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Aedas school slammed by star-studded design review panel

A new £73 million school commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) has come under fire from its own recently formed design review panel.

Holland Park School, designed by AJ100-listed firm Aedas Architects, has been criticised for its ‘monolithic and relentless’ facade and for ‘not adequately’ responding to its surrounding area by the RBKC panel, which includes the likes of Will Alsop, David Chipperfield and Tom Jestico.

It is believed the comments have delayed the planning application to allow the planning committee to look at the new evidence.

The RBKC design review panel wrote: ‘The overall height of the school building caused concern… The panel was disappointed that the presentation and display material showed little appreciation of the conservation area in which the scheme is set.

‘The panel was also concerned that the detailed design of the development, if implemented, would date very quickly.’

The review added: ‘The architecture failed to excite the panel.’

The comments follow a separate review by CABE which praised the building, adding that it is ‘likely to be a reference point for future schools in London and beyond’.

Aedas director Peter Oborn defended his building: ‘The building works well in its orientation, and delivers a 21st-century school. Reconstructing the school in this way gives best value for money.’

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