The Lab, Fitzjohn’s Primary School

Curl la Tourelle Architects, London, 2012


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Practical learning space in remodelled undercroft of Grade II listed Victorian School

The headteacher’s brief was to create a space that would excite children over Science, Food and Technology within a listed Victorian school where we had completed an award winning project in 2008.

This 'tardis-like' space was created in an underused stone arched undercroft.

Economical units are teamed with bespoke stainless steel benching and shelves. Matching hob covers maximise safe working surfaces for science and technology

A sliding partition allows division into two group rooms.

Doors facilitate related external learning activities and enable the space to function as “backstage” for the school’s renowned outdoor productions.

Care was taken to make interventions reversible:

The arches were filled with hardwood doors and windows sympathetic to the original joinery.

Dimpled membranes allow ventilated dry lining without damage to the original walls and ceiling.

The floor was excavated and replaced with no alteration to foundations.

The project was self-funded by the school community and donations.


  • Begun: Jul 2012
  • Completed: Oct 2012
  • Floor area: 52m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £108,000
  • Funding: The project was self-funded by the school community and donations
  • Tender date: May 2012
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: 86A Fitzjohn's Avenue, London, NW3 6NP, United Kingdom

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