Southwark Schools \

Designing #GreatSchools for Southwark

We are architects for six primary schools across the London Borough of Southwark to provide desperately needed pupil places across the Borough.

The Challenge

Similar to other London Boroughs, Southwark has a shortfall in reception places for children. They have identified an additional 19 forms of entry are required across the Borough by September 2016. Their solution is the expansion and redevelopment of 12 existing school buildings; we are architects for six of them.

Southwark’s priority is to provide great learning facilities for future generations, all within the context of tight budgets and timescales.

The Big Idea

Southwark is one of the largest and most diverse London Boroughs, located directly south of the River Thames, and as a result the design for each school is very different. Our approach is to understand and respond to the unique priorities and challenges of each whilst fitting into a borough wide strategy to procurement.

We have used our previous experience to help each school make the most of its existing buildings, and think about how their estate might adapt to their changing needs in the future.

The Small Detail

Cherry Garden School is the largest project within the batch. It is an existing school for primary age children with a range of Special Education Needs (SEN) including autistic spectrum disorder, visual impairment and profound and multiple learning difficulties. The project involves building a new 75-place school plus nursery provision on a new site in the Borough.

The other new build projects are at Ivydale and Keyworth Primary Schools. At Ivydale a new building is being developed on a site across from the existing listed school which will provide increased capacity from a two form to a four form entry school with an arts focus. At Keyworth a new build classroom block, hall and kitchen are proposed adjacent to the existing Victorian board school.

The other projects, Crawford, Angel Oak Academy (formerly Gloucester Primary School) and Redriff Primary Schools, involve extending and refurbishing existing buildings to update the existing education provision in line with today’s teaching methods.

Find out more about each of these projects in our related projects below.

  • Project Details
  • Materials
  • Sustainability

Project Summary


Each school requires a solution that is cost effective, simple to build and minimises build time on site. The structural solution is a ‘timber first’ approach using prefabricated components and system build techniques rolled out across all the schools.

We also propose using the same components – internal doors, sanitary fittings, windows etc. – in different colours and finishes, ensuring the future maintenance of these schools is as straightforward and economic as possible.


All schools will meet BREEAM very good standards. The new and remodelled buildings will be more energy efficient and better maintained, minimising life cycle costs, and integrate renewable energies, natural ventilation, recycled or renewable materials and finishes.

The schools built and refurbished today, aim to leave a strong legacy for the borough’s future young people.

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