GAJ completes The Arcadia School's secondary campus in Dubai

The secondary campus covers a total teaching space of 6,000m2, including classrooms, shared learning spaces, and labs

The Arcadia School's secondary campus in Jumeriah Village Triangle.
The Arcadia School's secondary campus in Jumeriah Village Triangle.

Dubai-based British architectural and design firm Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has completed The Arcadia School’s Secondary Campus, which is developed by UAE-based Indian businessman Mohan Valrani and The Al Shirawi Group.

GAJ has designed and built the secondary campus as part of a series of community-based schools for Arcadia Education. In 2016, the firm had also designed and built the school’s primary campus.

The secondary campus is located within Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Triangle with proximity to the primary school.

GAJ said that the orientation of the new secondary campus and functions within it have been optimised to provide a view of the central Jumeirah Village Triangle Park.

The campus covers a total teaching space of 6,000m2, including the classrooms, shared learning, and labs. Other facilities within the campus include a library, music, and dance rooms that together cover an area of 1,500m2.

Speaking about the project, partner at GAJ, Jason Burnside said: “We have been designing and building schools for many years and we understand and value the opportunity to create unique buildings for school operators.

“With this new school we wanted to ensure brand consistency and a design approach to support the ethos and visual identity of Arcadia.”  

The secondary campus’ reception area takes inspiration from the primary campus. The reception opens into a large casual seating zone, with a unique 12-metre-high indoor climbing wall.

In an exclusive conversation with Construction Week in February 2020, Burnside said that the idea of the wall was to reinforce the school’s ethos of transparency and its desire to ensure students play a highly visible and interactive role in their education.

He added at that time: “With a strong focus on art and design the studios have been located on the top floor using large glazed walls to capitalise on the abundant natural light and spectacular view of the Dubai Marina skyline.”

The secondary school also features a full-sized artificial pitch, a 25m swimming pool, and MUGA court, which can be accessed by the primary school when required.

Burnside had told Construction Week that the design concept of the secondary campus focuses on “creating open spaces to encourage and foster social interaction”.

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