First pop-up classroom in the UK welcomes students back to school

The first ever specially designed pop up class room has been created at Manorfield Primary School in Poplar, Tower Hamlets.

This innovative design allows for social distancing within the classroom, as well as the opportunity to have classes outdoors.

The design was created by Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture (CLTH), an architecture practice based in London. 

CLTH explained that “the concept focuses on utilising outdoor space to ease the circulation load in existing school buildings. It involves reusing resources to build remporary classrooms and portable facilities incorporated with the two-metre social distancing rules.”

CLTH’s director Wayne Head said: “The idea for the project came from something that schools in Denmark have already adopted for their classes using tent-like structures”.

The marquee, which was launched last week, consists of just one classroom, but there are many more structures to come: “this is our first commission and we are now receiving requests from other schools in the UK.”

On the future development of the project, Head said: “We worked with global temporary structure provider Veldeman (from Belgium) to produce pop-up accommodation that can provide single marquees for complete year group settings, fully lit and heated with lecture theatre equipment and air conditioning.”

\On the present structure in Manorfield, Head added: “This is by no means our answer to what classrooms should look like in the future. We wanted to use this as a catalyst for further discussions, to rethink how schools can be designed and used beyond COVID-19.”

He added: “This is our first commission, and we are now receiving requests from other schools across the country and overseas.”

Paul Jackson, the headteacher at Manorfield Primary School, said in the press release: “Our children have been out of school for far too long. We want to bring as many children back to school in as safe a way as possible.”

Building the pop-up classroom on June 15. Pic: Curl la Tourelle Head

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