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Henley Halebrown gets OK for combined school and church on Wandsworth estate

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Henley Halebrown has won approval to create a new 5,175m² home on the Winstanley Estate, Wandsworth, for the Thames Christian College – a private mixed secondary school – and the Battersea Chapel

The project next to Clapham Junction railway station in south London will bring together the Baptist church and school under one roof as part of the estate’s ongoing regeneration.

The church has been housed in a Michael Manser Associates-designed building at the heart of the Winstanley Estate since 1973.

Set up in 2000, the college currently teaches 125 pupils, of which nearly half are on the special needs register. The new building will allow the school to expand to 400 pupils.

Work is expected to start on site this autumn.

School hall 1

School hall 1

Architect’s view

The site is surrounded by streets and public open space and overlooked by low-rise courtyard buildings and point blocks.

In this context, the design strategy seeks to create an efficient building that protects its pupils with learning spaces that are daylit and naturally ventilated. The building is conceived in two parts: a rectilinear two-storey plinth shared by the chapel and college, above which the rest of the college’s accommodation is housed in a four-storey S-shaped plan.

The plinth is divided in two – the chapel occupying the northern, and the school the southern, half. The chapel plan pairs its hall, to the west, and sanctuary, to the east, with a range of ancillary spaces over two floors to the north. The chapel has entrances to the north and west. A small, walled forecourt facing south serves as the entrance to the college. This leads to a foyer, staircase and lift to the upper floors. The rest of the ground floor accommodates a multipurpose hall for performances, dining and sports, facilitated by a drama studio, which doubles as a stage; the kitchen and servery; and changing rooms, which all encircle the hall. The hall will be equipped with bleacher seating and shared with the community.

The upper four floors are planned around east and west-facing courtyards which interlock to form the S-shaped plan. The courtyard gives protection, admits light and provides external gallery circulation. This mitigates the problem of being overlooked and overlooking, and the impossibility of naturally ventilating the building with windows in the perimeter walls. The structure is in situ concrete and CLT. The façades are bagged brickwork – a pink brick, brushed with a warm grey lime slurry. Details are precast concrete. 

171011 south ele copy

171011 south ele copy

Project data

Type of project Education
Client Winstanley & York Road
Architect Henley Halebrown
Landscape architect Farrer Huxley Associates
Planning consultant Montagu Evans
Structural engineer Pell Freshman
M&E consultant Desco
Quantity surveyor Martin Arnold
Main contractor TBC
Tender date Summer 2018
Start on site date Autumn 2018
Completion date Summer 2020 for 2020-2021 academic year
Contract duration Approx 24 months
Gross internal floor area 5,175m²
Form of contract Design and Build

Model diagram 1

Model diagram 1

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