St Christina’s Main Faculty / Paul Murphy Architects
Textual content description supplied by the architects. A posh refurbishment and new-build delivers inspiring instructing areas for London main. Situated in a dense residential location in St John’s Wooden, simply north of Regents Park, St Christina’s Roman Catholic Preparatory Faculty was constructed within the early 1960’s and shares the positioning with a Chapel and a Convent who’re additionally the Trustees of the Faculty.
The varsity, convent, and chapel are located cheek-by-jowl on a particularly tight web site, which offered each bodily constraints and logistical challenges to the venture. As well as, the varsity remained operational all through the constructing works.
By means of in depth session with the varsity and its governors, a grasp plan was developed which captured the aspirations for the varsity which was then divided right into a two-phase improvement venture. The primary part is full and contains the reconfiguration and enlargement of the Early Yr Wing, 4 new school rooms above, and extra workers places of work and ancillary services. The grasp plan included the restacking of the varsity, with early years positioned on the decrease degree, rising to Yr 6/Key Stage 2 on the higher flooring. The second part will see the principle entrance reconfigured, the kitchen relocated away from the principle entrance, and the principle corridor refurbished.
The design idea was to demolish the present single-story Early Years wing and construct a brand new three-story extension offering new instructing lodging. Important to the temporary was entry to the surface for pupils and workers. In such a dense city web site, house is at a premium so the brand new scheme ingeniously supplies an up to date lined play space for Early Years on the bottom flooring, with new roof terraces created on degree 1 and degree 3 for out of doors instructing with older pupils. The brand new extension is seamlessly stitched into the present constructing and kinds a bridge between two current staircase towers.
The fabric choice was knowledgeable by strict planning necessities to reflect the brick of the present college. The extension optimizes pure gentle by way of the bronze glazing system, giant roof lights, and inner clerestory glazing. A dense aircraft tree display screen to the rear of the positioning and using timber within the current college knowledgeable the design as we sought to deliver the concept of bushes into the scheme with related use of timber, manifested as slatted timber ceilings, deep timber sills, timber wainscot paneling, and timber framed pinboards. Collectively these create heat and tactile inside areas and a peaceful but refined inner atmosphere.
The Early Years Wing is barely separated from the principle college and is organized round a beneficiant inner house with benches, coat hooks, and open entry bathrooms, with clerestory glazing and glazed facet panels drawing pure gentle into the house. Vivid yellow tiles and bathroom doorways add a pop of shade to the areas, with round metal columns picked out in St Christina’s blue. A brand new group room helps one-to-one studying and a “calm house” for youngsters and a small area of interest within the hall supplies the chance for casual studying. Glazed on three sides, the nursery was repositioned and prolonged and incorporates a colourful, absolutely working kitchen that enables supervised baking and meals preparation.
The present change in ranges throughout the bottom flooring permitted beneficiant ceiling heights within the early 12 months wing, that are punctuated by giant roof lights within the reception school rooms contributing to a spacious, gentle, and ethereal studying atmosphere. The 2 reception courses are linked by a full-height sliding folding door permitting flexibility of use.
The utterly reconfigured format importantly incorporates ancillary services reminiscent of workers wc’s, bathe, cleaner’s cabinet, and utility room – comparatively minor issues in concept, however important to the profitable working of the unit in apply.
All school rooms function full-width built-in storage, capturing sliding open tray storage, whiteboards, and interactive TVs, with pinboards on most partitions in an try and information the inevitable plethora of fabric caught on partitions and home windows. The upper-floor school rooms comply with the identical language of finishes and profit from full-height nook home windows which give longer views from the school rooms and entry to the exterior studying terrace on the first-floor degree.
Lecture rooms are all ventilated by way of a combined mode system combining ceiling-mounted pure air flow warmth restoration models linked to exterior louvers included inside the window system, working together with opening home windows. Floating ceiling rafts present lighting and acoustic management.
Externally, new brickwork matches the present with patterned brickwork including visible curiosity beneath the cill degree. Punched home windows to the brand new façade incorporate horizontal brise soleil and solid stone detailing following current flooring slab traces. Exterior terraces are positioned on the first and third-floor ranges, offering different studying areas populated with planters – to be grown by the kids – and overlook sedum roofs which give visible facilities each from the varsity and neighboring residential properties and help in withholding rainwater run-off.
Lots of the options included are people who we all know contribute to lifting the character and high quality of faculty environments, reminiscent of thermal mass, pure air flow, excessive ranges of daylight, brilliant and beneficiant circulation areas, and quite a lot of outside landscapes. We look ahead to seeing how the varsity now occupies the constructing and lecturers and kids adapt to the brand new areas, which we hope shall be inspiring and a transformational change when it comes to day-to-day use and instructing flexibility.