Location, location, location – providing an inclusive learning environment on a tight urban site Webinar

Time: 14:00 - 14:45

Date: 15-19 March 2021


A tight urban site may bring its initial design and operation concerns for a new build learning facility, however one school in Lambeth has embraced the challenge and created an environment which induces a sense of calm and reassurance.

The presentation will focus on one project case study; Vanguard School, a specialist secondary and sixth form free school run by the National Autistic Society which opened in January 2020 and will eventually cater for up to 78 students.

The new build school occupies an urban plot in Lambeth, bordered by a busy main road, a public park, a variety of local amenities and high-rise residential developments. Key considerations from the outset were examined to adopt an overall calming and secure environment which resulted in solutions to overcome tight access points, busy traffic flow and noisy external communal spaces. The result has been successfully received by pupils, teachers and the local neighbourhood alike, and the building sits comfortably as an integrated part of the community.

Learning points from presentation:

  • Key strategies and design considerations to overcome challenging, urban sites to encourage calming educational facilities that are sensitive to those with ASD
  • Creating a safe and secure operational facility, with a focus on pupil reassurance, on a site located in a busy town centre environment
  • How specialist learning facilities can successfully sit as an integral part of the community, with flexibility of use, to create an inclusive space for all


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