Client London Borough of Hackney / Mouchel Babcock Education
Location London, UK
2013 New London Architecture Award Finalist
Jestico + Whiles was appointed by Mouchel Babcock Education to design the new Our Lady’s Convent High School as part of the Phase Two Hackney BSF Programme. The existing school, which has specialist language college status, is a Roman Catholic voluntary aided school under the trusteeship of the Servite Sisters.
The completed building reconciled a series of very challenging site constraints. The four storey building – complete with a roof top multi-use games area above the sports hall – not only maximises the available external play spaces on what is a very small site, but also accommodates significant level changes across the site. The design also facilitated the two-phase construction process, which was required to make the required decant scenario possible.
Internally the building has been designed to incorporate wide corridors, complete with voids. These voids, which are integral to the natural lighting and ventilation strategy, create a sense of light and space through the entire building.
The school’s chapel is symbolically located at the centre of the plan on the axis of the two interlocking wings of building. The chapel and its light well are clad in timber to highlight the significance of the space.