St John's Music Pavilion - Phase Two

Clementine Blakemore, Buckinghamshire , 2019


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The Music Pavilion is a new teaching space for a state primary school, originally initiated by Clementine Blakemore as a self-built student project in 2015

Conceived of shortly after large-scale cuts to education funding had been introduced under austerity, the project proposed an alternative model for the delivery of small-scale educational buildings – involving academia, industry and the local community. The timber-framed structure sits on the northern edge of the school site, adjacent to neighbouring farmland. Inspired by the geometry of Agnes Martin’s art work, the strong silhouette of the double-pitched form gives the building a clear identity, whilst also referencing the vernacular language of local agricultural buildings. Black lapped weatherboard is used to clad the side walls and the roof, as one continuous wrap. The vertical larch rain-screen at the front of the building is punctured by a large bi-folding door, extending across the width of the larger gable - allowing the classroom to spill outdoors. The rear gable ends are clad in semi-translucent polycarbonate panels, which emit even northern light into the space, and glow when lit from within - revealing a shadow of the timber frame. Formed of 171 tapered timber members, which were CNC-milled at a local fabrication studio, the structure was hand assembled as an interlocking lattice. The taper of the lattice allows for a 200mm width at the centre where the mortise joint is located, and 100mm at the ends where the tenons are - making each piece lighter and visually more elegant. When assembled, the flush side faces outwards, while the pitch of the tapers face inwards; this allows for the easy attachment of the external cladding, and also creates a decorative undulating plane on the interior surfaces. The structural concept of a reciprocal frame, with each member resting on the adjacent one, reflects the ethos of collaboration within the project as a whole.


  • Begun: Aug 2018
  • Completed: Jan 2019
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £35,000
  • Funding: Fundraising by the Architect and Parent's Association; sources included a bursary from RIBA, a Crowdfunder, and donations.
  • Tender date: May 2017
  • Procurement: Traditional - JCT Minor Works Building Contract 2016
  • Address: Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire , United Kingdom



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