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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Schools
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Walters & Cohen Architects
  6. 2016
  7. Arts Building for The American School in London / Walters & Cohen Architects

Arts Building for The American School in London / Walters & Cohen Architects

  • 09:00 - 27 November, 2016
Arts Building for The American School in London / Walters & Cohen Architects
Arts Building for The American School in London / Walters & Cohen Architects, © Marcus Peel
© Marcus Peel

© Marcus Peel © Dennis Gilbert/VIEW © Dennis Gilbert/VIEW © Dennis Gilbert/VIEW +20

  • Contractor

    ISG
  • Building Services

    Ernest Griffiths
  • Structure

    Price & Myers
  • Project Manager

    Martin Long in association with TGA
  • Presentation Model

    Bullfrog Models
  • More SpecsLess Specs
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

From the architect. In 2011 Walters & Cohen won an invited competition to design a new arts building for the American School in London.

Section
Section

Taking its cue from the mass and footprint of the listed, semi-detached villas on the site adjacent, the four-storey building is designed to resemble a single large property. The complexity of the project is heightened by its location on a prominent corner plot in the St John’s Wood conservation area, where proposed developments attract a lot of attention. We liaised with the school’s distinguished board of governors, ward councillors and local politicians, and presented the concept design in a three-day public exhibition. The scheme was extremely well received.

© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

A range of materials for the external façades were researched and presented to the planners and governors, including recycled glass, stucco flutes and marble; stone was considered the most appropriate material on account of its elegance and traditional qualities. The resulting façade is a unique piece of design that draws on the timeless quality of stone, expressed in a truly contemporary manner. Light plays on the façade, flattening and disguising the flute pattern one minute, only to boldly express it in the next. The building has both an elegant lightness and a weight and gravitas, unique and contemporary yet effortlessly taking its place as an equal among its more mature neighbours.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

The new building’s sculptural quality is fitting to the work that goes on inside. The ground floor provides exhibition space, with art, sculpture, ceramics and photography studios on the other three floors. An elegant concrete frame provides long span, column-free studio space at all levels, bringing in daylight from the north and south and creating a flexible, spacious and comfortable environment in which pupils can develop their art.

© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Product Description. Bespoke stone façade: S McConnell & Sons with Stone Cladding International Limited

The façade of the new art building at the American School in London is a unique piece of design that draws on the timeless quality of stone, expressed in a truly contemporary manner. It is the product of close collaboration between the design team and the stonemason and thoroughly embraces what modern manufacturing techniques can offer.

© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

The stonemason S. McConnell & Sons’ skills and computer-driven manufacturing processes allowed each stone of the façade to be cut to an individual pattern, which meant there were more possibilities to design something innovative and unique to the School. The chosen motif creates a gradual fade on the vertical flutes, from 20mm deep at the base to a flat-faced stone at the head of the building. The complex 3D-modelling expertise of the stonemason made a non-linear reduction possible, meaning that the depth of the flute remains greater for the first two thirds of the building before tapering more quickly above the head of the windows.

© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
© Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Arts Building for The American School in London / Walters & Cohen Architects" 27 Nov 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/799986/arts-building-for-the-american-school-in-london-walters-and-cohen-architects/>
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© Marcus Peel

伦敦美国学校的艺术楼 / Walters & Cohen Architects