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Burntwood School

4 Aug 2015

The transformation of Burntwood School in Wandsworth, south London reinvents a 1950s modernist education campus for 2,000 pupils and 200 staff. The existing school was set out in a campus style within a mature landscape. A swimming pool & gymnasium building and elegant assembly hall designed by Sir Leslie Martin were retained, while all other buildings were demolished to make way for six new teaching pavilions.

Comprising four curriculum buildings, a sports hall and a performing arts & dining building, the new pavilions are placed amongst the old within a new landscape plan, forming a complete and coherent campus. The most striking element of the award winning design is the faceted reinforced precast concrete panels to the four curriculum building façades.

One of the final projects procured through the Building Schools for the Future programme, the development was positively received by the CABE Design Review Panel and targeted a BREEAM rating of Excellent.

The Burntwood School development consists of six new educational buildings-as-pavilions and a new landscape plan for the campus. The original swimming pool & gymnasium building and main assembly hall, designed by Sir Leslie Martin, have been retained and refurbished, whilst other buildings no longer fit for purpose were demolished. The new development increases the school’s capacity by more than 200 pupils to 2,000, plus 200 staff. 

“Architects must respond to the old forms and materials and perceive their true intent in their own age, and then, remembering everything, start again. This is the essential intention of tradition.” - Sir Leslie Martin

The design of Burntwood School has remained true to this philosophy by retaining Martin’s elegant assembly hall and pool building, whilst the series of new buildings respond to the latest technical developments in precast concrete construction and follow a similar logic to the original building typologies.

In line with the Modernist heritage of the original buildings, Burntwood School is experienced as a campus development, exploiting the views and spaces between the buildings and enabling the green spaces beyond to be appreciated from the heart of the campus.

The six new pavilions include four curriculum buildings for business skills, arts & technology, communications and maths & science. A new sports hall is located next to the original pool building and a new performing arts building with a ground floor dining hall extends out to an external dining terrace next to a flower meadow.

Burntwood School is a great example of an architectural practice and contractor working collaboratively and rising to programme and budget challenges to deliver a campus development that has exceeded the client’s expectations.

For more information, download the Architect's Information Pack

Project team:

Client: London Borough of Wandsworth / Burntwood School
Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Project Manager and CDM Coordinator: Lend Lease
Tenant: Burntwood School
Main Contractor: Lend Lease
Structural and Civil Engineer: Buro Happold Building
Services Engineer: Mott MacDonald Fulcrum
Landscape Architect: Kinnear Landscape Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Lend Lease
Planning Consultant: Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners
Acoustic and Security Consultant: Mott MacDonald Fulcrum
FF&E: Smart FFE
Graphic Designer: Studio Myerscough
Fire Consultant: Tenos Fire Engineering
Party Wall Surveyors: Anstey Horne
Approved Inspector: Butler & Young
Access Consultant: David Bonnett Associates
Ecology Consultant: The Ecology Consultancy
ICT Consultant: Civica Ltd
Catering Consultant: Design Catering Equipment Ltd


Civic Trust Award 2015
RIBA National Award 2015
RIBA London Region Award 2015
Concrete Society Award 2014

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