Chelsea Academy

London SW10
Department for Education and Chelsea Academy Trust
Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios
Wates Construction
Quantity Surveyor
Davis Langdon LLP
Education and Public Sector

Project Scope

  • Curtain walling
  • Windows and doors
  • Rooflights
  • Architectural metalwork
  • Aluminium cladding
  • Plant screens
  • Internal glazing

Project Awards

RIBA Award Winner (2011)

Public Building of the Year Winner (2011)

Civic Trust Award, Commendation (2012)

Chelsea Academy provides a leading, high quality education for over 1000 students in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Situated in Lots Road, multiple award winning building and design is commensurate with the world-class education it provides its students.

Key Challenges

  • Highly constrained site in heavily built up residential area
  • Multiple interfacing and junctures with other trades
  • High specification finishes to all facing materials

The Brief

Colorminium were employed by Wates Construction under a Design & Build contract to take the responsibility for the glazed areas of the envelope on this prestigious project. With the design already at Stage E at the time of engagement, it needed a conscientious and meticulous approach to the detailing and buildability to ensure performance and aspiration were delivered on time and within budget.

Our Approach

A key feature of the new build was the traditional brick façade. With a lot of emphasis on this being the main feature in a number of areas, it was important that the choice of glazing systems were sympathetic and complimentary to this. Bronze anodised aluminium profiles were used for the windows, doors and curtain walling with flashings, cills, soffits and cladding in a matching colour.

Running around the ground floor elements, set-back curtain walling was installed bringing natural light to areas overshadowed by surrounding buildings with individual modular windows used on the upper levels. To common areas of stair cores, lightwells and main entrances, further stickwork curtain walling was used to maximise daylight levels as well as at roof level to the lightboxes and rooflights.

Plant rooms, cladding and architectural metalwork were all designed and constructed using as much off-site methodology as possible due to the site constraints and to ensure the paramount quality was maintained. Due to the nature of the finishing, careful batching of the processes was also required to ensure continuity of finish across all elements.

The Result

Securing the RIBA Stirling Prize Midlist in 2011 as well as the RIBA National Award is a fitting tribute to what is a stunning academy. Incorporating a high quality façade into the design has proved successful in many ways and is a good front to the quality that lies beneath.