Hampden Gurney School

BDP, London, 2003


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Front elevation at night looking through the illuminated play spaces into the school classrooms 

Martine Hamilton Knight/BDP (website)     Download Original

  • Front elevation at night looking through the illuminated play spaces into the school classrooms    
  • The fabric canopy allows direct and reflected light down through the lightwell    
  • The curved public face of the school’s play decks    
  • View over lightwell on the roof deck    
  • The technology play area on the roof utilises space which would otherwise be wasted    
  • The entrances provide access to the infants and juniors separately    
  • Lower ground floor    
  • Ground floor    
  • First and third floors    
  • Second floor    
  • Section    

A modern school with facilities for 240 pupils and an additional residential development on the former play area to replace a 1950s building

A city centre school and residential scheme, Hampden Gurney School reaches over six levels — comprising a ground floor nursery, three floors of classrooms and a rooftop teaching room.

An additional 6,000m2 residential scheme delivers 52 apartments. To ‘reclaim’ land lost to housing, a covered play areas was created on every level of the school — each open to the air and separated from teaching zones by a bridge across a light well.

A steel frame and an arched truss covered by a tensile roof create a large column-free space on the fourth floor. The outer envelope is made from brick and glass, while balustrading forms the curve of the playdecks.


  • Begun: 2002
  • Completed: 2003
  • Floor area: 3,400m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £18M
  • Address: Nutford Place, Marleyborn, London, W1H 5HA, United Kingdom

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