ARK Putney Academy\

Re-imagining a Listed school

We have worked with Lendlease and the London Borough of Wandsworth to re-furbish, re-model and re-imagine the ARK Putney Academy (formerly Elliott School).



The challenge

The challenge at ARK Putney Academy was to create a suitable internal environment for 21st Century teaching and learning in a manner that was sensitive to the heritage of the existing Grade II listed school buildings.

Retaining and reinventing

The existing five storey building was designed by the London County Council department of architecture in the mid-1950s. It is a prime example of a post-war modernist education building, and is grade II listed as a result. In recent years the school suffered from falling pupil numbers; the most significant issues were substandard classrooms, dilapidated cladding and year round problems with heating, cooling and ventilation. The campus was in need of essential repairs and modernisation in order to meet the community’s current and future learning needs.

The project involved remodelling the teaching facilities for the six FE co-educational school and sixth form; a new purpose-built community sports facility; a new environmentally responsive facade; re-landscaping the external play space; and a re-branding exercise to help reverse the negative perception of the school in the local area. The challenge was marrying the new and the old, and making the limited budget stretch as far as possible - particularly working with English Heritage (now Historic England) to find a financially viable way of retaining but reinventing the existing building.

“I firmly believe that the work of Hawkins\Brown has allowed us to build on the legacy of the school and provide students of varying backgrounds and abilities an opportunity to study in an amazing building once again.”

Alison Downey, Principal, Ark Putney Academy

ARK Putney Academy walk-through

  • Project Details
  • Social Value

Project Summary


  • Civic Trust Awards 2017 - Regional - Finalist
  • AJ Retrofit Awards 2016 - Education Project Award - Shortlisted
  • BD Architect of the Year Awards 2016 - Refurbishment - Shortlisted

Social Value

Our approach to social value goes way beyond architecture, it’s about improving the social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of places to positively transform people’s lives, all while delivering commercial value for our clients.

Our researcher Michael Riebel, with the support of experts Hatch/Regeneris, has revisited six of our completed projects including ARK Putney Academy and applied a broad range of socio-economic metrics. You can download the case study here

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