Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich Opens Ahead of Schedule

Design Team

Lord Harris of Peckham officially opened Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich on Thursday, 17th November 2016. Guests at the ceremony included governors, staff and pupils of the academy, and representatives from the Harris Federation, Education Funding Agency (EFA), Farrans Construction and GSSArchitecture.

Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich is situated on the prominent site of the Old Police Station on the junction of Lordship Lane and Whateley Road. The development has transformed the former redundant building into a high quality two-form entry primary academy, accommodating 420 pupils, aged 4-11 years. The scheme was delivered under the EFA’s Free Schools procurement framework, and also received partial funding from the Harris Federation.

Acting as Architects and Lead Consultants, GSSArchitecture worked closely with Harris Academy and Farrans Construction to deliver this project, which was handed over three weeks ahead of schedule. The innovative design has created a bright and modern school with a range of facilities for learning and play, including specialist practical classrooms, on a challenging inner city site.

External view from the Lordship Lane and Whateley Road junction

Jo Conduit, Principal of Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich said, “Our parents, children and staff are very happy with the new building. In particular, the best use has been made of the available space and parents have commented that the playground feels bigger than they expected. It has been a pleasure to work with the teams involved in making the new build happen and it will certainly support us to offer a brilliant education for our pupils.”

Michael Magri, Partner at GSSArchitecture said, “Our extensive experience within the education sector and working with the Harris Federation and Farrans on other primary schools, allowed us to deliver a successful project that dealt with the challenges in a collaborative manner.”

Felim Blaney, Contracts Manager at Farrans said, “Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich was affectionately known as “Mission Impossible” due to the challenges of demolishing the existing four-storey police station, the tight logistics of the site and the punishing programme for phase 1. With the whole team pulling together, including Harris, Mace, EFA, GSS, MLM, Dowds and Farrans, the school was delivered to the highest standard three weeks early. Jo Conduit (Principal) was particularly understanding in phase 2, as the construction team were building on the second and third floors as her team were teaching on the floors below. The highest recognition was from local residents, who were initially sceptical of the plans, but are now delighted at how well their newest neighbour nestles into the streetscape of Lordship Lane.”