Friday, October 22, 2010

Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton, by Zaha Hadid Architects

The aggressive swagger of Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy reflects the hard-edged dynamism found within the school itself

’Some people think we are too strict here,” says principal Peter Walker, as we stroll through the sweeping corridors of his new Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, south London, orderly students shuffling past in silent reverence. “But you must understand that self discipline is one of our three core values.” As he talks me through the other core values of excellence and endeavour, as well as “depth before breadth” and “the 100% concept”, Walker has the assured tone and accomplished rhetoric of a high-flying business executive...

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Originally published in BD, 22 October 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, by Adjaye Associates

David Adjaye has cross-fertilised 1920s Russian Suprematism with his own African heritage to create the gargantuan Moscow School of Managment in Skolkovo

’All business in Russia is done in the restaurant,” says Emil Pirumov, between mouthfuls, as he enthusiastically tucks into a pizza. “It helps you to make decisions very quickly.” Sitting in the soaring canteen of his new building, as Jane Birkin pants Je T’aime incongruously over the Tannoy, the managing director of the Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, recounts how this vast project came about...

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Originally published in BD, 8 October 2010