St John Bosco Arts College

BDP, Liverpool, 2014


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New build secondary girls' school in Liverpool, housed in a three storey building with a flexible learning spaces

St John Bosco Arts College is a new-build secondary 1,100-place girls’ school in Croxteth, Liverpool. It is housed in a 91m x 55m three-storey, single-span, column-free environment containing an exciting mix of open-plan and cellular learning and social spaces, all focusing on a sculpted landscape set at the heart of the school.

With a budget of just £1,191/m2 for all building elements – including prelims, OHP and 5 per cent contingency – the response uses a simple efficient building form, which delivers 15 per cent more area than the traditional BB98 school, allowing for greater flexibility in learning environment to create both transformational and inspirational spaces.

Clever internal planning minimises circulation space and allows for multiple functions, colour and graphics, creating a unique response to the school’s identity and sense of place in its community.

The potentially singular large open environment is subdivided by ‘The Hill’, a central device that creates a series of spaces and scales of environment to suit different functions. The building feels like a new breed of school – unique, contemporary and an example of how small budgets don’t necessarily have to deliver standard products.


  • Begun: Jul 2012
  • Completed: Sep 2014
  • Floor area: 10,479m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £16.5M
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • CO2 Emissions: 2.14kg/m2/year
  • Address: St John Bosco Arts College, Storrington Avenue, Liverpool, L11 9DQ, United Kingdom

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