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Squire and Partners wins first major school job

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Squire and Partners has won a design competition for a £3 million sixth form centre at St James Senior Girls’ School in west London

The AJ100 practice beat Wimbledon-based Ibbett Associates and schools specialist IID Architects to win the prestigious 820m² scheme – its first major education job.

Olympic Cauldron designer Heatherwick Studio was also invited to compete for the 100-pupil project, but declined.

Replacing a disused youth centre in a conservation area overlooking Marcus Garvey Park, Squire and Partners’ design features a series of steeply pitched roofs inspired by nearby mansion blocks.

Constructed from red brick, white stone and glazed rooflights, the building will include six classrooms, an assembly hall, a common room, cycle parking spaces and administrative offices.

Describing the plan, studio partner Tim Gledstone said: ‘The local vernacular had clusters of buildings and courtyards. By treating our site as a mini-campus, the corridors have become as much the spaces as the classrooms.’

Jerome Webb, governor of the three St James Independent Schools, said: ‘We didn’t want to build a box.

‘We wanted something which said that this is an important aspect of [a young person’s] life and it is important that it looks great.

‘Squire and Partners had the most coherent design logic and understood the ethos of the school.’ 

Plans have been submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the project is expected to be completed by September 2015.

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