The Belham School
London borough of Southwark
The existing building was insufficient to meet the schools requirements and therefore despite the heavily restricted site a new build extension was key to the successful delivery. The positioning of this was challenging given complex party wall issues, overlooking from neighbours, rights of light implications and the historic gables of the existing building. Through extensive consultation a new 3 storey contemporary extension was conceived as a perforated corten box on top of a simple brick plinth. The three-storey nature of the extension minimised the impact on external space but also integrated innovative roof terraces at different levels maximising external learning opportunities for the future school.
Spaces within the new school benefit from natural daylighting and a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation, utilising thermal mass from concrete floor slabs. The existing spaces have been remodelled but careful attention paid to preserving the large windows and high spaces to maximise natural daylighting and ventilation.
Construction techniques and materials across the new and existing spaces have been selected to achieve BREEAM Very Good Rating which is impressive given the difficult heritage setting. This project balances the needs of conservation, development, sustainable design, stakeholder engagement and outstanding architecture for the benefit of its diverse and dynamic community in central London.