Design for Rowlett Street Infants School, Poplar, London: sectional perspective of the roof, 1968
Designer: Ernö Goldfinger
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections
The Rowlett Estate is a high-density, high-rise social housing development. It's architect, Ernö Goldfinger, lived in the estate's Balfron Tower for a short time to see what life was like for the tenants and to canvass their opinions. Goldfinger, who had been designing schools since the 1930s, was also employed by the Greater London Council to develop a signature school for the complex.
Goldfinger developed an elaborate space frame truss system for the roof, a detail which freed the rooms of interior columns. The glass and metal façade is suspended from the edge of the roof, giving classrooms generous amounts of light, air and flexibility.