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Nicholas Hare completes science block for west London school

Nicholas Hare Architects’ science building at St Paul’s School in Barnes, has welcomed its first students

The block is the first phase of a masterplan proposed by Patel Taylor to replace the postwar CLASP buildings on the school’s site next to the River Thames.

The four-storey building, which acts as an entrance to the school and creates a new courtyard, has a floor dedicated to each of the sciences, chemistry, biology and physics, all with six ‘state-of-the-art’ teaching laboratories.


Deep window reveals and solar shading louvres aim to minimise unwanted solar gains, the building’s concrete frame is left exposed to provide thermal mass, and a brown roof attenuates rainwater run-off as part of the overall strategy for the masterplan to achieve a rating of BREEAM Excellent.

The next phase of the development, a riverside drama centre that will house a 240-seat auditorium and four teaching rooms, also designed by Nicholas Hare, is currently out to tender and due to start on site this Easter 2013.

Architect’s view

Nicholas Hare, partner, Nicholas Hare Architects

Our aim has been to produce a suitable setting for the distinguished academic work of the school. The constrained site beside the existing sports hall offered the opportunity for a top-lit main stair rising through the four storeys. The school’s encouragement in the use of high quality materials and gentle vaulting, together with careful execution by Mace, have set the tone for the central courtyard of the campus.

Project data

Start on site July 2011      
Date of completion 25th January 2013                        
Gross internal floor area 4,500 m²
Total cost £16.5 million (includes standalone site-wide Substation building & other site-wide infrastructure works
Form of contract Design & Build
Client St Paul’s School
Architect Nicholas Hare Architects LLP 
Structural engineer Arup
M&E Engineer Arup
Quantity surveyor EC Harris
Main contractor Mace
Project manger Gardiner & Theobald
Landscape architect Grant Associate
Planning Consultant Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners

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