Harris Invictus Wins Education Estates Project of the Year Award


Harris Invictus Academy designed by Scott Brownrigg has won the Project of the Year Award at the Education Estates Awards held 16 October in Manchester.

The £20m new Harris Invictus Academy is an outstanding example of a Free School in West Croydon, one of the newest secondary schools in London.  The project was conceived by Invictus (a grass roots community organisation) working in partnership with the Harris Federation (a multi-academy trust) with the aim of meeting significant demand within the community for new, high quality school places for local children.

The new school for 1,150 pupils occupies a constrained, inner-city site on London Road, the site of a former hospital; an area that suffered from an extremely poor urban environment and from extensive damage in the 2012 riots. 

Built on a challenging site, to a demanding brief, with limited funding and unrealistic planners’ expectations, the result is exceptional architecture and an effective learning environment exemplifying the ethos of a Harris Federation education, offering exciting educational and community opportunities and having a transformational impact on the regeneration of the local, urban area.

The win reflects the successes that the practice is experiencing in pushing innovation within the education sector.

Of the win Clark Barton, Architect responsible for the project said:

“The win recognises our collaborative design approach and ability to resolve challenging issue connected with the site. The school’s design and its effectiveness as a learning environment, its impact on local regeneration and the team’s achievement in resolving key issues exemplifies good practice for 21st century education design, something all involved can be proud about”.

Chris Randall from the Harris Federation said of the school:

“We are delighted with the building, as are all our visitors and colleagues. In particular, the building’s presence and impact seeing it from London Road fulfils the challenging brief perfectly. And the internal spaces in terms of quality, use of natural light, and generous circulation space make the school feel calm and a great place for teaching and learning. They also contribute considerably to the effective management of behaviour.”