Delivering a successful new build school block for London Borough of Southwark. Doubling the capacity to 3FE; the new block provides a light and airy multi-use hall and classroom spaces with exposed timber walls and much needed access to diverse woodland and nature based play areas.
The building provides accessible accommodation to double the school’s capacity from an existing 1.5FE to a 3FE school. The project is one of four primary school expansion projects being delivered by Hawkins\Brown, as part of LB Southwark’s primary expansion programme.
The new development allowed the team to implement a cohesive masterplan for an under-used site. The existing building, although very handsome, had typical Victorian Board School issues; sitting in the middle of the plot, creating separate niches of external areas. The location of the new building has allowed the school to have a street presence as well as opening up the external spaces across the school. The hall and atrium are an asset to the local community, in particular, providing an after school club for surrounding schools.
The Big Idea
The new building is defined as two clear volumes; a new multi-purpose hall and a teaching block containing 9 classrooms and nursery. The volumes are connected by a glazed link which forms the new breakfast club / after school entrance. The use of brick and pitched roof, references the Victorian building and the surrounding context, whilst the asymmetrical nature of the roof creates a distinct contemporary identity for the building.
The Small Detail
Constructing the building from cross-laminated timber (CLT) gave the opportunity of leaving the timber exposed where possible. This creates a sense of space and light throughout. The classrooms are light and airy with exposed CLT soffits. Lightwells in the circulation spaces ensure maximum daylight penetrates the plan. The use of pre-fabricated CLT allowed the school to continue operating, delivering the new build on a tight programme and budget.
“Since moving into the new building, the teachers have noticed how the light and sound quality of the new building have enhanced the learning culture.”
Elizabeth Marriott Headteacher, Keyworth Primary School