Squire & Partners has taken the wraps off a £16 million primary school for 210 students in Kensington, west London – the first new-build primary school in the borough in 100 years
The brick school on the corner of Kensington High Street and Warwick Road is part of Squire & Partners’ Warwick Road masterplan, which is backed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Designed on a tightly constrained site, the school features courtyard play areas, a rooftop playspace and a basement-level games court.
Multicoloured rooflights allow light – described by the practice as ‘rainbow shadows’ – to filter into a central atrium, while a wildlife garden is used to improve air quality for students and teachers.
The façade is made of handset brick and prefabricated stone panels, creating a ‘playful and animated design’, according to the practice.
Project director Barnaby Johnston said: ‘The location of the school was a key challenge, being a tightly constrained site … Our designs needed to establish a civic presence to the immediate and wider residential community, whilst also coping with environmental and noise issues presented by the busy location, and ensuring the safety of families accessing the school.
’Our response was to create a strongly modelled brick façade with minimal windows addressing the road, which created a buffer to the learning spaces within; adding interest with coloured fins and faceted window reveals. The narrow site was maximised with classrooms addressing a top-lit central atrium and the linear park opposite, and creating courtyard play areas and a rooftop playspace.’
Squire & Partners was retained as executive architecture until completion, working alongside Stockwool, which was appointed to deliver the detailed design.
Location 205 Warwick Rd, London W14 8PU
Type of project Education
Client St Edward Homes/Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Executive architect Squire & Partners
Delivery architect Stockwool
Landscape architect Standerwick Land Design
Planning consultant Gerald Eve
Structural engineer OCSC
M&E consultant Mott MacDonald
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald (at an early stage)
Planning supervisor St Edward Homes
Main contractor St Edward Homes
Funding St Edward Homes
Start on site date 2014
Completion date September 2016
Gross internal floor area 3,250m²
Total cost £16 million
Source: Squire and Partners