St Paul’s School Science Building, Barnes Development, London Architecture, English Education
St Paul’s School Science Building
London Learning Space Development, England – design by Nicholas Hare Architects
29 Apr 2013
St Paul’s School
Location: Barnes, London
Design: Nicholas Hare Architects
St Paul’s Science Building
The science departments at St Paul’s School have just moved into their new building, which was handed over in January 2013. NHA were appointed in 2006 to develop the whole school masterplan proposed by Patel Taylor on its prominent riverside site in Barnes. The four-storey science building creates a new courtyard and main entrance to the school. It provides 18 state-of-the-art teaching laboratories, and is designed to create a robust legacy for future generations at the school. The building is the first major addition to the school for 50 years. It represents the start in a process of replacement of the school’s postwar CLASP system buildings: the next phase will be the new drama centre (also designed by NHA and due to start on site in July) whose foyer will face the river Thames.
Externally high quality, durable materials have been used. Handset British sandstone and buff coloured brickwork are juxtaposed with large areas of glazing, bronze anodised aluminium windows and rainscreen cladding. Precast concrete is used to form circular columns and an undulating vaulted soffit to the courtyard colonnade. Brickwork is built without movement joints using lime mortar, and is massive in its construction: piers provide 450mm deep window reveals, and flat brick arches above are traditionally constructed using 50mm bricks.
Maximising daylight and minimising mechanical ventilation and cooling have been priorities. Deep window reveals and solar shading louvres minimise unwanted solar gains, and the building’s concrete frame is left exposed to provide thermal mass in the naturally ventilated labs and communal spaces. A bespoke biodiverse brown roof provides new species habitats and attenuates rainwater run-off, contributing to the sustainable drainage strategy. The building is designed within the overall environmental strategy of the masterplan, which targets a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating.
“Our aim has been to produce a suitable setting for the distinguished academic work of the school. The constrained site beside the existing sports hall offered the opportunity for a top-lit main stair rising through the four storeys. The school’s encouragement in the use of high quality materials and gentle vaulting, together with careful execution by Mace, have set the tone for the central courtyard of the campus.”
Nicholas Hare, partner.
“We are delighted with our new science building. The redevelopment project has reached an important milestone with this first major building, which has created fantastic new facilities, transformed the heart of the school and set the tone for the following phases. From briefing to handover, it has been a pleasure to work with the team on this exemplary project.”
Hugh Muirhead, Project Director, St Paul’s School (Feb 2013)
St Paul’s School Science Building – Building Information
Client: St Paul’s School
Architect: Nicholas Hare Architects
Project manager: Gardiner & Theobald
M&E, structures, acoustics, fire: Arup
QS: EC Harris
Landscape: Grant Associates
Planning consultant: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
St Paul’s School Science Building images / information from Nicholas Hare Architects