St Joan of Arc Primary School

ZRP Architects, London, 2021

 

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A new entrance and associated facilities for wrap around school services and community access.

St Joan of Arc is a two-form entry voluntary aided, co-educational, primary school. The principal new element is an accessible and secure secondary entrance and reception. This is primarily for wrap around services before and after school and replaces the previous, unsupervised access through the site boundary in a nearby location but also enables the hall to be used by community groups and others separately from the school. New WCs, and a small multipurpose space is also provided as part of the extension and remodel. A new timber canopy has also been realized outside year 1 classrooms in another location of the school.

The new element is a flat roofed, single-storey volume which wraps around the school’s existing small hall. By using restrained massing, materials which reflect the local context and careful attention to detailing, the new addition provides a contemporary piece of architecture which unifies and compliments it’s immediate street scene.

Externally, the design makes use of one simple and authentic element, which is also the predominant local material: brick. The proposal uses only one brick type, a grey/black multi tone with handmade texture. The elevations are composed with a strong, elemental rhythm, using three bonds, with glazing set in relief from regular piers and a unifying double soldier course lintel wrapping around the main structure. The use of these masonry bonds is a nod to the brick detailing of the adjacent church and mews houses.

Internally, the brick motif continues with clay brick pavers in the entrance lobby, laid to match the elevation, with further exposed brickwork articulating the space. The exposed Douglas fir roof, including interconnecting beams and posts, and galvanised fixings and service runs, completes a simple material palette. The fabric of the new building is presented with simplicity and elegance to its young audience.

Data

  • Begun: Mar 2020
  • Completed: Mar 2021
  • Floor area: 64m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £314,000
  • Funding: Education Funding Agency
  • Tender date: Dec 2018
  • Procurement: JCT MWBC 2016
  • Address: Northolme Road, Highbury Park, London, N5 2UX, United Kingdom

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