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Evelyn Grace had a complex brief: four schools under a single academy umbrella and the consequent dichotomy of having to express both independence and unity. Curiously for a school whose speciality is sport, the site lacks any opportunity for significant outdoor sport but the architects have responded with guile and intelligence. The project is distinguished by its planning not its form of expression; its saltire plan solving the multiple demands of site and usage in a manner that seems effortless.

Internally the academy is a functional modern school, with occasional spatial moments as reminders that this is real architecture, though not in any way at the expense of utility or value. And it makes kids run to get into school in the morning - what free school is going to do that?

Stirling Prize Goes to Zaha Hadid Architects

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Stirling Award
London UK

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