Kantor Centre of Excellence - The Anna Freud Centre & Pears Family School

Education & Public Sector

Location: London

Architect: Penoyre & Prasad

Client: Kantor Centre of Excellence

Structural engineer: Webb Yates

Main contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction

Joinery: Constructional Timber (Manufacturers) Limited

Interior Design: Studio Ilse

Landscape: Forum Landscape

M&E: CES Clearsprings Engineering Sustainability

Wood supplier: Pollmeier

Species: beech (Austria)

Photograph: ©TimothySoar

The Kantor Centre of Excellence is a 3,200m2 new build and refurbishment project on a restricted site. It is the first centre of excellence for children and young people’s mental health in England. At the heart of the Anna Freud Centre, the Pears Family School provides support for children aged 5-14 with serious and behavioural issues and their families. The new structure wraps around an existing chocolate factory dating from 1915 and incorporates a double basement with two storeys at the rear, and a single basement with six storeys at the front. The composite timber and concrete structure utilises the lightweight and low carbon qualities of timber while taking advantage of the properties of concrete. The existing building has been extensively reconfigured, with double height spaces created between existing floors, openings formed to connect new and old, and an existing masonry stair core replaced with RC slab infills, with a new stair core built in an alternative location. The new structure comprises a concrete frame for the basement and ground floors to create a plinth. From the first floor up to the roof, the structure is a beech GL70 laminated veneer lumber (LVL) frame combined with timber concrete composite (TCC) floors. To achieve the composite action, the timber elements were erected and propped before landing the precast planks. Coach screws were installed into the top of the joists to act as shear connectors before in-situ concrete stitches were cast to form the shear connection between the elements.