The ArtBox

DesignBox Architecture, London, 2012


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Corin Ashleigh-Brown (website)     Download Original

  • Natural light only    
  • Internal space on completion    
  • General task lighting    
  • Task lighting and spot lights    
  • The ArtBox in use    
  • Children enjoying the working environment    
  • Illustrating activity, space and light quality    
  • Review at the art lesson    
  • Site plan    
  • Plans    
  • Elevations    
  • Sections    
  • Existing plans    
  • Existing sections    
  • Existing elevations    
  • Site prior to construction    
  • Steels and sips arrive    
  • Steels and sips installed    
  • Wall cassettes    
  • Single-ply roof finishes    
  • Roof takes shape    
  • Corner windows look out on to courtyard. Glass to glass detail    
  • Render and flashings installed    
  • Durable plasterboard (Duraboard) and skim coat to internal linings    
  • Main light fittings    
  • AerBox light control    
  • Detail    
  • Detail    
  • Detail    

Creation of a first-floor extension to Furzedown Primary School, South London. New facilities include an Art teaching studio, one-to-one class room, stair-well and lift

Steadily rising numbers of children attending the school meant that the existing art room had to be converted in to a form class room. A new art studio was required.

Not wanting a standard Portakabin-style annexe, a flat roofed area of the existing school was identified to build over. This gave the opportunity to create spaces tailored specifically for teaching Art. Enthusiastic teachers and pupils, combined with tight budgets inspired the creation of the ArtBox.

The space benefits from lots of natural north light. Task lighting and spotlights can be controlled to light specific scenes. Blackout and solar blinds add control. Direct sunlight has been designed out.

The central roof light complements the light with a generous sense of space. Storage and wet areas allow children’s access and teacher’s control.

The ArtBox is constructed to operate efficiently. Timber structural insulated panels (SIPs) reduce energy loss and air leakage. Under floor heating eliminates the need for radiators and maximises display space. The external render creates a simple, unbroken band which belies the playfulness of light and space within.

The project is identified with signage on the render, which is something of a Bauhaus reference: Small letters and a small building for small people, but with big aspirations and ideas!


  • Begun: Apr 2012
  • Completed: Aug 2012
  • Floor area: 97m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £243,454
  • Funding: Furzedown Primary School
  • Tender date: Oct 2011
  • Procurement: JCT Standard Building Contract Without Quantities
  • Address: Furzedown Primary School, Beclands Road, Wandsworth, London, SW17 9TJ, United Kingdom

Professional Team