The Belham School
London borough of Southwark
An early example of London Board School facility, the building has not functioned as a school for many years. The project will carry out essential remedial works to restore the listed fabric safeguarding the future of the building and the character of the area. Internal remodelling will build on the generous scale and preserve architectural details whilst introducing new classroom layouts to deliver modern learning environments.
A new contemporary extension conceived as a perforated corten box on top of a simple brick plinth, will complement and reference the existing building’s scale and detail whilst being clearly distinguishable as a modern addition.
Spaces within will benefit from natural daylighting and a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation, utilising thermal mass from concrete floor slabs. Construction techniques and materials have been selected to achieve BREEAM Very Good Rating.
The Client/Council choose a type of procurement that permitted early engagement of end-users and interest groups to consult with designers through a regular programme of client engagement meetings from the outset of the project. This allowed the brief to be developed in direct collaboration with the school, with opportunity to test and respond to their unique needs and aspirations in relation to the specific constraints and opportunities presented by the site.
Southwark Council Planning Department was consulted throughout the design stage to ensure the proposed works to the listed school building met with their conservation and town planning policies.
A series of community consultation events were staged to inform the wider community and draw feedback on design options. This project balances the needs of conservation, development, sustainable design, stakeholder engagement and innovative construction for the benefit of a diverse and dynamic community.
The phased project is currently on site, with temporary works in place and large conservation and refurbishment elements complete, allowing the school to open. Construction work of the new build element extension is underway. The project is due for completion in December 2017.