Orms were invited to take part in a two stage competition to remodel and substantially extend a 1960’s building for a north London school. Sitting in the heart of a former traditional village’ our proposal connects the main school site with the new scheme through an interpretation of a village high street and a series of traditional ownership ‘burghs’ as departments.
The steeply sloping site bounds an extremely sensitive landscape ‘bowl’. The scheme responds to this as a procession of English garden brick walls and volumes that step down the slope and are topped by a series of educational garden rooms, designed and developed in collaboration with Robert Myers Associates.
The building’s High Street orientates the users throughout the scheme and at its lowest level provides access to the drama department and main auditorium that captures views to a new amphitheatre and the bowl beyond.
The existing building is stripped back to its frame and extended to the street front to provide accommodation for the sixth form department. The rhythm of the surrounding streetscape is reinterpreted and informs the new street building’s proportion and materiality.