Case study: Hackney School of Food by Surman Weston

The Architects Journal:

Case study:
Hackney School of Food by Surman Weston

Published on 4 May 2021 at Arcjtect’s Journal
Image by Jim Stephenson

“Situated in one of inner London’s most deprived neighborhoods, the Hackney School of Food project has converted a redundant school caretaker’s house into a specialist food education center for primary school children and the local community.

Hackney School of Food is a joint venture between the LEAP Federation of Schools and the charity Chefs in Schools. In 2018, Surman Weston won an invited competition to help the organisations realise their ambitious vision for a purpose-built food education hub.

The heart of the project is the educational kitchen, where children learn how to cook fresh, healthy and delicious food from scratch. Working within a tight budget, the kitchen is designed to be robust, unfussy and joyful and to accommodate a class of 30 students.

The entire first floor level of the existing building was removed to create a bright and voluminous double-height space. Architectural interventions were carefully targeted on the elements that add the most educational value and could be reproduced on future sites: specially designed height-adjustable cooking stations allow all ages and abilities to comfortably cook; above-worktop-level wall finishes are left largely as stripped, and the sprayed-in roof insulation is left exposed.”

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