Located in east London, the Employment Academy is a facility for the guidance and training of long-time jobless people. It occupies a magnificent early 20th-century building, of late Arts & Crafts style, that once housed a charity organization, The Poor Law Guardians of Southward.
The original building, constructed with a typical bond of red brick combined with stone, has now been enlarged with a program that includes classrooms, workshops, a café, and offices. It consists of two symmetrical pieces that face an alluring inner courtyard, the shorter side of which features a small unique volume – also a part of the intervention – which is characterized by an exedra, with a half-sphere recess in the wall, and is built with a sculptural brick vault. The vertical counterpoint to these three horizontal wings is a three-story periscope-shaped turret at the northeast corner. In both form and color, this turret also contrasts with the preexisting Victorian building.
From a constructive viewpoint, the enlargement is defined by massive brick walls the color of sand and rough in texture, bonded with traditional lime mortar. This skin is dotted with quadrangular openings of different sizes which jut out or flare from the plane of the facade, producing the material play of chiaroscuros that is a feature of the building.
Academia de empleo Employment Academy, London.
Peter Barber Architects.
Academy Consulting Solutions (aparejador quantity surveyor); Bolton Priestley (estructuras structures); M3 Consulting (asesoramiento cliente client advisor); Academy Consulting Solutions (CDM).
Morley von Sternberg.