Michael Faraday Community School, Aylesbury Estate. London

Project: Michael Faraday School, London

Knauf AMF Ceilings have recently been specified for a flagship regeneration project on the Aylesbury Estate in London, the largest social housing complex in Europe. The new £12million Michael Faraday Community School provides nursery and primary education for around 350 children aged 3-11 years, as well as adult education services and community facilities on a single site.

Over 1000m2 of Knauf AMF ceilings were specified for the new school, including around 400m2 of Thermatex Acoustic ceilings for the ‘Living Room’, a large open-plan learning space at the heart of the school. Knauf AMF Thermatex Acoustic is made from specially perforated mineral board with an acoustic fleece facing. The perforations provide excellent sound absorption while the fleece offers a smooth, elegant surface finish.

Individual classrooms are arranged around the perimeter of the circular main building, giving access to covered outdoor learning spaces at ground level, and a balcony for external teaching on the upper level. The school’s design features a number of hard reflective materials, including glass and concrete, which can create poor acoustics. To counter this, around 500 AMF Baffles were installed to help improve the acoustics and the speech intelligibility in the classrooms. AMF Baffles are available in a range of face patterns, combined with a painted framing system offering greater design choice and functional performance. Suspended by simple discreet cable hangers, the individual panels create the impression of a weightless, elegant structure.

The main building is linked to a smaller stand-alone pavilion via a canopy. Known as ‘The Ballroom’, this area contains the school’s dining and main hall facilities. A more robust ceiling solution was required here, so Knauf AMF Fibrafutura ceilings were specified. Made from wood fibres bound together with cement, Fibrafutura is available in a range of colours with an attractive natural finish. It offers excellent physical characteristics including impact resistance together with high sound absorption, high sound attenuation and excellent resistance to humidity.

Chris Vladar, Director of Vladar Ltd who carried out the ceiling installations, commented: “We were delighted to be working with Knauf AMF on this project. Their ceiling products are extremely easy to handle and cut, making installation much quicker and simpler for us. The finished result looks superb too!”