Over the past 50 years the way successful schools operate has changed. The existing school buildings at Holland Park were becoming increasingly expensive to maintain, unable to meet the demands of today’s curriculum and the outdoor facilities limited the range of activities that could be provided. Factors such as transferring pupils between multiple buildings, limited disabled facilities, small classrooms and inadequate heating and ventilation were decisive factors in the redevelopment of the school. Addressing these issues formed the principle challenges which were set by The Royal Borough. They were supported by a strong leadership team at the school, who together, developed a vision for the new school which challenged the traditional notions on how teaching and learning takes place. Their resolve was to deliver a school which reflected the increasing sophistication of the young students, yet maintained a feeling of inclusivity which is vital for the youngest pupils entering the school for the first time.
Architect: Stefan Redfern
Country: United Kingdom
The project was also driven by a brief which demanded a high aesthetic quality, functionality and flexibility to adapt to changing curriculum needs. The existing site security needed to be improved and there was also a determination to continue to strengthen the role of the local community and consideration of how the new school buildings and facilities may support this.
The rationale and brief for the project was based on the following criteria with these being the benchmark for assessing the success of the scheme:
- The state of the existing Holland Park school buildings no longer catered for the existing and future curriculum needs of the School
- Reconfiguration of the school environs to release part of the site for residential development whilst meeting the Department for Education requirements for outdoor play areas
- Release of the southern part of the original Holland Park School site for private residential development and hence the funding for the new build
- A new school building of 5 to 6 storeys in height with basement including below ground service and parking for 1500 pupils including 300 place VI form
- The new school accommodation will include a new swimming pool, 4-court sports hall, gymnasium, library and learning resource area,
- The proposed development would enable the existing School to remain in operation throughout the course of the building contract through a phased construction and decant programme utilising temporary accommodation and retained elements of the existing during the interim
- The project was required to achieve BREEAM for Schools Very Good rating for design stage
Part of the End-User brief was that the building should not look like a school. Indeed, the aesthetic both externally and internally gives little away that this is an educational establishment. ‘Corporate’ is certainly an adjective that can be used to describe the end result. This is reflected in the way the School runs the curriculum offer with the building being an embodiment of this ethos.