Planning the development of an education campus.

Client: Ark Schools 

Date: 2016 – 2018 

Services: Strategy, stakeholder engagement, implementation 

Future Places Studio were involved in the early stage feasibility and planning of EdCity, a new education campus to be developed in White City.

Jack Sallabank from Future Places Studio managed RIBA Stage 0 – 2 of the project which included:

  • Setting the project brief and defining the vision
  • Business modelling the project
  • Engaging stakeholders including local authority, local community, educational providers
  • Procuring a project team: architects, project managers, cost consultants, M&E
  • Overseeing a pre-app with Hammersmith & Fulham and a full planning application

EdCity is a non-profit project to create an education and charity hub in White City – bringing social and educational benefits to the local community.

EdCity will provide shared office space for mission-aligned charities, as well as a primary school, a nursery, new youth facilities, an adult education centre and new affordable homes.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council approved funding for their contribution to the EdCity development on 15 May 2019, and planning permission was granted by the planning committee in February.

The redeveloped primary school will be completed in 2021, with EdCity fully finished in 2023. Ark and the Council are sharing the funding of the £120m project.

New facilities for the on-site nursery, school and adult education centre

The nursery and primary school facilities will be rebuilt as part of the development.

  • The Harmony Nursery will be bright and spacious and the capacity will nearly double, providing much needed early years education.

  • Ark Swift Primary Academy will benefit from modern teaching environments, new outdoor learning spaces, improved IT, and sports and performing arts facilities.

  • The current Adult Community Education Centre will be completely transformed and offer an extended service to adults taking their first steps back into education, training and/or employment. The centre will provide training and offers life-long learning opportunities for local residents, with the main aim of supporting people back into employment.

There will be a new public square and a pedestrian and cycle route, linking the existing residential areas in the west to the redeveloped White City business district and transport hub in the east. This will dramatically improve transport and accessibility for the community, halving the time it currently takes to walk from the White City Estate to the nearest underground station.

EdCity will also include much needed housing – more than half of which will be genuinely affordable for local people.

New youth facilities for the community

The OnSide Youth Zone, named WEST by local young people, will offer an array of after-school, weekend and evening activities and opportunities for the local community aged between 8 and 19, including those aged up to 25 with a disability.

OnSide has a network of 10 Youth Zones across the UK and will open its first three in London this year in Barking and Dagenham, Barnet and Croydon.

Facilities and activities will include a climbing wall, 3G pitch, boxing room, a fully equipped gym, music, art, dance, mentoring, a training kitchen, a four-court Sports Hall, a multimedia suite and much more. Young people will pay just £5 annual membership and 50p per visit.

The Youth Zone’s model is based on a sustainable partnership involving the public sector, private sector, volunteers and young people.

A shared space for charities

The office building will bring together mission-aligned organisations to create a hub of social enterprises who, individually and collectively, are aiming to transform outcomes for children in challenging circumstances in the UK and beyond.

The tenants will be encouraged to work across the local community and ensure that their work is relevant to those who are living beside them. Ark will be the lead tenant for the new offices for charities.

The office building will also contain bespoke training and conference facilities used by tenants and other mission-aligned organisations. These will be used to deliver training programmes focused on supporting teachers and other professionals working in some of the most disadvantaged schools and areas in the country.