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Regent High School by Walters & Cohen

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[#GREATSCHOOLS] Walters & Cohen’s Regent High School is a co-educational secondary school on a tight urban site in Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden

Piecemeal development over the years had resulted in numerous disparate buildings, many of which were at the end of their life.  The school suffered from various dark, enclosed, indirect circulation routes; teaching and learning spaces that were no longer fit for purpose; and a lack of good quality external spaces for students. As well as addressing these issues, the design needed to allow for an increase in the number of students and staff – currently 488 and 70 respectively.

In 2009, Walters & Cohen was approached by BAM Construction, which carried out the project under a BSF Design and Build contract for Camden Council.  Working closely with BAM, the council and the school, we developed a scheme for demolition, refurbishment and new build over four construction phases.

Regent High School

The design supports a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to suit the school’s educational vision for up to 1,300 students.  Traditional classrooms are grouped around flexible home bases, encouraging interactive, personal and collaborative working.

The Arcade simplifies movement around a large school

At the heart of the school is the Arcade, a triple-height circulation space linking new and existing elements of the campus. The Arcade is the school’s main focus and provides the new main entrance. Flipping the entrance from Charrington Street to Chalton Street is one of the design’s major achievements, reorientating how the school relates to its surroundings and how staff, students and visitors approach the school.

Project data

Cost £26m 
Internal area 14,800m²
Start on site January 2011
Completion December 2014
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Environmental / M&E engineer Buro Happold
Project management Camden Schools Projects
Quantity surveyor / cost consultant Navigant
Landscape architect Grant Associates
Acoustics engineer Buro Happold

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