Kier Construction for London Diocesan Board for Schools, London Borough of Ealing and the Twyford Academies Trust
London Borough of Ealing
Designed to meet the local demand for secondary school places, the school for 1450 students is the combined initiative of Twyford CofE High School, The London Borough of Ealing and The London Diocesan Board for Schools, for whom we have designed two other secondary schools (St Mary Magdalene Academy and Chelsea Academy).
The school’s specialism is science, being named after William Perkin, a nineteenth century chemist, who established science-based industry in the Greenford area, following his accidental discovery of ‘mauveine’ dye, the colour of which is subtly referenced in the school’s interior.
To meet a very tight programme (the school was required to be open within twelve months of construction work starting) the building was constructed using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT).
As a result the four storey superstructure was built in only four months using prefabricated timber panels making William Perkin the largest construction project in the UK using this form of construction at the time.
The building’s interior is characterised by dramatic top-lit interiors and exposed timber surfaces. Externally its composition offers both a shield to an urban motorway and a welcoming presence to its community. Orientated to reduce solar gain and noise impact, the general teaching spaces face north-east and north-west, reflecting the school’s outward looking philosophy.
The atrium spaces in the four storey ‘apex’ building, their rooflights above, the running stair, dining and entrance areas, all express exposed CLT, bringing the warmth and lightness of timber in to these dramatic interior spaces.