Abbotsfield Boys School, Hillingdon

  • Learning
  • London Borough of Hillingdon
  • 2005

Turquoise wind-catchers and a yellow north light form a playful roof scape to this new Arts Centre, which can be seen above the existing buildings on approach from the main gate.

Monolithic striped brickwork walls wrap around the playground façade; a hornbeam-planted timber screen provides protection and screening from ball games. The long fall of the roof forms a ‘lid’ to the south, and on the east façade deep-revealed ribbons of windows break up the mass of the brickwork.

English classrooms occupy the ground floor, together with a Drama Studio which is a white teaching space with high linear windows, an adjustable-height lighting grid and full-perimeter curtains. On the first floor a top-lit gallery space connects two spatially dramatic Art Studios which look out over the playing fields below. The exposed castellated steel roof structure is rigorously detailed. Natural ventilation and daylight, materials specified for environmental performance, thermal mass, and sensor-operated electrical lights / windows / wind catchers also feature.