’s renaissance continues.”

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
photograph © Chris Hodson

Councillor, Helen Klier of London Borough of Lewisham said “It’s a wonderful building and they’re extremely lucky.” Roger Hawkins, founder HawkinsBrown, Judge for the World Architecture News Awards 2011 said “The residential bit’s quite interesting – a mixture of triplex and duplex units in 5 stories. “The other great aspects to the scheme include its inter-connected hall and assembly spaces, rooftop ball court, changing facilities, design and technology music rooms, and independent access to school kitchen facilities making it available for private hire by the community, district library, resource centre for start-up businesses, artists’ studios… It’s brilliant!”

Cross section ; initial ideas ; 1st floor ; 2nd floor ; 3rd floor
Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
images from architect

Sarah Williams, Director at Aedas, Judge for the World Architecture News Awards 2011 said “’Sharing their facilities with the wider community’, now that is quite interesting; that is what we should be doing. We felt that PTEa’s scheme for Tidemill Primary school in London was the clear winner combining many different briefing elements that roots the scheme in its community and shows that a new typology of school is possible.”

Lewisham closure report for London Borough of Lewisham said “The finished project meets the aesthetic appeal of the original concept design, widely exceeding expectations amongst project group members. The Lounge has unique and striking architectural elements….that has successfully combined practicality with aesthetically appealing design.”

Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London Deptford Lounge and Tidemill Academy London
images from architect

Deptford Lounge – Building Information

Architects: Pollard Thomas Edwards architects
Location: Giffin Street, London SE8 4RN
Type Of Project: Mixed Use including a school building, a library, community learning facilities, council services, work studios and affordable housing, all in a single venue.
Project Directors: Andrew Beharrell, Dominique Oliver
Project Architect: David Graham / Cathy Buckley/ Richard Carter – Design Delivery
Design Team: Hamish Kilford-Brown, Helen Reay, Chris Stoll, Hassan Barzanooi, Valeria Zerbo, Stuart Huggan, Duncan Dalzel-Job
Client: London Borough of Lewisham
Housing Association: L&Q Group
Funding: Combination of London Borough of Lewisham, DCLG co-location fund grant of £5m and L&Q Group
Tender date: June 2009
Start on site date: August 2009
Contract duration: 30 months
Gross internal floor area: School area 3556 m² including shared facilities in lounge building (excl external play)
Form of contract and/or procurement: Design & Build
Total cost: £25m
Main contractor: Galliford Try
Structural Engineers: Atkins
M&E consultant: Pinnacle ESP
Quantity surveyor: Press and Starkey
Planning consultant: Savills
Landscape Architect: Schoenaich Landscape
CDM consultant: B3
Access consultant: Vectra Group Limited
Acoustic consultant: Ion Acoustics Ltd
Fire consultant: Hoare Lea Design

Eco credentials: CSH 3(***); BREEAM Education Very Good

Selected subcontractors and suppliers:
Structural steelwork: Condor Allslade
Mechanical & Electrical: Regency Services Ltd
Copper cladding (Lounge): EAG
Aluminium cladding (Housing): MARS
External render: Conneely
Brickwork: Pilley Brickwork Ltd
Architectural metalwork: GT Coulson
Curtain walling: Avdon
Windows: Velfac Ltd/ Dantag Ltd
Roof coverings: MARS
Lifts: LMS Ltd
External Works: Seta Ltd
Landscaping: Acacia Landscaping

Deptford Lounge images / information received from Pollard Thomas Edwards architects

Pollard Thomas Edwards architects


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