Marlborough Primary School

  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle
  • © Paul Riddle

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Kensington & Chelsea

Information about this scheme

The regeneration of Marlborough School is the product of an unusual planning negotiation. Dixon Jones won a competition in 2011 to redevelop the adjacent Clearings site owned by John Lewis into residential use. In lieu of an affordable housing contribution, a Section 106 deal was agreed with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to fund the redevelopment of their adjacent school site which also required a temporary school to be created at Clearings to accommodate Marlborough during the two-year construction period.

Limited opportunities for expansion had led RBKC to conclude that their original Victorian school building was no longer viable for supporting their future needs. Their new build redevelopment brief for the site was extremely challenging. In addition to calling for a much larger 2FE primary school requiring over 2,500m2 of playgrounds, the brief also called for a new commercial building (offices/ retail) and a public pedestrian link to be provided within the 80x40m footprint. The key challenge was therefore how to achieve a significant increase in density across this confined urban site whilst creating a fitting replacement for the original Victorian school. Massing constraints posed by a 10-storey apartment block to the east contrasted with a 5-storey blank party wall to the west resulted in a stepped section across the site establishing a series of cascading garden roof terraces offering a rich variety of external play spaces. These are accessed directly from classrooms at each level with diverse landscaping to promote the educational benefits of nature, recreation and sport. The school is organised around this vertical section starting with the youngest pupils at ground through to the junior pupils at the top. The stepped section allows larger communal spaces to be created below where the oak lined halls form the social heart of the school bathed in natural light from two central rooflights. The school combines several uses into one building including a primary school, a full-time nursery and an autism suite. The site was arranged to ensure the playground entrances, main reception and delivery/ servicing areas are separated at each corner of the school plan. The commercial building terminates the urban block occupied by the 1911 Harrods Depository building to extend the active street frontage of retail units along Sloane and Draycott Avenue. The new pedestrian link is used as a device to separate the two new buildings allowing them to each present their contrasting identities to the street.

Credits

Applicant

Dixon Jones

Architect

Dixon Jones

Landscape Architect

Macgregor Smith

Structural Engineer

Waterman

Services Engineer

Arup

Access Consultant

David Bonnett Associates

Acoustic Consultant

Sandy Brown Associate

Main Contractor

Mace

Client

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Project Manager

Lend Lease Consulting

Cost Consultant

Gleeds

Other

(Client End Users) Marlborough Primary School

Planning Consultant

CBRE

Local Planning Authority

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Other

(Heritage Consultant) Urban Counsel

Southern Ecological Solutions

Sustainability Consultant

ADP Architecture (BREEAM Consultant)

Other

MaceMark (RBKC Client Access Auditor)

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education