Farrans completes £12M purpose-built creative academy in London

Farrans Construction has completed a purpose-built, three-storey school for third level creative arts students for Big Creative Academy in London, in a contract valued at £12m.

Big Creative Academy is a free sixth form school located in the Walthamstow area of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It was established in 2014 and specialises in the creative industries.

The development saw the construction of a replacement school for the performing arts, a theatre and ancillary café for pupils, staff and occasional community use. Big Creative Academy’s curriculum is specialist so the spaces are bespoke designed to these needs, including media studios, make-up classes, music recording, mixing and control rooms, all centred around a fully functioning theatre to bring courses together at the heart of the school.

The building comprises a 3 storey ‘L’ shaped teaching block, connected to the theatre. Located to either side of the theatre are two double height performance spaces.

The site was c.1-hectare in size and included the footprint of a c.2,000m2 building with c.8,000m2 of car parking. Outdoor social spaces and a health and fitness zone are covered in porous bitmac with additional social spaces of soft landscaped areas including vegetable and herb gardens.

Cathal Montague, regional director for Farrans Construction, said: “Big Creative Academy is a really unique project in the heart of London and we are pleased to have been successful in securing and completing this project. We worked closely with the clients to determine and cater for the bespoke requirements to deliver an impressive, modern, fun and creative space for the pupils.

“As a business we have developed a strong reputation in the education sector and we are currently on site on a number of college projects in England, including Charlton Park Academy and Seahaven Academy Primary. We deliver high quality, signature and often complex buildings which have an important role in our everyday lives, while also adding value to the communities that we work in through apprenticeships and training opportunities.”

Sacha Corcoran MBE, Academy Principal, said: “We are very pleased to have our Big Academy project finished and delivered, despite the added pressure of the pandemic this year. The Farrans’ team worked really hard in a collaborative way to deliver an amazing space that will be perfect for our students. Our project managers were accommodating and supportive during the build and always kept us up to date on the progress they were making. I think that Farrans has a very good understanding of what schools need are and, more importantly than that, what young people need in order to thrive and be successful.”

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