Grange Primary School

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Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Highly Commended


Greater London

Local Authority Area


Information about this scheme

The expansion of Grange Primary has transformed a school once hidden behind defensive walls into a warm, welcoming public building.

To release space in the existing school for more classrooms, the budget was focussed on a series of new buildings housing: dining hall and kitchen; nursery; library and offices; and new school house in four characterful pavilions. The pavilions are pushed back from the site boundary to create a generous public forecourt - a new space for parents to gather on what was once a narrow and congested pavement.

A Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough dating from 1896 was relocated from within the school playground to the new forecourt bringing a piece of Southwark’s history back into the public domain. Old school signs were salvaged and placed in the wall of the new hall.

Courtyard entrances between the pavilions and new tree planting create a ‘green link’ between playgrounds and the park opposite. A generous picture window in the new hall offers expansive views of tree canopies beyond. External play space was increased through a new dedicated early years playground located on the site of the former car park.

The school sits within the Bermondsey Street conservation area; reflecting this context and responding to each space’s internal requirements, a variety of roof profiles were used across the pavilions. The resultant undulating elevation animates the street and meets the planning requirement of retaining a street view of the original building.

The light stock brick and dark metal roof of the new building references the original school and are detailed to present a civic character. Internally, the building’s CLT structure has been left exposed providing visual warmth and character in addition to construction efficiency and robustness. New build and refurbishment elements were phased to avoid temporary accommodation, focussing the budget on permanent spaces.

The refurbishment addressed existing small classrooms through a cluster model for each year group, bringing corridors into useable teaching space. This avoided costly structural work, affording a refurbishment of all classrooms within the budget.

Overall, the scheme captured Grange’s outward reaching character and connection to the community with a generous engaging building.



Maccreanor Lavington

Landscape Architect

Wynne Williams

Structural Engineer

Waterman Structural Services

Services Engineer

Waterman Building Services


MLM (Traffic Engineer)

Arboricultural Consultant

Wharton Trees

Acoustic Engineer

BDP Acoustics

Acoustic Engineer

Bureau Veritas


Gleeds (BREEAM Consultant)

Quantity Surveyor

Keegans Limited

Main Contractor

Morgan Sindall Construction Ltd

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education