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FIRST LOOK

Retrofit of Grade II-listed school into homes completed by Apt

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Eighteen-apartment scheme in London features new staircases fabricated in oak, glass and steel 

The Sloane Building, developed by Tenhurst, is the conversion of an Edwardian Baroque school designed by Thomas J Bailey, the first purpose-built secondary school in London when it opened in 1908, but which had lain vacant since 2011.

The 18-apartment scheme, which includes a four-bedroom duplex and a penthouse flat with five terraces, is designed to keep the generous ceiling heights and detailing of the original building, while introduding new features, most notably several staircases prefabricated in oak, glass and steel. Other details and finishes in the high-end scheme include bespoke bronze and nickel ironmongery, carved stone feature fireplaces and surrounds and engineered oak herringbone parquet and plank flooring.

Mezzanine floors have been introduced to fully utilise the volumes of the original school, with a new basement extension created. Two new passenger lifts serve all floors providing a direct access link down to underground car parking.

The sloane building img int 03

The sloane building img int 03

Source: Richard Chivers

Architect’s view 

Our brief was to give this much-loved building a new lease of life; refurbishing and converting the school to accommodate 18 contemporary residences into the fabric of the building, respecting and reinforcing its spirit and character by making the most of the delightful and varied spaces within, including many important internal architectural features that remained intact.

A detailed photographic and dimensional survey recorded the fabric and condition of the listed building. This was followed by a soft strip of the interior spaces carefully removing an accumulation of many years of ad hoc additions and alterations, revealing much of the original fabric that lay underneath. A digital three-dimensional model was then built, together with a series of physical models, which became the core tools used to explore and develop the design, to realise the true potential of the building.

Construction was carried out with the utmost sensitivity in order to preserve and maintain the fabric of the existing building. Where possible, original features were maintained, restored and renovated back to their previous condition.

The sloane building img int 02

The sloane building img int 02

Source: Richard Chivers

An enormous structural effort including basement propping and underpinning was required, in stabilising and converting the existing building, to enable us to restore its fabric and celebrate its character. A highly engineered solution allowed for the existing façades to be underpinned in order to undergo the basement works in tandem with the above ground works.

Throughout the construction process, highly skilled craftsmen from a variety of trades were used to repurpose the building with particular attention to detail and high-quality materials.

Apt worked closely with specialists and skilled craftsmen to design and create new contemporary feature staircases within individual apartments, each being examples of the fine craftmanship of detailed metalwork and timber joinery that take advantage of the inspiring volumes and ceiling heights rarely found in new developments.

Yashin Kemal, Apt

102 ga edit

102 ga edit

Source: Apt

Level 01 floor plan

Project Data

Start date December 2013
Completion date Late 2019
Gross External area 6,400m²
Architect Apt
Client Tenhurst
Structural engineer Sinclair Johnston & Partners
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity eurveyor Baines & Partners
Interior designer Helen Green Design
Landscape architect Capita Property and Infrastructure
Planning consultant Savills
Heritage consultant KM Heritage
Lift consultant Elevtec Limited
Project manager Baines & Partners
Main contractor (Phase 1) McGee Group
Main contractor (Phase 2) Consult Design Construct
Mechanical and electrical contractor KJR Complete Services 

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