Christ Church CE Primary School, Hampstead

Makeover and internal additions to listed Christ Church CE Primary School, Hampstead, London

“The two new classrooms are amazing – the children love them, thank you!”

Katy Forsdyke, Headteacher

Christ Church is a one-form entry primary school, admitting 27 children in each year group from Reception to Year 6, a voluntary-aided Church of England School with close links to the parish church of Christ Church next door.

Housed in a Grade II listed early 19th century school building that has been altered and extended during Victorian times and on through the 20th century, the school in almost every respect is very small, with the classrooms, the hall, the kitchen and the playgrounds falling well below BB99 area guidelines.

Further to this basic shortfall the range and quality of the indoor and outdoor learning spaces were limited by the current configuration of the existing school building and playgrounds. All the classrooms are particularly small. At around 42m2 the average classroom is 25% below BB99 recommendation of 56m2. There were too few group rooms, inadequate staff support space and very little accessible storage. Almost no kitchen at all. The school was also in need of urgent repair and widespread general maintenance.

The aim of this project was to use limited funds to make improvements that could transform the whole. This is done by moving things around and making piecemeal interventions and expansions of different scales throughout the school but staying only within its existing profile. These go as far as the limited budget allows.

The primary moves are the provision of an additional classroom space, made by forming a new mezzanine in the south wing enlarging the mid Victorian ecclesiastical window and the creation of a new route through the school including a glazed canopy in the North Playground. New components, stair, canopy, coat hooks, cupboards re-stitch the school back into its past.

The available useable floor area of the school building only increases by 56m2 but the school’s usability and sense of continuity are significantly enhanced all round.

Location: London, Hampstead

Client: London Diocesan Board for Schools, London Borough of Camden and Christ Church CE Primary School

Cost: £1.3m

Areas: New mezzanine classroom  56m2, remodelled 1950s early Victorian school landscape, playgrounds and new canopies.

Dates:  May 2014, Planning and Listed Building Consents Summer 2015, Full Design, tender & phased construction September 2014 – Sept 2016

Contract: Traditional SBC/XQ

To Live In   To Learn In   To Work In   To Play In