Situated within a Conservation Area the external treatment has been developed in response to the locally listed Art Deco school building. The building is approximately 1,700sqm over 2 floors with a rational and repetitive floor plan for maximum flexibility and future proofing. The layout has been configured to maintain natural links into the existing school circulation routes ensuring clear wayfinding.
The project includes the remodelling of undersized classrooms within the existing building to create much-needed additional science facilities. A physical connection between the old and new buildings will improve circulation and access throughout.
When addressing the expansion we considered a series of key curriculum items, as originally identified in the Strategic Masterplan and further developed in dialogue with the school. The new block is an ideal opportunity to consolidate and house, for the first time, distinct English and Maths departments. These are currently distributed throughout the school which is inefficient and lacking in identity.
Key design principles include:
• a long southern aspect with good natural daylight
• a narrow and more solid façade to the west to prevent overheating
• setback from the boundaries to minimise the mass in relation to neighbours
• setback relative to the main school tower which is locally listed and of heritage value in the Conservation Area
• the loss of the existing tennis court has been mitigated by providing tennis court lines on the adjacent games court as well as continuing to capitalise on courts available in the local community.
• Provision of landscaped outdoor seating areas adjacent to classrooms on the southern façade to support outdoor learning, a key goal of the school.
• Provision of soft informal and habitat areas in the landscape as there is currently a shortfall of against the BB98 criteria.
The building is designed around a simple yet elegant plan, with two efficient rows of classrooms offset along a central corridor to optimise the public realm and complete the school’s forecourt. Larger rooms are given prominence along the Ridgeway Road elevation, celebrating the learning activities within. The masonry façade provides a contemporary take on the Art Deco style of the Golden Mile in which it sits, welcoming pupils into a generous entrance lobby that offers the flexibility of break-out space around a large staircase.
Innovative solar shading software has been utilised to generate the most appropriate shading solution for the classrooms to avoid overheating in the Summer months.
Learning from the success of previous projects, we are proposing the same innovative heat recovery systems deployed within the Humanities Wing Refurbishment, combined with a rich yet pared-back material language for robust yet cost-effective solutions that do not require excessive maintenance.
The project is on track to achieve a Very Good BREEAM rating.
London Borough of Hounslow
2015 - Ongoing
Architect, Landscape Architect & Principal Designer: Useful Studio
Structural & Civil Engineer: Expedition Engineering
Mechanical, Electrical & Public Health Engineers: Thornton Reynolds
Cost Consultant: Pick Everard
BREEAM: Eight Associates
Acoustic Engineer: Acoustic Logic