Aaron Taylor & Michael Severn


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Case study: Transforming historic buildings into a state-of-the-art school - Westminster City School

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  • Cover slide
  • Introduction to project
  • The original building in context
  • The original building in context from above – The importance of the 5 th elevation – the roof The confined site & access for construction The proximity of the Circle Line tube vent
  • The crucially important external space – HAD to remain intact and available through the construction – a KEY DRIVER for the scheme
  • Strategy for transforming the school Reduce numbers of rooms to rejuvenate the space Great collaboration with school & educationalists to test numerous educational models and timetabling strategies – analysis of areas The creation of new build allows greater freedom and flexible space in Victorian Main Building – “Space to breathe” – refer to main image with arrow Significant moves – demolition of original houses at front of site
  • Transforming buildings of quality to rear of site – retention of existing gym into new art spaces – double height / fantastic light Maintaining the external play space as sacresanct
  • The new double height art space with mezzanine
  • The 4 phases of the transformation – Bringing the front of the school back into the student realm
  • Desire to Enhance the character of the original Victorian buildings, but to give a new presence and statement of dynamic school intentions to local community – a new vision with new buildings Ground floor plan – A new entrance courtyard with front of site offered back to the students Remodelling of main hall Simplification of spaces around that with phased solution of redevelopment
  • Main hall – a celebrated element of the original building brought back to its former state
  • The Lower Ground – The main design move of having a semi-sunken sports hall on site Challenges of constructing this, but result is not having to use play area to rear / fantastic new facility to play games against other schools for 1 st time in history / Adjacent drama spaces As recessed, offers opportunity to use roof and INCREASE EXTERNAL PLAY / SOCIAL AREAS Also serves to frame the view of the main building New Art spaces & RE in old gym & chapel to rear of site
  • Natural daylighting from side and above
  • New Drama spaces
  • The new building development in section and blending of the transition spaces between old and new
  • The result a seemless blend
  • Computer visual of the transition staircase
  • Bright remodelling of spaces
  • Natural daylight & views out
  • Returning space to the students – new roofscapes
  • The sculpture terrace looking across to the new 6 th form and ICT suites The blending of old and new through similar materials but in a contemporary way
  • A significant new external space for the students – lifted a level above the noisy street plain
  • The original concept elevations pre-construction
  • The reality - The new face of the school – a new presence to the community Celebrating the original building “Framed” by the 2 new blocks and the sports hall A contemporary yet respectful neighbour
  • A strong identity in the urban context – complementing in one of the busiest streets in London HAND OVER
  • The new face of the school – interacting with its community
  • The environment wall – re-introducing landscape into what is a tough concrete environment off Victoria Street
  • Contemporary detailing complementing the traditional materials
  • Old with new
  • Thank You
  • Aaron Taylor & Michael Severn

    1. 1. Westminster City School
    2. 2. Westminster City School forms part of the first phase of Westminster City Council’s BSF programme. The school combines a remodelled Victorian school building with a new building along the Palace Street frontage. It provides a dynamic street presence for the school and a glimpse of the 21 st century teaching and learning environments within.
    3. 3. Westminster City School <ul><li>Common Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>School at the centre of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Personalise the learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalise teaching accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Address undersized classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a variety of spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Improved sports provision </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone has a voice </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus </li></ul>
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    30. 30. Westminster City School ‘ living wall’
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    32. 32. Westminster City School <ul><li>Key Themes </li></ul><ul><li>School Visioning </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Assessing Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing the Money </li></ul><ul><li>Minimise Disruption </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond building </li></ul>
    33. 33. Westminster City School “ Highly Commended” - PfS Excellence in BSF Awards for a Remodelled School 2009