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Chelsea Academy

London, SW10

The brief

The academy building ranges between two and four floors built in linking blocks with atrium and open spaces providing good circulation space and internal light, which are key on this tight site. The furniture for the new building similarly needed to be appropriate for the aspirational setting but robust and fit for purpose and the academy employed both the help of the students and teachers in the selection of the classroom furniture.

During a period in temporary accommodation, groups of students and teachers were asked to evaluate a selection of classroom furniture such as chairs, desks and stools from different companies and manufacturers, one of which was KI. The evaluation and selection processes were broken down into different criteria including how well products withstood the test of time in terms of practicality, how easy the product is to maintain, durability, quality, where the products are manufactured, and value for money

Our solution

Intellect Wave collection - Seating provided in light tone shells on starlight silver cantilever frames. The unique ribless design of the one-piece polypropylene seat provides and enhances comfort. The chairs were teamed with KI Intellect Wave tables with bag hooks fitted at the end of tables, some with height adjustable frames. KI manufactured the majority of the furniture within the UK using environmentally friendly materials. Amongst the range were Intellect Wave 5 star base teachers’ chairs, 4 leg music chairs and tailor made teachers desks. All the KI Intellect Wave range are GREENGUARD certified for LEED accreditation which responds well to the building design’s objectives to incorporate a range of sustainable principles including optimising natural light and thermal mass.

Maestro chairs - With a chrome-plated rod frame and polypropylene seats with an integrated handle within the back rest, the contemporary and sleek looking Maestro is a light and comfortable stacking chair. It complements the Intellect Wave range for educational use. Maestro has durable polypropylene seats and backrests which are also available in a variety of colours. In the conference room there are special black Maestro chairs with upholstered seat pads each of which are fitted with tablet arms, which can be removed if required.

The aim of including staff and students in our evaluation process was to enable the students and staff to have an influence over and pride in their environment, as well as serving as an educational process for the students. Both students and teachers found, after a terms use, that some chairs that had appealed to them in the first stages of the process had not worn well enough towards the later stages of the evaluation process, collecting dust and dirt very easily. Other products, initially shortlisted, weren’t as efficient when it came to undertaking classroom activities and group sessions. The students & staff judged that chairs provided by KI conformed to all their criteria. As a result, the academy selected chairs and desks from the Intellect Wave, Maestro and In Tandem collections. The products look appealing to the eye, are easy to maintain and above all the quality of the furniture match our expectations. They are durable, tough and cost effective.

Janet Perry, Financial Director, Chelsea Academy

More information

Date - September 2009
End user - 
Students, 11 to 18 years old
Project type - New school
Project partners - Alligan, Portsdown Education, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Website -

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