Success at every level

— June 8th, 2010

The new Classroom and Dining Building for Hornsby House School was handed over on 8 June 2010. This is the latest in a series of projects designed by Dinwiddie MacLaren Architects for this successful preparatory school in Balham.

The building occupies an awkwardly shaped corner site previously used for temporary accommodation. In order to minimise the bulk of the new building in this mainly residential area, the lower floor is constructed below the playground, thus ensuring that the only the roof projects above the new boundary wall. The need to retain a Lime tree protected by a TPO and the close proximity of the existing Lower School building added to the complexity of the design and construction process.

The design is conceived as a simple L-shaped building at ground floor level, with the stainless steel roof articulated above the brick boundary wall by a separating band of frameless glass. The L-shape creates an inner garden beside the Lime. The ground floor provides three classrooms and a small office. Below ground level the building extends far out below the playground to provide a large dining and flexible performance space together with a full commercial kitchen.