Shoreditch School of Arts


Category: Competition

Year: 2015

Location: Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom

School, escuela. Schule, escola. Scuola, école.


Very few words have a so strong assonance, as if the places where knowledge is transmitted from teachers to students should be equal for all, and almost the same all over the world.

Even in Russian language the word shkola is very similar to the original Greek term σχολή, "scholḗ” hence its etymology.

This word means "pleasure, leisure, relax” but also "to have time to focus on something for fun".

It is this sense of relax from physical stress, considered as the possibility to devote to mental recreation in study, lies the space for learning.

IS_London school

Schools have to be active parts of society and of urban territories. Therefore they cannot be conceived as autonomous bodies, but must be seen as permeable and available for users in order to create cultural connections.


In this articulated and fragmented context, the division in two poles allows for maximum of spatial variety. And this thanks to the simple design wich organizes the complexity of public places of connection and of gathering.


Classrooms are set along a visual and phisical axis wich, like a street, is configured as a sequence of “private” (rooms) and “communal” (corridors, stairs, court, cafè) spaces.

Great importance was given to social areas designed for school users: when moving from classrooms to workrooms, students could cross the central court passing by a covered walkway at ground floor wich becomes an opened "bridge" at the first floor.

Along this "public" axis corridors become as glass streets: these become places for gathering, to see and to be seen in the different ways and from different points.

IS_London school
IS_London school

The user establishes a relationship with the building as the individual relates to society.

As a matter of fact, as well as the individual shows itself only in relation to the others, the school building, with its simple and functional spaces, enables and amplifies these social relations and opportunities.


The educational complex was divided into two poles: one for the classrooms, the chairmanship and bar, and the other for laboratories and storehouse.

They are linked by an skywalk at the first floor so that the school can function as a single body as well as two discrete and autonomous poles.

IS_London school
IS_London school
IS_London school
IS_London school
IS_London school
IS_London school

The main structure is made by vertical baffles and reinforced concrete pillars, on which are set beams and masonry slabs.

The coating consists of a curtain of bricks, in very thin rows, that provide consistency and uniformity to the whole building; this is lightened by large glass windows that make light passing through the most important spaces.

©imprintedsigns / December 2015

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