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Evelyn Grace Academy

24 Mar 2021
Case study

Riba Stirling Prize winner, Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton South London, benefits from a flowing facade integrating seamlessly with Sotech’s elegant Optima IPC Rainscreen Cladding.

The external facades of the academy, designed by award winning architect Zaha Hadid, feature flying angles and oblique lines and, to maximise external space the building bridges, a full-length running track. The internal design generates natural patterns of division within highly functional spaces to create four small schools within the whole, each with its own identity.

In addition to partnering with the specialist contractor McMullen to identify the optimum solution for the fixing components, a scaled mock-up incorporating the Sotech Optima IPC interlocking plank system, finished to the specification required, was built on site incorporating two sections of the building integrated into the glazed curtain wall. This level of detailing provided the contractor and the architect with the reassurance that the rainscreen system, and the specified colour and finish, would meet the performance and design requirements of the project.

The Optima IPC system has been independently tested by Vinci, including both horizontal and vertical planks in the material and finish specified for the Evelyn Grace Academy together with several other finishes including copper, aluminium and zinc. Achieving 2Kn serviceable load, the system successfully met the rigorous test requirements.

The specification of the highly engineered Optima IPC for the £37.5 million Academy resulted in the bespoke manufacture of each panel, many incorporating complicated angles and tapered corners in two directions, each with a 5mm shadow gap and secret fix joint. Curved soffits and cills completed the package, which totalled more than 1500sqm of Optima IPC.