Graveney School Sixth Form Block

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Location: Tooting, London

Client: Graveney School

Project Year: 2014

Cost: £500k - £2m

The rules of the funding meant that the building had to be delivered on tight schedule and budget, with a target cost per sqm way below the current guidelines. The school considered buying an off-the-peg, prefabricated block, but were unconvinced about the quality of accommodation it would provide. Also, being situated behind the Grade 2 listed Furzedown House, meant that generic prefabricated buildings would be difficult to get through planning.

The 800sqm building includes 8 classrooms and a double-height independent study space with balconies and gallery. It is constructed from Cross Laminated Timber and has a polycarbonate front facade with window openings designed to frame views across the campus and surrounding trees. The building creates an inspiring and stimulating environment for sixth form students to study and socialize in. With little budget for expensive materials or interior finishes, the tectonics and construction of the building - its CLT frame, panels, cladding and openings – are what shapes the building and gives it a strong, robust and contemporary identity.

Innovative, sustainable and economical, the building intends to set a template for new school buildings, achieving maximum architectural output using minimal means.

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The corner windows creates a visual link with neighbouring buildings

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The glulam beam structure is visible through translucent façade

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Light enters through the polycarbonate paneling, increasing the brightness of the classroom

Post Image The staff office is overlooked by stairs and shared space Post Image The mezzanine workspace offers views across the school’s campus Post Image The double-height entrance space Post Image Informal bench seating runs along the length of the building Post Image Stairways act as communal gathering spaces for students