St Mary's RC Primary School
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In Brief

Client: Taylor Wimpey Central London with Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark / Network Rail

Location: London

Completion: September 2016

Construction value: £9.5million 

The new building for an existing school, previously on the site, provides an inspiring teaching environment at the heart of FCBStudios’ mixed-use ‘Battersea Exchange’ development and has its front door onto a new public square.

The school is arranged around a central courtyard and a series of terraced play spaces including a spectacular roof-top multi-use games area, all of which offer a fantastic foundation for learning. 

The Roman Catholic Diocese invested in enhanced space standards beyond then-EFA guidance. Many of the features incorporated are those that we know contribute to lifting the character and quality of school environments, such as exposed thermal mass, natural ventilation, high levels of daylight, bright and generous circulation spaces and a variety of outdoor landscapes. Early Years and Key Stage 1 classrooms all have access to external space and a big slide provides joyful access to the central courtyard.

Space for play

The street opposite the playground acts as a spill out space from the playground with soft landscaping and informal play integrated into the street design. The traffic on this street is controlled with access for deliveries and emergency vehicles only.

The central portion of the school is set back from the street edge creating a series of courtyard gardens that soften this edge of the building and give the playgrounds some privacy.

Battersea Exchange

Part of the vision for Battersea Exchange was that the new school should be integrated into the overall masterplan and not seen as a separate element.

The school and the surrounding residential buildings are seen as a single composition, linked by a common architectural language. An expressed frame and colonnade wrap the buildings on all sides giving a consistent architectural expression to the surrounding streets.