The 1967, Eveline Lowe School in Bermondsey was the first of the new open plan schools in Britain and therefore holds a unique place in British educational history. Working in association with HKR Architects (and Prof. Sir Colin Stansfield Smith as consultant) our brief is to refurbish the existing building and add a new Upper School. The building itself is modest and unassuming, with understated architectural rhetoric but its educational intention is innovative and influential. Understanding the 1960’s educational philosophy makes the project both interesting and challenging.
Optimising space on the limited site and minimising the building footprint is a priority. We have proposed new classroom buildings on piloti at first floor level – perhaps not the most obvious place to build – this allows us to form an integrated boundary enclosure, part of which will occupy the existing car park to the entrance area. The spaces contained by this enclosure will in addition to providing a sense of place, contribute to a stimulating educational landscape. This ensemble will be a sanctuary for play and learning where the boundary itself becomes part of the garden environment.
The project gained listed building and planning consent in July 2008 and started on site in January 2009.
More photos of this project, taken by James Morris, can be viewed on our flickr.