Design revision in Pimlico School saga
Ellis Williams Architects has put in a revised planning application to demolish and rebuild Pimlico School as part of the long-running and controversial pfi saga.
The practice, part of the St George's Square consortium, has tried to take on board some of the criticisms of Westminster City Council's 18 February planning committee meeting (aj 25.2.99). The architect has kept the overall size of the building 'in order to still satisfy the educational brief', but has significantly altered the facade. John Adden of the practice said the new scheme features stairs running parallel to the Lupus Street elevation, opening up circulation areas to the street, and the whole elevation is broken up into three 'pavilions' to break down its bulk. The design of the environmental glazed 'chimneys' - for naturally ventilating the building - along the elevation has also changed in sympathy with the new-look stair enclosures for a 'crisper' facade. The inner windows have also been revised using a Scandinavian triple-glazed timber system with integral blinds and aluminium cappings.
No new images of the redesigned luxury housing element of the scheme were available, but Adden said it had been reworked to resemble the surrounding housing as closely as possible (initially it was modern, like the school), with cast iron balcony balusters, rails and plinths. Rear elevations have also been substantially redesigned and the sixth-floor flats are omitted. The total number of flats is still169, but with a greater proportion of smaller flats. The consortium has also reacted to the strong criticism at the planning committee by working to retain more trees and improving safety issues and vehicle access.
The revised application was made last week and, after a consultation period, a committee meeting will be held in June.