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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Educational Architecture
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Dixon Jones
  6. 2017
  7. Marlborough Primary School / Dixon Jones

Marlborough Primary School / Dixon Jones

  • 05:00 - 7 May, 2018
Marlborough Primary School / Dixon Jones
Marlborough Primary School / Dixon Jones, © Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

© Paul Riddle © Paul Riddle © Paul Riddle © Paul Riddle + 32

  • Architects

  • Location

    Draycott Ave, Chelsea, London SW3 3AP, United Kingdom
  • Lead Architect

    Dixon Jones
  • Landscape Architect

    Macgregor Smith
  • Area

    4095.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

  • Structure

    Waterman Structures
  • M&E

    Arup
  • Contractor

    Mace
  • Client

    The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
  • End Users

    Marlborough Primary School
  • Project website

    http://www.dixonjones.co.uk/projects/new-marlborough-school-london/
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

Text description provided by the architects. The redevelopment brief for Marlborough School was extremely challenging. In addition to requiring a large primary school with over 2,500m2 of external play areas, the local authority’s brief also called for a new commercial building (offices/ retail) and a pedestrian link to be provided across this constrained urban site. The challenge was therefore how to achieve a significant increase in density within the 80x40m footprint whilst also creating a fitting replacement for a Victorian School which had previously stood on the site since 1878.

Concept Image
Concept Image

Massing constraints posed by a 10 storey apartment block to the east contrasted with a 5 storey blank party wall to the west resulted in a stepped section across the site establishing a series of cascading ‘garden terraces’ offering a rich diversity of external play areas accessed directly from classrooms. The school is organised around this vertical section starting with the youngest pupils at ground (3-5y) through to the junior pupils at the top (9-11y).

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

The stepped section allows larger communal spaces to be created underneath where the Main Hall and Multi-Use Space form the social heart of the school lined with oak panelling and bathed in light from two central rooflights.

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

This ambitious scheme warranted extensive dialogue with the Local Planning Authority. The design was developed to ensure the proposed massing and robust masonry detailing with characteristic stone banding would serve to compliment both the original school and the wider local context with the green glazed brick and circular windows referencing the polychromy of the 1911 Michelin Building nearby. The building takes on an expressive civic role with a rich palette of materials that seamlessly blend modern robust detailing with the historic local context. In contrast to the Victorian school which had stood behind foreboding brick boundary walls, the new building seeks to engage with the public realm with a welcoming a community entrance and playground gates. Several of the historic keystones and plaques from the original school were rebuilt into the new facade to preserve the legacy of Marlborough School.

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle
Section
Section
© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

The commitment to providing high quality outdoor learning and play areas on this constrained urban site presented a significant challenge. The landscaping offers a diverse range of environments which stimulate the social benefits of incorporating nature in the city as well as promoting exercise and sport. The planting and biodiversity strategy was developed with Landscape Architects Macgregor Smith and seeks to maximise the opportunity for habitat creation and species diversity. Inclusion of nature and ecology has been integral throughout the external ‘playdecks’ which include raised tree planters and productive garden areas to support the school’s ‘growing club’.

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

The building adopts a low energy passive approach to minimise running costs and future maintenance. Classrooms are naturally ventilated and arranged alongside the cascading roof terraces. Generous floor-to-ceiling heights promote passive single sided ventilation and allow daylight to penetrate deep into the plan to reduce reliance on internal lighting. The classrooms also feature exposed concrete soffits to exploit the inherent cooling benefits of the superstructure’s thermal mass.

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Marlborough Primary School / Dixon Jones" 07 May 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/893807/marlborough-primary-school-dixon-jones/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Paul Riddle

伦敦马尔伯勒小学 / Dixon Jones