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Graveney 6th Form by Urban Projects Bureau

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[#GREATSCHOOLS] This new sixth form centre is one of a number of schemes by Urban Projects Bureau at Graveney School in south-west London

Urban Projects Bureau has been working with Graveney School, south-west London on a number of projects over the past four years, and the sixth form block is the result of a positive collaboration between the school staff, students and the design team.

The building, to the rear of the site, provides valuable extra teaching, study and events spaces for sixth form students and makes a positive contribution to Graveney’s campus and host of fine architectural buildings.

The funding rules meant the building had to be delivered on a tight schedule and budget, with a target cost per m² way below current guidelines.  The school considered buying an off-the-peg prefab block but were unconvinced about the quality of accommodation it would provide, as well as its location behind Grade II-listed Furzedown House, which meant generic prefabs would be difficult to get through planning. Our brief was to provide an intelligent and spatially innovative alternative.

There was little budget for expensive materials or interior finishes

The 800m² building includes eight classrooms and a double-height, independent study space with balconies and gallery. It is constructed from cross-laminated timber and has a polycarbonate front facade with window openings designed to frame views across the campus and surrounding trees.  There was little budget for expensive materials or interior finishes, and the tectonics and construction of the building – its CLT frame, panels, cladding and openings – are what shape the building and give it character.

The design aims to achieve the maximum architectural output from minimal means, and is the product of the combined perseverance, will and ambition of the client and design team to achieve something unexpected.

Graveney 6th Form

The windows frame key views

Project data

Cost £1.04m 
Internal area 698m²
Start On Site February 2014
Completion October 2014
Client Graveney Trust
Structural engineer Furness Partnership
M&E consultant Stuart McCurry & Partners
QS Morgan Carr
CDM co-ordinator Morgan Carr
Approved building inspector Clarke Banks
Main Contractor Ashe Construction

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