“One of the main benefits of DQI is getting key people from the school in the same room and make them think about what makes their school special” (CABE enabler)
Frederick Bremer was part of the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
The school was built as part of a redevelopment of the former Hawker Siddley factory site that included the provision of 256 residential units. The tight urban site offered a set of challenges for the design team to resolve including its disconnection from the local community due to its location set back from the main road and behind a residential development; the close proximity of a railway line to the east of the site; the industrial character of the site
DQI was used as part of this briefing process as a way to discover what was important to each individual school rather than producing a generic brief for all Schools. It was later used as an evaluative tool to indicate strengths and weaknesses in three schemes which were presented to each of the schools in order to help feed into the selection of the preferred bidder.
The client and design team saw the potential offered by the schools industrial location and integrated industrial characteristics into the design in line with the schools technology, engineering and construction specialism. Through the exposure of systems, materials and construction techniques that are often hidden by suspended ceilings, panels and paint the school can be used as a resource to learn from as well as to learn in.
Close proximity to the railway line and the ability to see (but not hear) trains going past from classrooms, is consistent with a school where the building and its site are celebrated as working pieces of engineering.
DQI helped consolidate a school specific brief that would feed into the development of sample schools by the preferred bidders and allowed stakeholders to really think through what they wanted from the design for the new school.