This modernist 1960’s school conversion is set in 3.2 acres within sight of Big Ben, creating 149 apartments and townhouses. Empty since 2005, this marriage of old and new design was vital to create a successful scheme. There are many key aspects of this scheme and the original design by ACP in the early 1960s – combines with the brilliance of the conversion design by Conran & Partners – creates something greater than the sum of its parts.
The listed heritage of the site was respected greatly by the architects and great trouble was taken to understand and learn from the original design language. The resultant design takes the best of the school layout and key features in order to create unique and highly desirable new homes, As became apparent even before the process of conversion started, aspects that make a good school can also make a good home: space, light, robust modern details plus generous and well-designed exterior and communal spaces. The new design allowed a dilapidated and abandoned school, to be returned to full use. Once an eyesore and a security concern for the local community, the development is now a growing community of its own.
There is no doubt that the 1960s architecture inspires a strong reaction. However, for those who appreciate the enormous windows and the bigger than average layouts offered by many of the conversion units, this site is proving irresistible.